Asian Handicap Betting

An “Asian Handicap” is a form of betting that seeks to make a sporting event as close to a 50/50 eventuality as is possible.

This is done in the form of giving one of the competitors an agreed “handicap” before the event and the idea of the handicap is that the punter will then receive odds as near to even money as possible, for either team or competitor winning as the possibility of a draw is eliminated from the possible outcome.

The term itself is derived from the Asian markets where this form of ‘handicap’ betting quickly became popular in the bookmaking markets. This Asian Handicap was born. An example of how the system is used would be to consider a football match between Manchester United and Tranmere Rovers.

Such a match would not really appeal to most punters as Manchester United would be huge odds on favourites and Tranmere such outsiders that any bet on them would be considered a forlorn hope by many.

However if Manchester United are handicapped by the awarding of Tranmere of a handicap of +2.5 goals, this would mean that Manchester United would need to win the game by three clear goals in order for any bets on them to be a success. A United victory by one or two goals, would not be enough as when Tranmere’s handicap is applied, it would mean they would win the bet.

One of the quirks of Asian Handicap betting is that a punter can actually receive their stake back if they don’t quite get the result they wanted.

Imagine Liverpool are playing Manchester United at Anfield and the handicapper has given Liverpool a handicap rating of -1 and Manchester United +1 to reflect the home advantage Liverpool have.The punter decides to back Manchester United to win with a handicap of +1 but the game finishes 2-1 to Liverpool. In a traditional bet, the fact United did not win, even with the handicap applied, means a lost bet.

However in an Asian handicap the application of the handicap results in a drawn game and in such cases the punter will receive their stake back!

Teams can be handicapped in a variety of ways and half goals and even quarter goals can be used to make sure teams are as fairly and evenly handicapped as possible. It is this simple way of ensuring an event is as close as possible to a 50-50 outcome and the chance that you may always earn your stake back if the result isn’t quite what you hoped.

That has made this form of betting so popular in Asia and seen its popularity increase markedly in the western markets in recent times.

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Different Betting options in Asian Handicap betting
Outlined below are some of the more common betting options you may see in Asian Handicap betting. This is an ideal way for a novice punter who wants to take their first steps into Asian Handicap betting to begin to learn the ropes.

Scenario 1 :  Manchester United  v  Everton

Handicap : 0 : +1.5

In a scenario such as this, Manchester United are effectively giving Everton a 1 and a half goal head start.

If you back Manchester United to win the game then United must win by two goals in order for your bet to win.

If you back Everton to win and the game finishes with Manchester United winning by a single goal a draw or an Everton victory of any margin, then your bet would win as with the handicap applied any of these scenarios sees Everton win.

Scenario 2 :  Manchester United v Everton

Handicap : 0 : +1

In this scenario a new possibility emerges.

If you back Everton to win and Manchester United win the game by a single goal, then when the handicap is applied the game finishes in a tie.

In any situation in Asian Handicap betting when a tie is the outcome, the punter receives his initial stake back.

So if the game finished 1-0 or 2-1 to United and the punter had backed Everton, he would receive his stake back.

If United win by two goals or more he would lose his stake, if Everton draw or win the game, he would win the bet and would approximately double his money.

Scenario 3 :  Manchester United v Everton

Handicap : 0 : +1, +1.5

In this scenario, the bookmaker has decided that the accurate handicap for Everton lies somewhere between 1 goal and 1 and a half goals.

In this instance, a punter backing Everton would have their stake split into half and one half placed on Everton at +1 handicap and the other half on Everton at +1.5 handicap.

This gives the possibility that the punter may now both win one aspect of his bet and receive his stake back (for example if Manchester United were to win the game by one goal, The first handicap (+1 in Everton’s favour) would see the game finish level thus half their stake would be returned.

While the second would see Everton win seeing the second half of their stake doubled and returned to them. A United victory by two goals would see both bets lost however.

The Advantages with Asian Handicap betting

There is growing interest in the spread betting phenomenon known as “Asian Handicap” betting and its proliferation across the betting markets, but just what are the key advantages with Asian Handicap betting that makes it such an attractive proposition to gamblers across the world?

Two outcomes instead of three

There are many advantages to this form of betting but perhaps the most important aspect of the bet is that it cuts down the number of possible outcomes from three, to two.

For example in a soccer game, a tie is a possible outcome. This means that any bet on a team winning a soccer match has three possible outcomes, a win, a loss or a tie. In Asian handicap betting the possibility of losing a bet because of a tie is removed, thus improving your chances of success a great deal.

You can win or lose half your bet, or get your money back

The use of the handicap system means that even if a tie is still the outcome once the handicap is applied, the punter instead of losing the bet, will receive their stake money back.

Another advantage is that this form of betting makes otherwise unappealing markets, such as a market between Manchester United and Marine, immediately more attractive by the application of a heavy handicap against Manchester United. This keeps markets that in traditional betting markets look totally unprofitable, far more attractive to the punter.

The use of half and quarter goals for the handicapping, and the subsequent division of the stake into two equal bets on both outcomes, also adds flexibility to the bets and means that a punter can lose one half of their bet and still receive half their stake back if the other half of their bet ends in a draw when the handicap is applied.

Similarly a team can win and win half the bet and draw with the other half of the bet should a match end in a certain way when the handicap is applied.

Once you understand, it’s very simple

However the big advantage to Asian Handicap betting is its simplicity. Once you have a basic grasp of how the handicapping system works and what the numbers actually mean in relative terms to the outcome of the match, it is a very simple and easy to follow method of betting which has odds which are more favourable to the punter than the traditional, win, lose or draw scenario.

While it may not offer the big returns of backing one team at 10-1 to win a game and hoping that a miracle occurs and they win it, it does offer punters a real chance to double their stake money by betting on games and using their knowledge, allied to the handicap system, to pick games which they feel have the best chance of giving them success.

Live betting on Asian Handicap

One of the most exciting aspects of betting that has developed in recent times is the ability for a punter to bet while they are watching the action unfold before them.

The chance to bet “live” or “in-running” has become a huge industry in itself and it is entirely possible to bet live and in running on Asian Handicap betting, indeed many would argue that this form of betting is greatly suited to the ever changing nature of in-running betting.

Very similar to traditional live betting

Live betting on Asian Handicap events is similar in many ways to traditional forms of betting on live events.

As the event unfolds and certain things happen, such as players being sent off, goals scored or substitutions made, this is then reflected in the odds offered by the bookmaker or laying punter for a certain event.

For example, if a bookmaker has a team at even money to win a game, and the game is still 0-0, but then the opposition get a player sent off and are reduced to ten men, this may then result in a flurry of bets in the team with 11 men winning the game and thus the odds would be reduced.

Indeed many bookmakers will not wait to receive a flurry of bets before they reduce the odds when a major event such as a goal occurs.

Live betting has added a new dimension

The basic principle is the same for live Asian handicap betting where the odds for certain events, even with the handicap applied, are altered as the game progresses.

The same principle of trying to keep the outcome as a 50-50 chance is still applied when possible and it is in this market that a shrewd punter can possibly make a tidy profit by exploiting the markets as key events happen in the game.

Live betting is dynamic and quick and can be a source of great fun and frustration in equal measure. It has added a new dimension to all forms of betting, be it traditional or Asian handicap betting and it is a lucrative market for the bookmaker.

Punters are quickly learning that this market can, when used wisely, be an equally lucrative market for them too.