Asian handicaps are a relatively new way to place wagers on a sporting event, at least in terms of popularity. They were named in 1998, and by the early 2000s, they started to make their way into a number of different bookmakers. By the mid-2000s almost every online bookmaker offered both pre-match and in-play Asian handicap options. What exactly are Asian handicaps though?
Asian handicaps definition
As the name implies, an Asian handicap is a bet where you place a handicap on one of the sides. They are mostly used in football, or soccer, depending on your country of residence, but they are offered on almost all sports. What exactly is a handicap though?
Basically, a handicap is where you give one of the teams a theoretical points advantage in relation to your wager. This means that depending on whether it is a positive or negative handicap, your wager will either be able to still win the bet even if the team do not win, or they will have to score more in order to win the game. Still confused? The Betting Veteran is here to explain them in minute detail for you.
Half goal Asian handicaps
There are four different variations of half goal Asian handicaps usually available to players: -0.50, -1.50, +0.50 and +1.50. These are usually used for football and other sports that offer the possibility of a tied game to occur. How do they work though? The Betting Veteran will show you how each of the four main options work.
When you choose a -0.50 Asian handicap on your wager, what it does is apply -0.50 to the score of your chosen team. So if you were placing a wager on Man City against West Ham and placed a -0.50 Asian handicap to Man City, then this would mean that in the theoretical world of your wager, the score for the game starts at Man City -0.50 – 0 West Ham. So if neither team scores during the course of the game, then it would count as a West Ham win. When placing a -0.50 Asian handicap, it means that unless Man City win the game, your bet will lose. Both a draw and a West Ham win will count as a win for West Ham. The reason for placing a wager like this would be to increase the odds on a Man City win. If you are confident that Man City will win, then this is a good way to improve your return when wagering on them to win the game.
When you choose a -1.50 Asian handicap on your wager, it applies -1.50 to the score of your chosen team. This means that unless your chosen team wins by two or more goals, your wager will not come in. In this case, it will increase the odds on a favourite significantly, but obviously it makes it much harder for your wager to come in. Even if your chosen team win the game, you can still lose your wager. It is for when there is an incredibly strong favourite and you want to place a wager on them and still get good return from your wager.
If you choose to place a +0.50 Asian handicap on your wager, it will apply +0.50 to the score of your chosen team. This means that if your chosen team manages to get at least a draw from the game, then your wager will win. If you were placing a wager on Arsenal against Brighton for Brighton to win with a +0.50 Asian handicap, then it means that the game would start Arsenal 0 – 0.5 Brighton. This would allow your bet to come in as long as Brighton manage to get a draw. It does lower the odds when placing a wager, but it does increase the chances of your wager coming in.
If you choose to place a +1.50 Asian handicap on your wager, then it immediately applies +1.50 to the score of your chosen team. This means that even if your chosen team loses by one goal, your wager will still come in. It does mean that the odds are significantly reduced when placing this kind of wager, but it does significantly increase the chances of your bet winning. This kind of wager is most often used when placing a wager on a huge underdog. Perhaps a top-of-the-league against bottom-of-the-league clash.
There are more half goal Asian handicaps available than just these four, as some bookmakers offer the ability to go to 2.50 and even 3.50 as the margin. These four are the most commonly used though.
Quarter goal Asian handicaps
Quarter goal Asian handicaps offer four main options, with four less common options as well. The four main options are -0.25, -1.25, +0.25 and +1.25. The four less common options are -0.75, -1.75, +0.75 and +1.75. The Betting Veteran will go over all of these options to make sure that you fully understand them.
The -0.25 and +0.25 Asian handicaps work in a very similar way to each other. Each one works by applying either a positive or a negative handicap of 0.25 to the score of your chosen team. What it actually does it split up the stake. This means that when compared to a 0.50 handicap, the -0.25 Asian handicap offers less risk and the +-0.25 Asian handicap offers less reward. How does this work? Well, a -0.25 Asian handicap means that the game will start -0.25 – 0, with your chosen team suffering the negative handicap. If your chosen team wins the game, then you will win the bet, just like with a half goal Asian handicap. However, the difference is that if your team draws, then you do not lose the wager. It actually offers what is called a half lose. This means that half of your stake will be returned to you. A +0.25 Asian handicap works in the same way. Your chosen team will start with a +0.25 goal advantage. If they win the game, then the bet will come in as normal, and if the game is drawn, then you will lose half of your stake, but you will also get half of the potential winnings. This is known as a half win.
