Making Football More Exciting With Asian Handicap Betting

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As the name suggests, Asian handicaps originated in Asia, or, to be more specific, in Indonesia. A journalist, Joe Saumarez Smith, discovered the ‘Hang Cheng’ betting style in the late 1990s. To avoid literal translation, he called it “Asian handicap,” which punters from the West would find easy to remember. And they did, adopting this style of betting rather quickly.

Asian handicap betting, like spread bets and other more advanced bet types, brings a bit of spice to your regular football bet, which is why it quickly became popular. But what is it, exactly, and how does it work? Let’s find out.

What Is Asian Handicap Betting?

This style of handicap betting fits football superbly since the number of goals that teams can score in a game is somewhat limited. After 90 minutes and numerous terrific scoring opportunities, the game can still end with a 0-0 draw. Similarly, you can have a game where almost every chance gets converted (for a higher scoreline despite a relatively boring match), and it could still have no winner. Because of that, the outcome of a wager is usually entirely unpredictable.

That’s where the handicap comes into play: It helps you win even if your team loses and reduces a lot of variabilities that come with football betting by eliminating the option of a draw at the end of the match.

In football, many factors come into play for determining differentials, which are symbolic of the perceived quality of the teams playing. Typically, bookmakers will interpret factors such as historical performance, home-field advantage, player availability, form, and financial strength, to calculate the football spreads and best odds. To be more specific, this serves to represent each team’s probability of winning the game. The difference between some teams can be rather significant, and the amount of money you can win by betting on the clear favourite is predictably very low, even at the most favourable football betting sites.

That’s why we have handicap betting and why so many punters enjoy it. It is intended to level the playing field, giving people better odds to bet on. This is accomplished by applying a goal handicap to the favourite and an advantage to the underdog. With Asian handicap betting, we spice things further: it introduces half or quarter goals, so the final score with handicap included can never be a tie. To illustrate this better, let’s give an example. A bet on a football match between two teams might look something like this:

Team A (the favourite) -1.50 

Team B (the underdog) +1.50

Everything you see with a whole digit here (the +1 and -1) works as with regular points: it equates to scoring one goal during the match. .5, as you know, is just half a goal either way and since you can’t score half goals in football serves to ensure that you won’t have a match with no bet winner. In the example above, the favourite starts with a 1.5 goal disadvantage, so a winning bet requires them to beat Team B by at least two goals (2-0, 3-1, etc.)

The real fun of the Asian handicaps odds, however, are the .25 or .75’s. If a number on the bet ends with these, things get interesting.

How Does Asian Handicap Work?

If you see either .25 or .75, know that your betting amount will be split. But there are no quarter goals possible in football, either. So what happens? To explain it simply, let’s use the following example:

Team A +1.75 

Team B – 1.75 

If you were to bet $20 on Team A, you’re essentially betting that they will win by a margin of two goals or more.

Since Team B in this situation is entering the game with an advantage in goals, Team A needs to score at least two goals more than them for you to win something. In football, Asian handicap rules with quarter goals are there to make handicaps more interesting. They allow you to not only win or lose but get a half-win or half-loss as well.

With a -1.75, if the result is, say, 2-0 (or any other two-goal advantage for Team A), you will get half a half win: one half of your bet would be the winner, and the other one will be refunded. However, if Team A beats the odds completely and scores three goals more than Team B, you win the whole bet for the full payout.

On the other hand, if you were betting on Team B instead, they would need to lose by a three-goal difference for you to lose your bet completely. Team B (the underdog) winning, drawing, or losing by one goal would win you the whole bet, while if they lost by two goals, you would lose half of your stake and get the other half back.

Now that we have Asian handicap explained, you should know that you can trade them in-play by reacting to match events. This lets you place your bet pre-game to get the trade-out opportunity or use it during the game to earn a higher profit.

The Benefits of Asian Handicap

So, let’s summarise the overall benefits of betting on a market that has Asian handicap football matches on offer:

1. Lower risk.

Even if the team you’ve backed loses the game, your bet can still win, and you can get reimbursed for at least half of your bet.

2. Highly favoured teams get more value.

Another excellent aspect of Asian handicap is that it removes the bias on which team is the favourite and the underdog, giving bettors more value when putting their stake on the favourites.

3. Better market value.

Many professional bettors choose the Asian handicaps market, since you’ll get better value for your bet here, especially in markets with no full bet refund option (.25, .50, or .75)

4. Half wins are possible.

If you play on .25 or .75 markets, you can win something back even if the bet is not won fully (half bet is returned, the other half can either be lost or won depending on the scoreline at the end of the match).

So, Should You Switch to This Type of Bets?

While there are positive sides to this type of handicap, it is not a miraculous way to earn a lot of money overnight. Like with any other bet, the probability is calculated into the price. Better chances or more advantage with a specific type of bet typically means the prize will be lower, even at the best online sports betting venues.

Still, these football handicaps do add a layer of security and even out the odds a bit between clear favourites and underdogs, just as any split bet does. You do have a higher chance of getting some of your bet back by supporting underdogs or getting a better return when placing your stake on the clear favourites in a game.


What is a +1.5 Asian handicap?

When you encounter a +1.5 Asian handicap, the team with the allocation gets a 1.5 goal advantage at the start the game as far as your bet is concerned. If you were to bet on the +1.50 team, your bet would win if your team won, drew, or lost by no more than one goal. On the other hand, if you were to bet on the -1.50 team, they’d have to win the game by two or more goals for you to cash out.

What is the difference between a handicap and an Asian handicap?

Typically, handicap means that one team has a lead over another. Asian handicaps eliminate the draw option and reduce the potential outcomes at the end of the match by introducing quarter or half goals, which are impossible to score in a football game. This type of betting allows the bet to be split so that the bettors can minimise the risk of the stake or win more by betting on a heavily penalised favourite in a match.

What is a +1 handicap?

The +1 handicap essentially means that the team holding it has a goal over the other team. Practically, the game starts with a score of 1-0 for them. The other team has to score two or more points in the game for your bet on them to win.