Asian Handicap Football Betting Guide

Types of Bets

Asian Handicap football betting can really open up new dimensions to your wagers. The market option is becoming ever more popular in European football betting, after originating, as the name would suggest, on the Asian continent. The betting term itself of “handicap” actually originates itself from days of yore when gamblers would get together and toss all of their wagers into a cap before a sporting event, (hence “hand-in-cap.”)

The purpose behind the Asian Handicap betting (which is also known as hang cheng) is to eliminate the outcome of a draw in the match by handicapping one of the teams with an advantage or disadvantage in goals, before the start of the match. It tries to level the playing field a little bit between two teams which differ in strength and quality.

This form of football betting takes out one of the options from fixed odds betting, in which three outcomes are possible (a home win, a draw, an away win – which equates to a 33.3% chance of either happening). With Asian Handicap football betting you reduce the outcome to a win/loss only (by eliminating a draw) and therefore you have a 50-50% chance of either event happening. The principle behind handicap betting is really to give the weaker team some sort of head start in order to give the match a more even feel. You generally handicap the stronger team by making them start in the negative. Therefore, because a result is forced by putting such a handicap in place, the practice of it really does offer some great value to the punter.

Think of a bookmaker presenting an Asian Handicap betting line. The online bookmaker will place it as close as is possible in football predictions, to making a 50-50 fair match. You will find this line where the odds are as close to Evens (1.00 decimal) as possible. This is the point at which the bookmaker thinks that any difference in quality will be evened out between the two teams involved in the match. It may be starting the stronger team at -0.25, -1.00 or -2.00 handicap, or anything in between or beyond. This is the point at which will determine the rest of the odds, giving the bettor the chance to bet as close to that line as the want. As the popularity of this method of betting grows, you will see the options readily available on online bookmakers websites such as Bet365. Here we present an Asian Handicap football betting guide to get you started.

How does Asian Handicap Betting Work?

For example, when you place a bet on a Home win for example with fixed odds, if anything other than that happens, then you have lost your stake and the wager. However, with an Asian Handicap, you do not bet on a straight home wins, you bet on the margins of victory/loss. It is possible to back a team which loses on the field of play on the day, but still wins your bet for you. This is the why Asian Handicap football betting is so popular.

In Asian Handicap football betting, if you wanted to back the bookmaker’s favourite to win a match, you have three options:

1) You can back the favourites with a negative handicap with which to start the match

If you are backing a favourite, then this will be one of the first places to start looking. Here you will be betting that the favourite will overcome a deficit at the start of the match and win the match by enough of a margin as which you select in your Asian Handicap. So, if you select a -1 Asian Handicap, you need that team to win by more than one goal in the match to win. Depending on the perceived difference in quality between the two teams, the odds will be spread from a 0 Asian Handicap down to say a -2.00 Asian Handicap (you can go beyond this figure) and again, Evens is where the most probability of breaking even lies. Looking in the negative for a favourite is where good odds can be picked up because you are setting the favourites a more difficult task. The favourites will probably win, but will they win by enough of a margin as which you have set them?

2) You can back the favourites with a positive handicap with which to start the match
Backing a favourite this way won’t bring great odds, simply because they will be expected to win the match anyway, so starting them with an advantage simply adds to the probability of a win.

3) You can back the underdog opponents with a positive handicap

This is the main alternative to option one, and where you can probably find better odds, and is a little more of a brave bet. With this option, you can give the underdog a head start with your Asian Handicap, say by one goal, and backing them this way, you will be banking on them hanging on to a draw or better. You will want the underdogs to give a good defensive performance and not lose, in this case by more than one goal. This can be an interesting market to explore, and can be backed up well with the study of football statistics.

