Asian Handicap – Tips and Best Asian Handicap Betting Strategy for Beginners

The Asian Handicap betting market is a bit difficult to get the hang of.
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5 min
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Shadrack Kairu
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The Asian Handicap betting market is a bit difficult to get the hang of. Not many bettors can tell the difference between Handicap and Asian Handicap betting markets.

In this article, we will explain what Asian Handicap is, how it works (with Asian Handicap table examples), pros and cons, and how to fully capitalise on the market.

What Is Asian Handicap?

Asian Handicap is an advanced type of bet that originated in Indonesia. It’s more common in football betting but still applicable in several other sports.

Bookmarkers use multiple factors to formulate odds. These include:

  • Form
  • Performance history
  • Financial strength of the club
  • Home pitch advantage
  • Player availability – suspensions and injuries

Based on these factors, odds are created to reflect each team’s probability of winning a match. In some cases, the difference between two teams’ abilities is so significant that it makes placing a bet unrealistic.

In a situation like this, betting on the standard 1X2 markets becomes less attractive as the returns are too little to risk a bet. The Asian Handicap betting markets were introduced to even out the disparity between teams in these situations.

A Handicap gives one team a virtual lead over the opponent. Handicapping levels the odds so a bet on either team may win, despite the actual outcome of the match.

Asian Handicap betting can be in multiples of one goal, 0.5 goals (half goals), 0.25 goals or even 0.75 goals. The team perceived to be the favourite is given a minus (-) sign due to a handicap disadvantage. The underdog, which has a handicap advantage, is assigned a plus (+) sign.

The Asian Handicap at bet365 is a good place to start. But these bets can be made at many other legitimate betting houses like Betfair, BetWarrior, Betano and more.

How Does the Asian Handicap Work?

There are several handicap betting options known as lines. Asian Handicap full lines are represented with round numbers: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, etc.

Let’s see an example of a domestic cup competition between Manchester United and Bournemouth. Man UTD are strong favourites to beat Bournemouth.

If you think Man United will win by a three-goal margin, you have the option to bet on United to win with a handicap at -2.5 or Bournemouth at +3.5 or more.

Should both teams level after applying the handicap (i.e. if you placed a bet on ‘Man United -3’, and they win 3-0, or 4-1, or 5-2.) then the push is applied and your stake is refunded. This is because the bet is neither a win nor a loss.

As you can see, the Asian Handicap eliminates the possibility of a draw. Removing pesky draws means betting margins are lower and there are higher chances of making a profit.

The value of the bet will vary according to the options selected. The more difficult the handicap market is, the greater your returns. Check out the Asian Handicap table below:


Team Result

Bet Result


Team Result

Bet Result

0 Win Win 0 Win Win
Draw Stake refund Draw Stake refund
Lose Lose Lose Lose
-0.25 Win Win +0.25 Win Win
Draw Half lose Draw Half win
Lose Lose Lose Lose
-0.50 Win Win +0.50 Win Win
Draw Lose Draw Win
Lose Lose Lose Lose
-0.75 Win by 2+ Win +0.75 Win Win
Win by 1 Half win Draw Win
Draw Lose Lose by 1 Half lose
Lose Lose Lose by 2+ Lose
-1.00 Win by 2+ Win +1.00 Win Win
Win by 1 Stake refund Draw Win
Draw Lose Lose by 1 Stake refund
Lose Lose Lose by 2+ Lose
-1.25 Win by 2+ Win +1.25 Win Win
Win by 1 Half lose Draw Win
Draw Lose Lose by 1 Half win
Lose Lose Lose by 2+ Lose
-1.50 Win by 2+ Win +1.50 Win Win
Win by 1 Lose Draw Win
Draw Lose Lose by 1 Win
Lose Lose Lose by 2+ Lose
-1.75 Win by 3+ Win +1.75 Win Win
Win by 2 Half win Draw Win
Win by 1 Lose Lose by 1 Win
Draw Lose Lose by 2 Half lose
Lose Lose Lose by 3+ Lose
-2.00 Win by 3+ Win +2.00 Win Win
Win by 2 Stake refund Draw Win
Win by 1 Lose Lose by 1 Win
Draw Lose Lose by 2 Stake refund
Lose Lose Lose by 3+ Lose

In the Asian Handicap 0 in the table above, neither side is handicapped. It would apply in situations where both teams are perceived to be evenly matched.

