Last Updated on 18/09/2022
Fact checked by: Drew the DFS Guy
Let’s say Barcelona is playing home against Manchester City in a friendly football match. You think betting Barcelona is a great decision. However, Manchester City with a strong relegation resistance game; victories in their recent matches and an outstanding away record might just be the more realistic team to place your bet on. If you still place your bet on Barcelona in the head-to-head game, and they win, you win the bet. However, if the match ends in a draw, that’s born out of Manchester City putting up a stiff opposition, you have nothing to lose. This scenario gives a sneak peek to what head-to-head bet entails. Let’s talk about it more in details.
Also called two-way bet, a head-to-head bet involves layers wagering on one of the two outcomes of a match; either a win or a loss. It is noteworthy that a head-to-head bet could, sometimes, involve three outcomes. This possibility occurs with a head-to-head soccer. In this scenario, the third outcome is a draw. Here, head-to-head betting could also be called a 3-way betting. A fun fact about this betting type is that it is the most popular sports betting type and its focus is strictly on the outcomes of a match. Similar to 1X2 betting, head-to-head betting doesn’t seek to even out any difference in perceived ability between the teams or players - unlike Asian handicaps or totals.
There is no sitting on the fence (that is, a draw) in this variant of head-to-head betting. This betting could compare two prominent players in a sporting game. For example, head-to-head betting can compare C. Ronaldo and Messi in terms of who you think would score the highest number of goals in a match. Or, you could compare two formula one drivers to see who would get the most points at the end of a league. Interestingly, you can also wager on which goal keeper will have more saves in a match.
Head to head betting is the most popular type of sports bet offered throughout the world. It purely focuses on the win or loss outcome of a match. Head-to-head bets are also very popular in tennis betting, where there can only be two outcomes.
This betting could compare two prominent players in a sporting game. For example, head-to-head betting can compare C. Ronaldo and Messi in terms of who you think would score the highest number of goals in a match. Or, you could compare two formula one drivers to see who would get the most points at the end of a league. Interestingly, you can also wager on which goal keeper will have more saves in a match.
To further illustrate, here is a fine example of a soccer head-to-head bet
Teams Head to head Odds
The above is a head-to-head scenario for a world cup game. With the price for either team placed at $2, this means as assumed by the sports book, both Argentina and Brazil have an equal shot at winning the match. It is now left to you to back one of either team. Thus, if you back Argentina, and they win, you get your money back with profit. But, if they lose to Brazil, then you lose your money too.
There are varieties of sports you can place a head-to-head bet on. They include motor sports like Formula 1, Motor Gp etc. Often, bets placed on this sport centers on which of two drivers are likely to finish in first position. Another event is Horse racing. In this sport, Head-to-Head betting is one of the popular betting types probably because the odds are attractive. Here, bets are placed on one of two horses likely to win the race. Other sports you can place a Head-to-Head betting on includes; rugby, alpine skiing, tennis, soccer and football.
Anyone, from inexperienced people to professional bettors can play and enjoy head-to-head bets. For the sake of specificity, this section examines the advantages, what you have to gain from engaging in this betting type.
For a 3 way betting system, the crux of the matter is trying to decide the right odds for the draw. However, since head-to-head betting majorly follows the two-way betting system, it makes betting a lot less complicating. This is because it narrows down your betting options to two. It’s either the home team wins and the away team loses or vice versa. This way, all you have to do is place your bet on the team you think would win. In the case where the outcome of the match is a draw in a head-to-head bet, your stake would be refunded. However, this won’t happen on a traditional (1×2) match winner’s bet. This doesn’t go to say that the draw in a 3way betting is a terrible idea. All it just does is reduce prediction certainty.
In a head-to-head betting, the odds are low compared to the traditional (1×2) match winner’s bet. For instance, if the odds of Barcelona winning the match against Man united are at 2.0 in the match winner’s market, it would be lower in the head-to-head betting market. Hence, the odds at a head-to-head betting market could be fixed at 1.5. Interestingly, in the betting game, lesser odds equal lesser risk and lesser risk means you can bet with your mind at rest because there's not much to lose. More so, as earlier stated, if the match you place a head-to-head bet on ends in a draw, you get to walk away with your money/stake.
If you are the curious type and you want to know how to calculate your head-to-head bet payout, here are two simple steps to help with that. If you know how to calculate the draw no bet, you will have no problem here.
Remember that Manchester City vs Barcelona scenario created earlier, well, it would be used to illustrate the steps.
You wagered on Barcelona defeating Manchester City in the UEFA champions league with a stake of $100 at 5.50 odds.
One: Return minus commission
The formula is: Odds × Stake = $ return
Based on the example: 5.50 × 100 = $550
Thus, if Manchester City wins, you get $550 in total [stake plus profit of $450]
Nevertheless, commission will be deducted because betting exchanges do not add margin to the odds. This leads us to step two.
Two: Return plus commission
The formula is:
((Stake × (Odds -1)) × Commission rate
Still following the above Manchester City and Barcelona scenario, it would be: ((100 × (5.50 -1)) × 2% = $9 commission
Once you include the $9 commission charge, your return would reduce from $550 to $541, giving you a profit of $441.
However, if the outcome results in Manchester City losing to Barcelona, it means you lose your bet and stake.
Knowledge on how betting margins are calculated would go a long way in helping you select, intelligently, the bookmaker that could yield you massive profits. If you have no idea on how to go about this or you are just not a fan of mathematics, you are part of the inspiration that birthed the creation of our sports betting comparison page.
The answer to that is of course “it depends”. H2H is straightforward - unlike half time bet, for instance, it only has two possible outcomes.
To further expatiate, there are certain features that this head-to-head betting has that depend on the profitability of this betting type. One is that it is accessible to anyone because it has just two outcomes; a win or a loss unlike half time bet. More so, because the odds are always lesser than other betting markets, it gets very low, making it less lucrative compared to other markets. The impact of this is a manageable or affordable risk; when you lose, you do not exactly taste defeat in financial terms as your loss is almost not a loss.
There are a lot of sports where head-to-head bets apply like head-to-head football, head-to-head soccer to name a few. Visit our sports betting comparison page today to select a bookmaker of your preference among the trusted and reputable ones we’ve compiled for you; they are known for their reputation in the industry and great odds that they offer punters. We've also created excellent guides on all the best bonus offers, such as the latest TheScore bonus code promotion.
Conclusion: Stay in the Head to Head betting Safe Haven?Like we mentioned earlier, With the added protection of knowing you will get your stake back if the game ends in a draw, by betting on head-to-head markets, you can reduce the risk exposure of your betting account especially if you are new to sports betting. There is quite a significant number of sports available to head to head betting to choose from. The first line of action to shoot your shot and stand to earn from head to head betting is to find yourself a suitable bookmaker that suits your style and taste. Choose from a number of them that we’ve compiled on our sports betting comparison page. If you are looking for new ways to place your bets, don't miss out on reading our guides about "The Best Goliath Betting Strategies" and "the Halftime Bet Explained".