So, there are the basic options. Now let’s look at these Asian Handicap Betting options in a little more detail. Here is an example of Asian Handicap betting on a Chelsea v Liverpool match in which you think favourites Chelsea would win. As seen above, you have two main options:

Negative Asian Handicap: Chelsea -1.00

For all intents and purposes, this means that Chelsea will be starting the match from a goal behind from an Asian Handicap betting perspective. So, what would Chelsea need to do in order win the match from that position? They would need to score two goals (or win by two clear goals). If they do that, then the bookmaker would pay out. But, there is another scenario. What if Chelsea win the match, but only win by one goal? That, again from the Asian Handicap betting perspective, would mean than the match ended in a draw, even though in reality Chelsea still won the match. Because the Asian Handicap result ended in a draw (as Chelsea started the match one goal behind) you would get your stake refunded because parity will have been achieved. If the actual match is drawn or Liverpool win, you lose outright because Chelsea already started the match behind. Let’s look at the other betting option.

Positive Asian Handicap: Liverpool +1

If Liverpool started the match a goal ahead, what scenarios would lead them to win the match? Obviously a win for Liverpool by any score would secure a winning bet, but also if the match ended in a draw, then you wild still win the bet because as far as the Asian Handicap bet, Liverpool won the match because they started a goal to the good. So, in this case, both a draw for Liverpool and a victory would pay out a winner. But, what if they lost the match by one goal, meaning that the match ended in parity from the Asian Handicap football betting point of view? Again, parity equals a stake refund if Liverpool lose by one goal. If they lose by more than one goal, then the bet loses, because they will have lost the match in reality and on the Asian Handicap bet.

0 Asian Handicap Bet

This is the equivalent of a Draw No Bet option and means that no handicap has been given because the two teams are evenly matched. Basically the team you back at 0 doesn’t start with any advantage, and you will only win if they win. If the match ends in a draw though you would get a stake refund because the Asian Handicap would still be at parity. This is the equivalent of a Draw No Bet in fixed odds football betting.

Quarter Ball, Half Ball and Three Quarter Ball Asian Handicaps
This is where the Asian Handicap football betting can get just a little bit more confusing when first looking at the markets, because you can bet on more than just a full ball (i.e. whole goal handicaps as in the example above, like -1, -2, -3). In between each of those whole ball markers, you have three other options which pan out like this…

+1.00 (whole)
+0.75 (three quarter)
+0.50 (half)
+ 0.25 (quarter)
0 (whole)
-0.25 (quarter)
-0.50 (half)
-0.75 (three quarter)
-1 (whole)
In the following descriptions, we are just using the more popular negative option for the example, the positive handicaps work in exactly the same way:

Full ball Asian Handicap

This is the most straight forward option, as exhibited in the Chelsea v Liverpool example above. Whatever option you take on a full ball handicap, the team either has to win (or not lose) by more than the set handicap.

Half ball Asian Handicap

Because it is impossible for a match to end in a draw when one team starts with a ½ goal advantage in a match, your Asian Handicap bet will either be a full win or a full loss. There is no in-between here. In the case of -1.50 it splits the difference between a -1.00 handicap and a -2.00 handicap. What is the difference between a -1.00 and -1.50? Well, a -1.00 result would give a stake refund if the handicapped team wins by one goal, but in a -1.50, the team would need to win by two clear goals or else the bet is lost. That is why this option will be at longer odds than a whole ball handicap, because it is harder to achieve.

Quarter Handicap

This, essentially two Asian Handicap bets rolled into one. Let’s look a -0.25 quarter ball, it is actually one 0:0 bet and one -0.50 bet combined (which is sits in between). What does this mean? Well, if the match ends in a draw, it means that you will either lose or win 50% of the stake (depending on whether you took a positive or negative Asian Handicap). This is because it is halfway between the whole ball 0:0 bet (which refunds stake on a draw) and the -0.50 bet (which loses on a draw). So a quarter handicap cuts a bit of risk in losing everything on a draw, as you only lose half of your stake on that outcome.

Three Quarter Handicap

The same as a quarter handicap essentially, as it splits the difference between a -0.50 bet and a -1.00 bet (again it is essentially those two bets combined). Where a -0.50 bet loses if your team loses, and a -1.00 bet refunds stake if the team loses by 1 goal, then halfway between those two options would be a half win if the team wins by one goal. This is the purpose of the three quarter handicap. As with quarter ball Asian Handicap betting, because you are essentially betting on two selections, if for example you placed £10 on a -0.75 bet, it is the equivalent of putting £5 each on the -0.50 and -1.00 bets.