Asian Handicap Explained

You might not be familiar with term ‘Asian Handicap’ betting, and before you ask it’s nothing to do with that little chap from Fantasy Island… “Boss, Boss Da Plane!” Asian Handicaps are a type of bet that started in the far east – that’s how they get the name.

Don’t let the slightly complicated nature of Asian Handicaps put you off this type of bet, as it’s one of the most profitable for punters in football betting. Faced with the prospect of betting on teams with the seemingly nonsensical head start of a half or a quarter of a goal, and dealing with the complexities of terms like ‘split balls’, and concepts such as simultaneously winning and losing a bet (!) it’s understandable that many football fans head straight back to the familiarity of the fixed-odds coupons.

Once you understand the basics of Asian Handicaps it’s really quite simple. In any football game there can only be 3 outcomes to the match. A side can either win, lose or draw, Asian punters only like to bet on sporting events which have a solid outcomes:- A team either wins or loses.

Live Asian Handicap Odds

To attract bets on football games from the Far East a system had to be developed which would effectively remove the possibility of a game being drawn, Asian punters hate sports with draws, and also to create a betting interest in games where the two teams are completely mismatched.

The way of doing this is to ‘handicap’ a team. In the same way horses are handicapped with extra weight in the saddles, so football teams can also be handicapped too. Now if you’re thinking the players run around with bars of lead in their boots then you’re mistaken! the way of handicapping a team is much simpler – you just give the team they are playing against a 0.5 (half a goal) head start. The 0.5 makes a draw impossible, as no team can score half a goal!

Take a look at this example: Manchester United are playing Accrington Stanley at home in the FA CUP 5th Round, normally you couldn’t get a decent bet on this game. Manchester United’s odds would be so low that it wouldn’t make it worthwhile betting on them and Accrington Stanley’s chances of actually winning the game are remote to say the least. But with the Asian Handicaps this game becomes far more interesting. Manchester United are expected to beat Accrington Stanley so the bookies have set the handicap on Accrington Stanley at +2.5, effectively making Manchester United 2.5 goals down before the game has kicked off. So if you want to back Manchester United they will need to win by 3 clear goals. Alternatively you could back Accrington Stanley if you think they can avoid defeat by 2 clear goals or less. So there you have it, a simple run down of a typical Asian Handicap football bet. The bets can get more complicated especially if two teams are fairly well matched, but I will get into that another time.

If you are interested in placing Asian Handicap bets, then the following bookmakers offer them on Premiership and most European League games. Paddy Power Bookmakers, Betfair Bookmakers and Ladbrokes Bookmaker.