Last Updated on 03/10/2022
Fact checked by: Megan Jonson
If you’ve ever been to a bookmaker’s or placed a bet on the football then you may be wondering to yourself, ‘what is Asian handicap betting?’ Well, if you’re looking for answers, then you’ve come to the right place!
In this article I’m going to be explaining this method of betting to you in simple terms so you can take advantage of it next time you place a bet on the football! I won’t just be answering the question - ‘what is Asian handicap betting?’- I’m going to be giving you some great examples too to enhance your future betting experiences!
Asian handicap betting is one of the countless options available to football bettors, but what is asian handicap betting exactly?
An Asian handicap is a form of football betting in which teams are handicapped according to their form. The handicap gives the weaker team a virtual head start of sorts, meaning that the stronger team must win by more than one goal, usually two or three, for a punter betting on them to win.
This form of spread betting originated in Indonesia, hence the name ‘Asian handicap’, and has only really started to become popular everywhere else since the turn of the 21st century. The term was coined in 1999 by journalist Joe Saumarez Smith when he was asked by an Indonesian bookmaker to provide a translation of the betting method that was known as ‘hang cheng betting’ by bookmakers in Asia.
The most significant aspect of this form of betting is that it reduces the result of a bet from 3 options, down to 2. Whilst before the result of your bet could lead to either a win, loss, or draw, when the Asian handicap is in play, the result of your bet can only be either a win or a loss. It eliminates the possibility of a draw almost entirely.
This means that you will essentially have a 50% chance of winning or losing the bet. This is because the Asian handicap effectively levels the odds of both teams towards Evens.
There are two main types of Asian handicap - half goal (0.5, 1.5, 2.5, etc.), and a whole goal (0,1, 2, 3, etc). There is also a third type of Asian handicap too, that being the quarter-goal option (0.25, 0.75, 1.25, etc).
In terms of the half-goal option, because you obviously can’t score half a goal, there is naturally always going to be a clear winner. In the case of the whole goal option, if the result of the match is level after the handicap has been taken into consideration, then your bets will be refunded.
One of the main aims of the Asian handicap is to not only improve the odds and your winnings when betting on stronger teams but to also make games that would otherwise be foregone conclusions that much more exciting for you when you bet on them!
To see if the Asian handicap is the best method of betting available for football, check out our Guide To Betting On Sports Online!
Football is one of a small number of sports where a match resulting in a draw is pretty much commonplace. This is why the Asian handicap is mainly used in football betting, but don’t let that make you think that it can only be used for football betting.
More sports are starting to offer the Asian handicap betting option as time goes on, including ice hockey, basketball, and tennis!
Sports such as rugby and cricket do have the potential for matches to end in draws, but these outcomes are so much rarer, that the Asian handicap isn’t really required.
Basketball and Netball, on the other hand, see large point totals and therefore cater strongly for the Asian handicap betting markets.
Still a little confused as to what is asian handicap betting exactly? It does take some wrapping your head around, but once you know what you’re doing, you’ll be able to take full advantage of this form of betting and hopefully increase your winnings the next time you stick some money on the football! And you won’t have to ask ‘what is asian handicap betting’ ever again!
There are three different examples of Asian handicap betting that I’m going to discuss in this Asian handicap explained article. The first of those is the whole goal handicap, the second is the half-goal handicap, and the third is the slightly more complicated quarter-goal handicap.
The first option we’re going to explain in this ‘what is Asian handicap betting’ article is the whole goal Asian handicap.
In a match between Chelsea and West Bromwich Albion, the odds were set by Bet365 at 1/5 for Chelsea to win, and 14/1 for West Brom to win. Looking at these odds, you can see that Chelsea are clear winners and should, in theory, beat West Brom comfortably.
If you want to know how betting odds are calculated, you’re in luck, as we wrote an article that will answer all your burning questions on the topic!
