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Asian Handicap betting explained

Some bookies offer a market called ‘Asian Handicap’. I often use this market for my bets, particularly challenge bets and many are unfamiliar with it. So here’s a breakdown of how the market works and what needs to happen for your bet to be settled as a winner.

What is Asian Handicap?

The basic premise of an Asian Handicap is relatively simple, it’s designed to negate the outcome being a draw and narrow the result down to two options rather than three. A handicap is a form of betting that theoretically gives a team a head start, so with standard handicaps you can get -1, -2, +1 for example, meaning the selected team starts either behind or ahead.

Asian Handicaps are similar but offer more leniency and more coverage of the outcomes. There are two main types of Asian handicaps, full goal and half goal. Full goal would be outcomes like -1.0 and 0.0, a half goal market would be things such as -0.5 or -1.5.

Full goal markets e.g. -1.0

If you’re using the whole goal markets and the game is level with the handicap taken in to consideration then your bet will be void and your stake returned. For example if you backed Bayern Munich -1.0 and they won 2-1, your bet would be refunded. If they won 3-1 or more then your bet would be settled as a winner. If they were to draw or lose then your bet would be a loss.

The only other differential with a full goal market is the handicap of 0.0, this is essentially a draw no bet selection. Meaning that whichever team you back with a 0.0 handicap needs to win the game for your bet to be a winner, a draw would void and a loss would give you a loss.

Essentially the advantage with an Asian handicap compared to a normal handicap is more security over your stake. If you back a -1 handicap then your only winning outcome is the side winning by one or more goals, which is the same for a -1.0 Asian handicap but you have the security of a void if the side you’ve backed still wins but only by one goal. Naturally the odds are shorter than a standard handicap, but higher than a straight up win.

Example 1: Chelsea vs Wolves. Chelsea -1 Asian Handicap is the bet.

Wolves win = Loss

Draw = Loss

Chelsea win by 1 = Void

Chelsea win by 2 or more = Win

Half goal markets e.g. -1.5

The simplest form of Asian handicap betting is half goal markets, they’re much more comparable to standard handicaps. In a game with a heavy favourite the most likely and ‘accurate’ handicap could be a -1.5 for the favoured team or +1.5 for the underdogs.

For a -1.5 you would need the team to win by two ore more goals, no other outcome wins the bet. A loss, draw or victory by just one goal would all be settled as a loss. This starts to piece together how

the scaling works in Asian handicap markets. A -1.0 would give you the chance of a void, as would a -2.0 however the half goal market in between relies the team winning by two or more.

So for example, you fancy Barcelona to win big. You’ve got the options of -1.0, -1.5 and -2.0. A win by two goals would land both -1.0 and -1.5, it would void the -2.0. A victory by one goal would void the -1.0 but the other two bets would be settled as losses.

Half goal/gull goal handicaps (quarter goal markets) e.g. 0.0, -0.5

This is the most complicated variation of Asian handicap betting. A quarter goal market appears in the format 0.0, -0.5 or 0.0 + 0.5 for example but has several variations like any handicap.

The best way to think of this bet is that you’re in fact placing two bets on those handicaps. So you’re backing a 0.0 and a -0.5, both can win, both can lose and there can be a combination of loss/void or win/void depending on the outcome and your selection.

So here’s an example, you back Arsenal 0.0, -0.5 in their game against Aston Villa. So how does the result correspond to your bet?

If Arsenal win by one or more goals, both parts of the Asian handicap win. As if you had separately backed either 0.0 or 0.5, both outcomes would have won.

Now, if the game was a draw that would be a half loss, half void outcome. Again, think of it as you backing two separate Asian handicaps. 0.0 would be void due to the draw, but the -0.5 would lose as Arsenal didn’t win the match.

The final outcome is if Arsenal were to fail to win the match, that then of course settles both parts as a loss and therefore the overall bet as a loss.

There is another outcome where the bet can be half void and half win. So say you back Arsenal -1.5, -2.0 and the match finishes 3-1 to Arsenal. The -1.5 portion of the bet would win as Arsenal won by to goals, however the -2.0 would be void as you needed Arsenal to win by at least three for that portion to win.

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