What is Asian Handicap?

Starting it short, Asian Handicap is a popular way to bet on the outcome of football games where the options to choose from are reduced from 3 to 2. Many sites are telling that the draw is "eliminated" which is not really so - it is not possible to bet exactly and only on draw but draw can mean profit or loss depending on the handicap so it features equally as any other possible outcome. For many reasons Asian Handicap is considered to be the best and most paying way to bet on football games:

- Obviously it is easier to decide between two than three possible options;
- Better payout. In fixed odds (1X2) betting the standard odds payout is up to 92-93%, in Asian Handicap 97-98%. This is a huge difference allowing to find value easier and gain much better returns in the long run;
- AH means flexible and balanced betting. On the fixed odds market punters are often tied to bet either on big favorites with low odds or try long shots on underdogs. In Asian Handicap we can bet on any team in any game at both quite decent odds and roughly 50% chance to have our bet winning which eases a lot the money management and the fluent turnover.

How it works?
"Handicap" (same as "spread" in the American sports) means a fictive head start given to one of the teams (by default the underdog) - virtually leading the game by 0.25 goal, 0.5 goal, 0.75 goal , 1 goal, 1.5 goal, etc. The punter must either back the favorite to beat this handicap or the underdog to hold it. The default handicap could be also 0 goals (level ball) when both teams are estimated as more or less equal. It looks abstract at first glance but not hard to comprehend. The Asian Handicap bet is settled by adding the handicap to the actual result of the game. For example if Wigan have received 0.5 goal advantage against Blackburn (Wigan +0.5) and the game ends with a draw, the bet on Wigan wins by half a goal. Bets on Blackburn are winning if Rovers just win no matter with what result, that simple. When we have -1.5 handicap the favorite must win the game at least by 2 goals margin, otherwise the underdog (+1.5) is winning by half or more goals. For 0, 1 and 2 goals handicap the bet result could be a virtual draw and in this case all stakes are refunded. For example if Man United are set one goal down to Middlesbrough and they win exactly by 1 goal, the Asian Handicap result is draw and all bets are settled as void.

In fact many Asian Handicap lines cover exactly the same thing as other betting options - no need to mention what -0.5 means, the 0 goals handicap is equal to "Draw No Bet", +0.5 is same as backing the underdog at "Double Chance", -1.5 is same as Euro Handicap (0:1). Odds are usually higher though as we underlined one of the main advantages of AH betting.

Before going further it is very important to note that in live (in-play) betting Asian Handicap bets usually apply only to the remaining time of the game and NOT to the whole 90 minutes. Anyway be sure to check the bookmakers rules first.

Resource: Complete Asian Handicap results table

Split (quarter ball) handicaps
We got the base of Asian Handicap betting which is certainly not hard to be figured out. The only challenge in AH comes with the so-called "split" handicaps because lines like -0.25 or +1.75 look weird and confusing. Lacking a clear standard to display split handicaps doesn`t help, various bookies and sites use different formats to show one and the same thing so you can see 0.75 as "3/4" or "0.5, 1" ; 1.25 as "1 1/4" or "1, 1.5" etc. Not a problem though once we get the idea.

Now this is the key - note that 0.25 is average value between 0 and 0.5, 0.75 is average between 0.5 and 1, 1.25 is average between 1 and 1.5. Most bookies give a hint in the way they display handicaps like 0, 0.5 or 0.5, 1. In these cases the bet is virtually split in two separate handicap bets. For example, if you bet 10 EUR on -0.75 (-0.5, -1) goal handicap in fact you bet 5 EUR on -0.5 and 5 EUR on -1 goal handicap. If your team wins by 2-1, half of your bet (5 EUR) is winning with the given odds (that going for the -0.5 handicap) and the other half of your stake will be refunded.

One more example - lets say we bet 50 EUR on Torino +0.25 (0, +0.5) against Parma, odds 1.80. If Torino wins, it is clear that we will take 90 EUR. If the game ends with a draw, half of our stake is winning (25 EUR x 1.80 = 45 EUR) and the remaining 25 EUR are refunded, overall we get back 70 EUR. On the opposite, if we bet on Parma -0.25 (0, -0.5) and the game result is draw, half of our bet (-0.5) will be lost and the other half (25 EUR) will be refunded.

Asian goal lines
Asian goal lines (betting on the total number of goals scored in a game) are quite alike the classic under / over bets but here you can find more different lines as 1.75 goals, 2.25 goals etc. which work with the same idea as the split handicaps. For example, if you bet on under 2.75 goals and game ends 2-1 you will get half of your stake back; if you bet on under 2.25 goals and the games ends 1-1 your bet will be half-won. If the lines is exactly 3 goals and there are 3 goals scored in the game your bet will be refunded. Just something that must be mentioned, in live betting unlike Asian Handicap goal lines apply to the whole 90 minutes.

Where to bet? Asian handicap bookmakers
Many bookies in Europe still don't offer 2-way handicap bets on football games but even so there are quite enough to serve any kind of players. Brief overview of the best places for AH betting:

The absolute must-have - SBOBET and Pinnacle which are offering top odds (97-98% payout), solid in-play action and most important - not limiting winning customers which is a common problem with most bookies. They are not accepting users from all countries though so in that case we recommend using a brokerage service as Asianconnect and Sportmarket which provide access to their odds (and other big Asian operators) through one single platform.

Punters going with smaller stakes will be certainly fine with a row of of other bookmakers that also support Asian Handicap betting - bet365, Marathonbet, 1xbet and some more.

If you need a bookmaker to bet with bitcoins or Perfect Money Roadbet, Cloudbet are decent choices. Plus 1xbet again supporting the biggest choice of payment options on the market.

US bettors who don't have that many options to gamble online can take a shot with 5Dimes, one of the biggest American sportsbooks that welcomes people from anywhere (except France).