What is Asian Handicap Betting?

Asian Handicap Explained

Asian handicap betting sprung up in Indonesia as a betting system and has gained prominence over the last 15 years. This method, which may sound foreign at first, isn’t as complex as it seems. The guide to follow will help you understand the ins-and-outs of the method. If you are a little perplexed, you could start off by checking out our 1×2 betting guide which explains the traditional betting form. Asian handicap betting is aimed at sports lovers. If you enjoy betting on football and other team sports, then you might have already heard of the concept. If not, then look no further. This guide will provide an overview of what does Asian handicap betting mean, different handicaps, and general advantages, and tips.

Key Takeaways

  • Asian handicap betting offers a better value on bets.
  • Sport-specific betting method.
  • Levels the playing field between two teams of different skills.
  • In-play betting and exchanging of handicaps.
  • You’ll find that returns of a longer period are higher.
  • Better chance of winning – closer to 50%.

What is Asian handicap betting?

Firstly, it’s imperative to understand that this form of betting does not include a draw as a possible outcome. Deviating from the standard betting lines, you’ll end up increasing your odds of success. You basically have a 50% chance of calling the correct outcome. It’s called ‘handicap’ betting because teams are given a handicap depending on how good they are in comparison to their competitor. If you know anything about golf, then you’ll know better golfers have less of a handicap. This makes it more difficult to ensure a low score.

Let’s use football as an example. We have two teams playing – Liverpool and Burnley. Liverpool are the favourites going into the game. They’ll be given a handicap of -1. This means that, if you bet on Liverpool to win, they need to win by more than 1 goal. If they win by 1 goal, it will be a void bet. If they draw or lose, you lose the bet. Burnley will be given a handicap of +1 as they are the underdogs. If they lose by 1 goal or less, then anyone backing Liverpool will lose. This example illustrates a single Asian handicap betting. Below, a few more types will be outlined.

Different types of handicaps

Below, you’ll find a section on Asian handicap betting explained:

Full Goal Asian Handicap: This type of handicap betting will be displayed by integers such as -1, -2, +1, +2. This is quite straightforward to understand. You’ve already read through our previous example which outlined this type. However, keep in mind that the full goal handicap does not necessarily exclude a draw as an outcome. If a draw does occur, then you will find yourself being refunded your bet. You don’t win or lose. If you’ve backed a team to win at -3, and they do win by a margin of three goals, you’ll be refunded your bet. If they win by 4 goals, you have a winning bet. Your winnings will correlate to the odds provided for that particular outcome. If they win by 2 goals, you’ve lost your bet.

Half Goal Asian Handicaps: This eliminates the possibility of a draw and is the standard method which originated from Asia. You’ll see figures such as +1.5, +2.5, -3.5 or -1.5. In essence, you’re betting on either one of two outcomes – win or lose. If you’ve backed a team that has a -1.5 handicap, they’ll need to win by 2 goals or more for your bet to succeed. If you back a team that has a +2.5 handicap, and they go on to draw or lose by 2 goals are less, you’ll also have won your bet.

Quarter Goal Asian Handicaps: The third type of handicap betting might be less prevalent, but just as exciting. This option allows you to mitigate your potential losses. They’ll be displayed as -1.25, -1.75, +2.25, and +2.75 for arguments sake. There are only two types of quarters. If you bet on Arsenal winning and their handicap is -2.25. If they win by 3 goals, you’ll stand to win your bet. If they win by 2 goals, you’ll receive half of your wager. If you’re interested in figuring out the odds, take a look at our guide to how betting odds are calculated.

Bet on current form 

You can really maximize your chances of placing winning bets if you’re clued up about current form. Also take into account internal and external factors. Are there any players missing; where are they playing – home or away; what’s their track record against said opponent. If you’re able to analyze these sorts of factors, it’ll give you a leg up when choosing a successful outcome. Don’t place bets because you’re emotionally attached to a certain team. Nor do so based on their historical record. Present form will certainly help you capitalize on odds.

In-play betting 

You might not only be wondering what is Asian handicap betting, but what other extensions are there? In-play betting is a great way of not over-extending your bet. It also allows you to adjust your bet in real-time. The odds will change after a certain event happens in a match. These odds, which continuously change throughout the game, also add to the excitement. Due to the unpredictable nature of sport, it’s impossible to predict all the actual outcomes in a game. This has led to in-play betting becoming really popular. It’s possible to take advantage of certain moments during a game that will lead to a higher reward. The win-risk ratio is ever-changing. This has led to operators offering a multitude of in-play betting options. This addition to Asian handicap betting is a true winner in today’s time. If you have a good internet connection (not an issue in the UK), be sure to take advantage of this fun option.

Choose the right bookie for you 

Firstly, you need to make sure that your chosen bookie actually offers the Asian handicap betting option. Some bookies do not. Before you sign up, go onto the website and see if this option is advertised. If so, jump right in. Depending on your preferred sport, it could also be wise to make sure that your bookie has a wide reach in different markets. Being in the UK, football is by far the most popular sport to bet on. However, you might want to bet on American sport. Good coverage by a bookie, means more options to bet on.

What other betting guides & strategies are available?

Reading up about different betting aspects and learning new strategies, is an important element of becoming a more successful punter. There are guides for newcomers as well as guides and strategies for regulars. If you’re a newcomer to the gambling scene be sure to check out our guide to bookmaker complaints. This will help you avoid bookies with a bad reputation. If you’re still unsure about how bookmakers make their money, go to our how bookmakers make money guide. There are many more. Make sure you’re actively involved in bettering your understanding of the industry.


The concept and applied principles of Asian handicap betting has led to a great form of betting. More and more punters are plying their skills with this method. The potential for finding better odds is greater than when betting via the 1×2 outcomes. You’ll also be able to take advantage of certain odds when one team is performing exceptionally well over a period of time. You can risk slightly more, and stand to see pretty decent returns. Remember, if you take the time to familiarize yourself with the different handicaps, then you shouldn’t have an issue following this method. You’d be wise to try your hand at this as the betting margins are lower due to only two possible outcomes. This can really increase your chances of success over the medium term. If you’ve ever had the thought, “What does Asian handicap betting mean,” we hope it’s been answered. If you’re interested in figuring out how to cash out before events have finished, take a look at our cash out betting guide.

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