Asian Handicap Explained

Modern sports bettors are spoiled for choice with an ever-increasing number of exciting markets available to bet on each match, race, game and fight. Hundreds of betting opportunities mean even the fussiest punters are catered for and, if you can’t find what you’re looking for amongst the mountains of odds, bookmakers now offer the chance to play trader and create your own market. It’s an exciting time to be a sports punter, with top strategies combining match winner, total goals, handicap, goal betting and plenty more besides. Here is the Asian Handicap explained.

Long gone are the dark old days of fighting through the rain to get to your local bookmaker in plenty of time for the off to get your bets placed. It’s then a matter of returning home to check Teletext pages for results from British and Irish horse racing or football matches or listen to live updates on the radio. We wonder how we ever managed and it’s a good thing those days are now firmly a thing of the past. No sense of nostalgia here.

Younger punters would think it’s the stuff of myth – surely it was never that tough to get a bet on. They can’t comprehend it with the benefits of online betting and how desktops and mobile apps have changed the game forever.

You can now bet from the comfort of your sofa through your mobile phone on football, horse racing, dogs, cricket, tennis, boxing, darts, snooker, rugby, NFL, NHL, NBA, and more. The plethora of pre-match bets is continued when the action starts with in-play betting taking us from the first minute to the final passage of play. Many of the pre-match markets are present, with odds updated to keep up with the flow of play.

Don’t Just Settle

It’s then incredible to learn that, despite all that choice, lots of punters stick to what they know, having tunnel vision and going for the bets they’ve always placed, like win, lose, draw and correct score. That’s a major mistake made by many inexperienced backers and is one that could be costing them money. There’s more out there than you might imagine and that translates into more ways to win. Granted, some may feel a little overwhelmed with it all, not quite knowing where to start and taking refuge in the tried and tested.

So, what are the weird and wonderful markets worth taking a pop at? What do they mean and how can they work in your favour? Asian handicap betting is one fantastic option that remains terribly undervalued and that’s due to a lack of education on the matter and understanding of how it could see you beat the bookies. Let’s take a closer look at what Asian handicap betting is and how best to use it on football.

To get an understanding of what Asian handicap is and the benefits it brings we will start off with a look at the traditional handicap betting, where it falls short and how Asian handicap betting picks up the slack in an exciting fashion. They may sound quite similar in name but the difference between the two types of bets are vast and many believe Asian handicap betting is much better than handicap betting.

Traditional Handicap Betting

With traditional handicap betting on football you usually have the underdogs given a head-start of one goal. This can be enhanced with the number depending on how unlikely they are to beat the favourites. Standard handicap betting may look like this…

Tottenham – 1 goal

Draw

Wolves +1 goal

That means Tottenham are expected to win so will be the short-priced favourite, but you’ll get a better price about them winning on the handicap. To land your bet they must get the three points by more than one clear goal. If you back Tottenham -1 on the handicap and they win 3-0, your bet will be settled as a winner and profit paid to your account.

There are two ways to lose, however, and those are the draw or Wolves keeping it tight. If the match ends in a 1-0 Tottenham win, Spurs will get the points, but your bet will end as a loser. How does that work? Well, Tottenham 1-0 win, with -1 goal backed on the handicap becomes a 0-0 final score, as you’re taking the goal away. Also, if Wolves can get a draw, your bet will lose. If you do Tottenham -2 goals and they win 2-0, you’re bet is a loser as they’ve failed to cover the handicap. It’s a tricky business and no one likes to drop their stake on a draw. It’s too tight and it doesn’t make much appeal to punters as the majority of sports fans and sports betting fans hate draws.

That’s where Asian handicap betting comes in – there is no possibility of the draw. Let’s look at the draw no bet meaning and how that works in Asian handicap betting.

What is Asian Handicap?

With standard handicaps you have a one in three chance of winning or, to put it another way, you have a two in three chance of losing. The odds are stacked firmly in the bookies’ favour and there’s something that doesn’t sit quite right with us on that one. Fortunately, many punters agree and that’s the reason Asian handicap continues to thrive. So, what is Asian handicap betting? When you know about this bet, we’re sure you won’t place another standard handicap bet again.

Instead of the 1-X-2 betting, we now have 1-2, a straight shoot-out between you and the bookies with no chance of you losing cash on a frustrating draw. It’s the way it should be, and this type of bet works extremely well in accumulators. The prices may not be particularly large, but it’s an achievable bet and if you throw a few Asian handicap selections together you’ll build an acca that’ll hold your interest for the duration of the play. You don’t need to be an expert or professional punter either.

How Asian Handicap Works

Halves and quarters may not mean a great deal, but they do make all the difference when it comes to Asian handicap. Think of it in terms of sport. We know major football, such as the Premier League, is decided by the narrowest of margins. One slip, one missed penalty, an own-goal, these could make the difference between winning and losing three points and that will have a major say in how close the best teams go to winning the league and if the strugglers are able to keep their place in the division by beating relegation.