If your bet proves successful, you will receive a pay-out regardless of the scoreline. If the game ends in a draw, you will receive your stake back. This is similar to the ‘Draw No Bet’ market.

European Handicap vs. Asian Handicap

There are two types of handicaps: Asian and European. The two handicaps are similar to each other, although there are some key differences.

Asian Handicap gives the favourites a goal handicap and the underdogs a goal headstart. The Asian Handicap removes a draw, so there are only two options: either bet on the home or away team. If you draw with the Asian Handicap, you win and your stake is returned.

European Handicap offers three possible outcomes: win, loss and draw. It’s also referred to as the three-way handicap.

The difference between the Asian Handicap and the European Handicap can be summarised as follows:


Asian Handicap is represented with decimal symbols such as -0.25 or +0.25. These symbols represent goals to be added to or subtracted from the favourite and/or the underdog.

European Handicap makes use of ratios such as 0:1. As mentioned above, this handicap option includes a draw option.

Number Variants

Asian Handicap and European Handicap also differ in how they use number variants. Asian Handicap betting offers many varieties, including whole-ball handicaps, half-ball handicaps and quarter-ball handicaps.

This is unlike European Handicap betting which uses whole number variants only. This handicap option works the same way as traditional 1X2 betting.

Match Outcomes

The two handicaps differ in respect to match outcomes. There is no option for a draw in Asian Handicap betting. In the event of a tie, bets are ‘pushed’ and the stake is refunded to the player.

Theoretically speaking, removing a draw means bookmakers can offer more attractive odds to bettors.

In European Handicap betting, wagers are either won or lost. There are three potential outcomes, which include home win, away win and draw.

When to Use the Asian Handicap?

The Asian Handicap is aimed at levelling the betting field between two mismatched teams. Teams are given a ‘handicap’ (expressed in points or goals) before kick-off.

This type of bet makes the most sense in two circumstances. The first is when two competing teams have a huge technical difference. In that case, you can bet on the favourite team (with the minus sign) to win with a given goal deficit.

You could also bet on the underdog (with the positive sign), which is the less favoured side that is given a headstart. You could win the bet with the losing team if the goal difference is not greater than the number you bet.

The second situation in which Asian Handicap betting is more appealing is when the number of goals is higher. Predicting that the victor will win by three goals, for example, is much riskier than betting on who will emerge as the victor.

Experimenting with small stakes when starting out is important. With time, you will get to know which types of bets work the best.

Is the Asian Handicap Worth Using?

Here are the pros and cons of Asian Handicap betting:


  • Eliminating a draw result increases the odds of winning
  • When used in an accumulator, Asian Handicap offers fewer possible outcomes, ultimately increasing the chance of winning
  • Asian Handicap refunds your stake depending on how complex the bet is
  • With Asian Handicap, you may win even if the team you bet on loses the match


  • Asian Handicap is tricky for beginners
  • Depending on the chosen Asian Handicap line, getting the score right can be difficult
  • You could lose money if you don’t predict the exact goal difference
  • Several game variables can affect Asian Handicap bets, such as a leading team playing defensively and not attacking as much

Frequently Asked Questions

Still have questions about how Asian Handicap works? You’ll find the answers below.

What is alternative Asian Handicap?

Once you grasp the Asian Handicap, you can explore alternative handicaps.

Alternative Asian Handicap markets tend to have bigger handicaps. For example, alternative handicaps can be as high as -1.75, -2.00, -2,25, -2.50, -2.75 and so on.

Each bookmaker displays the Asian Handicaps differently. Bet365 offers the standard AH option according to the odds. All other handicap options are listed in a different section and labelled as ‘Alternative Asian Handicaps.’

What is level Asian Handicap betting?

Level Asian Handicap betting is a type of betting used when there is no perceived difference between two competing teams. Bookmakers offer these bets when both teams start the match with zero goals.

For this bet, you predict who will win the game. In case of a draw, your stake will be refunded.

European vs. Asian Handicap: Which Is Better?

There is no more profitable option. The handicap you choose must depend on the match and the odds. Asian Handicap has become much more popular in recent years, but European Handicap has been around for some time and more bookies offer this option.

We recommend you use a sportsbook aggregator like Odds Scanner to fully capitalise on Asian Handicap bets. That way, you can compare odds from various Asian Handicap bookmakers using one platform and win more!

Written by:

Shadrack Kairu

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