But with such low odds for a Chelsea win, it’s almost pointless to bet on them as you’ll hardly make any winnings if the result of the match is the foregone conclusion the odds suggest it will be.
That’s where the Asian handicap comes in. The handicap makes it possible to raise the odds for a Chelsea win, thus making betting on them to win that much more attractive. You could place a bet on ‘Chelsea -1’, for example. In this scenario, for Chelsea to win the bet for you, they will have to beat West Brom by at least 2 goals. If Chelsea lose or draw, you’ll lose your bet.
But, and this is important to remember, if Chelsea do win by 1 goal, you’ll get your stake returned to you. This part is what makes Asian handicaps different from normal handicaps.
Alternatively, if you place a bet on ‘West Brom +2’ on the Asian handicap market, if West Brom are not beaten by more than 3 goals, you’ll lose the bet. If they’re beaten by 2 goals you’ll get your money back, and if they lose by a maximum of 1 goal, you’ll win the bet.
Another way you can take advantage of the Asian handicap is when two evenly matched teams play each other. So, if Chelsea and Tottenham play each other, for example, you could play a handicap of 0. If you bet on Chelsea and they win, you’ll win the bet. If the match ends in a draw you’ll get your money back, just like you would if you were betting on a ‘Draw no bet’. And, obviously, if Chelsea lose, you lose the bet.
The next option we’re going to discuss in this ‘what is Asian handicap betting’ article, is the half goal Asian handicap.
Another way of playing the Asian handicap is by playing the half goal handicap. As previously mentioned, the half goal handicap will always result in a clear winner or loser.
I’ll use the Chelsea vs West Brom example once more to explain this one in this Asian handicap explained article.
As we already know, the odds are in favour of a comfortable Chelsea to win. However, when you place a half goal handicap on Chelsea to win, the odds will improve.
For example, if you place a bet on ‘Chelsea -1.5’, Chelsea must now win the game by more than 1.5 clear goals, otherwise you will lose the bet. As we know, you can’t score half a goal, so this means that Chelsea will have to win the game by 2 clear goals, otherwise your bet has been lost.
You can also place a bet on ‘West Brom +1.5’ which means that West Brom must lose by at least 2 goals for you to win your bet. If the result is a 1-0 win for Chelsea, for example, you’ve lost your bet.
Placing a bet on ‘Chelsea -0.5’ means that Chelsea have to win by 1 clear goal, whilst ‘West Brom +0.5’ means that West Brom can only lose by 1 goal. Anything more is a loss for you.
You can only win or lose with the ‘half goal’ option of the Asian handicap, which makes it quite different from the ‘whole goal’ option.
There is a third Asian handicap option that we’re going to quickly mention in this Asian handicap explained article, and that’s the quarter goal handicap. This is a little more complicated, but it’s worth knowing about.
A quarter goal handicap is essentially a handicap made up of 2 parts, such as 0 & -0.5, or +1.5 & +2.0. It basically means that the bet you place is split 50/50 between the two handicaps.
So, if you back Chelsea -1.0 & -1.5 with $10, for example, you’re effectively betting $5 on Chelsea -1.0 and $5 on Chelsea -1.5.
We’ll use Chelsea as an example again. Imagine you have placed a $10 bet on Chelsea -1.0, -1.5. This means that $5 will automatically go on the first part of the bet (-1.0), and $5 on the second part of the bet (-1.5).
If Chelsea lose by 1 goal or draw, you’ve lost your first bet. If they win by 1 goal or more, you’ve won your first bet.
And to win the second part of your bet, Chelsea will need to win by 2 goals or more. If they lose you will lose your second bet. If they draw, i.e. they score 2 goals, your bet will be void and you’ll have your stake returned to you.
If you’ve managed to wrap your head around the main Asian handicaps I’ve mentioned above, you’ll be able to understand all the other alternative handicaps available.
The general concept is the same, with advantages being given to the home or away side, but with even bigger handicaps. For example, -1.75, -2, -2.25, -2.5, -2.75, and so on.