Asian handicap follows the same narrow margins. Let’s take an example game of Man Utd v Liverpool in the English top-flight.  The visitors are pushing for the crown and are favourites in the match winner market. The standard handicap has Man Utd +1 @ 3/5 – Draw @ 3/1 – Liverpool -1 @ 3/1. We know the dangers attached to that. The Asian handicap prices the same match at Man Utd +1.5 @ 1.220 – Liverpool -1.5 @ 4.150.

With the first example, if you back Man Utd +1 goal on the handicap at what appears to be a decent price for a home team and the match ends in a 1-0 Liverpool cheer, you’ll lose your stake as the final score on the handicap reads 1-1. However, if you place it on the handicap and the result is the same, a 1-0 win to Liverpool, you’ll land a profit thanks to the 0.5 difference. Man Utd +1.5 beats Liverpool +1. This works with different numbers, including +2.5, +3.5 or even just +0.5 if you think the match could end up a draw.

Making an Underdog an Equal

One of the biggest appeals of the Asian handicap is that it makes an underdog an equal. This means that if you support a lower down team, you don’t constantly have to bet against your team to win. So, if you are a  Watford fan, watching your team struggle, you can still bet on them against the big boys with the help of the Asian handicap. So, you won’t be stuck forever betting on Man City or Liverpool. Your head can follow your heart.

No Chance of the Draw

The 0.25 quarter of a point works in a very similar way, although you now have two chances for your side to win. If you back Man Utd +0.25 and they win the game, you’ll win your bet and grab a cash prize. If the game ends in a draw you will get a cash return thanks to the marginal 0.25pt difference.

When taking more of an interest in the Asian handicap prices offered by bookmakers after reading this review you may find some firms do offer the flat numbers, such as Man Utd +1. So how does that work? Surely if Liverpool win 1-0 that would make the handicap a draw and you’d lose your money? With handicap betting that’s the sad truth but with Asian handicap, as we know by now, there’s no chance of the draw, so in that case bookmakers will refund your stakes. If its part of an accumulator that leg will simply become void.

This gives backers a bit more of a safety net and means they can afford to push the boat out a little more in terms of stakes, knowing there’s less chance of them losing. More chance of winning is good but less chance of losing suits us fine as most punters rate their knowledge and will be happy to meet the traders head-on in those circumstances. Asian handicap bets often carry bigger stakes.

A Little More Complicated

So, we’re all up to speed on Asian handicap betting now. We know what it is, know there’s no chance of the draw and know the 0.5 or 0.25 is well worth taking advantage of. We’re comfortable, but then bookies throw a spanner in the works and we see a bet advertised at Liverpool -1.0 & 1.5 @3.800. How does that work? How can you have two handicap bets?

Not as Complicated as it Looks

Fear not, it’s nowhere near as complicated as it looks at first glance and alternative Asian handicap can be explained quite easily if you know how it all works and what bookies are trying to do here. Backing Liverpool -1.0 & 1.5 means your stake is split evenly between both selections. £10 backing Liverpool -1.0 & 1.5 means you have £5 on the Liverpool -1.0 and a separate £5 on Liverpool -1.5 as a saver.

A 1-0 Liverpool win means you would lose half your initial stake on Liverpool -1.5 and would get the other half back due to the Asian handicap draw, limiting your losses. If backing The Reds on the handicap, however, you’d be fairly sure they would be capable of winning with a bit to spare. If they scored two without reply you would win twice, £5 on Liverpool -1.0 and another £5 on Liverpool -1.5. It looks to us to be a great bet, as long as Liverpool do as expected and win the match. If they do, the least you can expect is half your stake back, the best is two winners.

You may also notice there’s a +0 option and you’d be forgiven for dismissing that as a straight win-lose-draw, no different from the match-winner betting. How can you have a no goal handicap? Well, this is just another example of just how good Asian handicap betting is. If you expect a tight match, fancying Liverpool to nick it but not entirely confident enough to rule out the draw or even a freak 1-0 Man Utd win, Asian handicap, again, limits the chances of you losing your stake as a Liverpool win will get you a profit, the draw seeing bookies return your stake.

It’ll Win You Over

Having read through our Asian handicap explained article, you’ll see just why those in the know love this style of betting as it takes the control away from bookmakers and puts it right in the middle, meaning the smartest call will win every time. If you make a poor choice and drop your stake, that’s the way the game goes sometimes.

If the result or handicap result ends in a draw your stake will be refunded and oddsmakers know there’s a good chance you’ll use it to bet on another match, so they’ve not lost it entirely. But if you’re on the money and make a correct prediction, you can sit back, delighted to be recognised as the footballing judge you are and your reward, well that will be a handsome pay-out delivered straight to your betting account. Give Asian handicap betting a try on this weekend’s fixtures, we’re confident it’ll win you over.