Both -1.25 and +1.25 Asian handicaps work in exactly the same way as the -0.25 and +0.25 Asian handicaps. The difference is that for a -1.25 Asian handicap, your chosen team starts at a 1.25 goal disadvantage. This means that if they draw or lose, then you will lose the bet; if they win by one goal, then you half lose the bet; and if they win by two goals or more, then you will win the bet. A +1.25 Asian handicap means that your chosen team starts with a 1.25 goal advantage. If they win or draw the game, then you will the bet; if they lose by one goal, then you will half win; and if they lose by two or more goals, then you will lose the bet.
The -0.75, -1.75, +0.75 and +1.75 Asian handicaps all work in a very similar way to the 0.25 increment Asian handicaps. However, the order that a half lose and a half win are awarded is switched. This means that if you place a -0.75 Asian handicap on a game, then your chosen team start with a score of -0.75. If they go on to lose or draw the game, then you will have lost your bet. However, if they win the game by one goal, then you will half win. In order to fully win the wager, it requires your chosen team to win by two goals or more. If you place a +0.75 Asian handicap, then your chosen team will start the game with a score of 0.75. This means that both a win and a draw will result in you winning your wager. Losing by one goal will return a half lose, and it takes losing by two goals to completely lose your wager.
These options are less common than the half goal and full goal Asian handicaps, as well as being more complex. However, they are a simple way to improve the return on your wagers or improve your chances of getting a return.
Full goal Asian handicaps
Full goal Asian handicaps are more common than quarter goal Asian handicaps but less common than half goal Asian handicaps. The main options for full goal Asian handicaps are 0.0, -1.00, -2.00, +1.00 and +2.00. The Betting Veteran will go through each one for you to make sure that you understand how they work.
The main thing to understand about full goal Asian handicaps is that they essentially remove the possibility of a draw from happening. How do they do this? We will start with the 0.0 Asian handicap to find out. If you place a 0.0 Asian handicap on a game – for example, Wolves against Man United with Wolves to win, then you will only win if Wolves win the game. However, unlike placing a regular bet, if the game ends as a draw, then you do not lose your bet. You do not receive winnings, but you will get your stake back as a refund. This means that the only way for you to lose your money is a Man United win. This kind of bet is also known as a Draw No Bet at some online bookmakers.
The -1.00 and +1.00 Asian handicaps work in a similar fashion. If you choose a -1.00 Asian handicap on a game, then your chosen team will start the game with a score of -1. This means that in order for them to draw the game, in the theoretical world of your bet, then they need to win the game by one goal. In order to win the game, they will need to win the game by two goals or more. So if your chosen team win by two goals or more, then you will have won your bet; if they win the game by one goal, then you will get your stake returned; and if they draw or lose the game, then you lose your bet. This is a good way to increase the odds when wagering on a heavy favourite. If you choose a +1.00 Asian handicap, then your chosen team will start the game with a one-goal advantage. This means that your bet will win as long as they manage to get a draw or better. If they lose by one goal, then you will get your wager returned, and if they lose by two or more goals, then you will lose your bet.
The +2.00 and -2.00 Asian handicaps work almost exactly like the -1.00 and +1.00 Asian handicaps, except this time, your chosen team starts with either a two-goal disadvantage or a two-goal advantage. With a +2.00 Asian handicap, you will win your wager as long as your chosen team wins, draws or loses by just one goal. If they lose by two goals, then you will get your stake returned, and if they lose by more than two goals, then you will lose your wager. With a -2.00 Asian handicap, your chosen team will need to win by three goals or more in order to win the bet. If they win by two goals, then your stake will be refunded, and if they win by one goal, draw, or lose by any margin, then you will lose the wager.