Each bookmaker lists the Asian handicap differently, so you’ll just have to find the one that suits you and your betting needs best.
As with all forms of betting, there are a number of advantages and disadvantages to them.
One advantage of the Asian handicap is that it all but eliminates the outcome of the bet being a draw. With the Asian handicap in play, you can either win or lose. It increases your chances of winning by up to 50%, and there will be, most of the time, a clear winner or loser.
Another advantage of the Asian handicap is that it increases the odds so that they are as high as possible. Not only does this mean that you could potentially win big, but it also makes betting on the favourites/stronger team that much more attractive.
Read our article on how to deposit money into a betting site in Australia if you’re unsure about getting started with betting on the football!
Yet another advantage of this method of betting is the fact that there are so many options available to the player. Traditionally, bookmakers offer the Asian handicap with multiple lines, gifting the bettor with a huge number of selections. Ultimately this gives the player that much more control and flexibility over their bet.
Depending on what football league you’re betting on, you can cash out on your Asian handicap mid bet, just like many other normal football bets. If you’re interested in finding out how cash out betting works, give our article on the subject a read!
Additionally, one of the biggest benefits of the Asian handicap, and what sets it apart from other methods of betting, is that even if the team you bet on loses the game, depending on the handicap, you might still win!
One of the biggest disadvantages of the Asian handicap is that it can be quite difficult to understand at first. It’s a complicated way of betting, and you’ll only really benefit from it if you have a good knowledge of the sport your betting on. If you’re new to betting, or you don’t know much about football, for example, then we suggest you stay away from the Asian handicap markets until you’re fully confident that you know what you’re doing!
Another disadvantage of the Asian handicap is that a lot of the time, the fixed odds for the underdog team are better in comparison to Asian handicaps. This could make making your choice between what to stick your money on that much more difficult.
The fact that the range of available odds isn’t as wide as other forms of betting in Europe is another disadvantage of the Asian handicap.
Additionally, due to the advantages stated above, sometimes bookmakers will place restrictions on the use of the Asian handicap, so we seriously advise you to read the terms and conditions carefully before using the Asian handicap with any betting site or company.
If you’re interested in finding the answer to the question, ‘how do bookies make money’, give our article on the subject a read!
Though it may look complicated to start with, once you have managed to understand how it works and managed to wrap your head around the lines and outcomes, the Asian handicap should make your betting experience that much easier.
At times, the odds can be better than those of the fixed odds, and it definitely makes betting on the bigger teams that little bit more exciting. Plus it increases your chances of winning up to 50%!
Next time you’re going to bet on the football, take a look at the Asian handicap market first! It might be worth your time!
Yes, the Asian handicap is legal in Australia, however, it is nowhere near as popular there as it is in Asia. There are a number of bookmakers that offer the Asian handicap.
With Asian handicaps, there are only two outcomes. Also, if the bet ends in a handicap draw, your stakes are returned to you. Your stakes aren’t returned to you in European handicaps. European handicaps are also different because they only deal in ‘whole goals’, whilst Asian handicaps offer ‘whole goals’, ’half goals’ and ‘quarter-goal options’.
The best time to wager on an Asian handicap, or any handicap for that matter, is when the match results or odds don’t offer anything of any real value. With the help of Asian handicap betting, the odds are evened out as much as possible to give the stronger team odds of some sort of value. If you want to place a bet on the stronger team, but the odds are poor, that is the perfect time for you to wager on an Asian handicap.
Not all bookmakers offer Asian handicap lines in Australia, however there are some. From what we could find, bet365 and Unibet are two bookmakers who do offer Asian handicaps in Australia. It’s important that you check the T&C’s of any betting site you use to see if they offer Asian handicap lines.
One reason as to why it’s so popular is because it boosts your chances of winning by up to 50%, and most of the time, there is always a clear winner. It also makes betting on the stronger teams much more attractive, and ultimately, rewarding than usual.