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What Are Asian Handicaps?

One of the most popular types of bets you can place on football matches is the Asian Handicap bet.  What is an Asian Handicap?  First off, we should review what handicapping is (in this context).  When a match is handicapped, points are assigned to the underdog or subtracted from the favourite (or both).  This makes the match more interesting for bettors, especially in situations where one team has a clear advantage on the field.


With Asian Handicapping, the goal is to give both teams an even chance of coming out on top.  Obviously this has no bearing on events on the field.  But it should make for an intense match for bettors.  In essence, the draw is removed from play.  These types of wagers can be tough to win because both teams have been given a roughly even shot, making for a competitive betting market.


There are actually a number of different types of Asian Handicaps, which can make them puzzling to newbies. 


  • 0.5 Asian Handicap:  The underdog is given half a goal as a handicap, and the favourite is docked half a goal.  In essence, the underdog has a goal lead since they are starting half a goal up and their opponent is starting half a goal down.
  • 0 Asian Handicap:  The odds are either team winning are pretty even.  The draw is removed as an option.
  • 1 Asian Handicap:  The underdog is assigned a goal and the favourite is docked a goal, making for a two goal difference.  Your team must therefore win by at least 2 goals in order for you to win your bet.
  • 1.5 Asian Handicap:  With this type of bet, the underdog has 1.5 goals added before the start of the match.  You can win if your team wins or draws.  If they lose by a single goal, you still win. 
  • Double Asian Handicap:  This is a more complicated type of Asian handicap where your wager is split in two and calculated two different ways.  Part of your wager could take the form of a 0.5 Asian Handicap, and the other part a 1 Asian Handicap, for example.  This would be expressed as a Double Asian Handicap 05., 1.  There are also other variations such as the Double Handicap 0, 0.5.
  • In-Running Asian Handicaps.  While the majority of Asian Handicap bets are placed before a match begins, some UK betting sites also offer Asian handicaps in-running.  Goals which were scored before the bet was placed are ignored.  Only goals scored afterward count toward the settlement of the wager.


You should now have a pretty solid grasp on how Asian Handicapping works.  These bets are very exciting and can make a match more exciting too.  Even if two teams are poorly matched, you get to participate in the wagering action as if they are well matched.  Try out some simple Asian Handicap bets before proceeding to the more complex Double Asian Handicaps on the online betting sites, and good luck!


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