The Asian Handicap markets maybe a mystery to some punters but it shouldn’t be – as once you’ve grasped the basic principles it’s very easy to follow. Using the Asian Handicap will change the way you approach your sports betting selections and can increase your betting bank in the process.

As you’ve probably guessed the Asian Handicap bet originated in Asia and is more in line with the American style of betting which, for example, offers the underdog a handicap of +0.5 goals. This makes it a more level playing field and effectively eliminates the draw as if the match ends 1-1 then your bet still wins if you have backed the underdog with +0.5 goals or you lose if you have backed the favourite -0.5 goals.

In simple terms the Asian Handicap market is offering you a 50/50 chance of winning and they will adjust the handicap according to the strength of both teams. The odds on offer for both teams are generally around Evens (around 1.90 to 2.10) but one team will have a certain handicap to cover.

Before we look at an example however, it’s important to remember that the Asian Handicap market is different to Handicap markets.

The Asian Handicap offers a 50/50 chance of winning and adjusts the handicap line accordingly, while Handicap markets change the odds on offer around the handicap of +1, +2, +3 goals etc.

Asian Handicap Market Example

Here is a working example of an Asian Handicap market against the more traditional Fixed Odds market:


Southampton – 1.95

Draw – 3.60

Everton – 4.33


Southampton -0.5 goals – 1.950

Everton +0.5 goals – 1.950

The market on the match between Southampton and Everton is favouring Southampton to win the match, so the Asian Handicap is giving Everton a 0.5 goals head start. So if you fancy Everton to get a result, but would also like the draw on your side too then the Asian Handicap market gives you that insurance.

This is a fairly basic example but the handicap can range from 0 goals (which is the same as the draw no bet market) up to 3.75 goals, depending on the strength of the teams involved.

*Remember that the Asian Handicap moves in increments of 0.25 goals, for a clearer understanding of how this works and impacts your returns please read the table below. 

Asian Handicap

Bookmakers will usually show the handicap as displayed above but some bookmakers will use the longer format. The below two bets are exactly the same but can be shown differently

Arsenal -0.25 goals

Arsenal 0.00, -0.50 goals

What the selection “Arsenal 0.00, -0.50” is saying, is that half of your stake is placed on Arsenal 0.00 and the other half on Arsenal -0.50 goals. So if Arsenal draw the match then only half of your stake is considered a losing bet as it failed to cover the -0.50 goals handicap but the other half is refunded. This is highlighted in the table above in red text.

Alternative Asian Handicap

When you are looking through the Asian Handicap betting sections of a bookmaker, you may come across ‘Alternative Asian Handicap’. The alternative bet means that you can offset the number of goals for each team with the odds then reflecting this accordingly.

If we continue to use the Southampton v Everton example above to get the market to even money for both results the game needed to be offset by just 0.5 goals. But, you can bet on markets that will offset the game by a greater number of goals. This may be 1.5 goals, 2.5 goals, 3.5 goals and so on. As the number of goals increase the odds will start to fluctuate more.

For example, if the alternative Asian Handicap bet of -1.5 goals was given to Southampton then you will be looking at odds of around 3.00 for this, due to the probability of them winning by 2 or more goals (which is essentially what a -1.5 goal handicap is) is less likely. Again, if we were to increase the handicap further to -2.5 goals then you would be looking for the price to increase again, likely to around 5.00.

This works both ways for both a negative and positive handicap. Everton to win this bet with an Asian Handciap of +1.5 goals would be significantly lower – around 1.50 – than the original +0.5 handicap that is currently in place to make an even money bet.


To be successful at Asian Handicap betting you need to show discipline, patience and have enough knowledge about the sport your betting on to make an informed decision. Here is a summary of how the Asian Handicap markets work:

  • Only two possible outcomes as the draw is eliminated using a handicap.
  • The underdog is given an advantage to make it a level playing field.
  • The odds for both outcomes will be very similar (around 2.0 Evens).
  • Match Winner, Goals, Yellow/Red Cards, Corners and Throw Ins all have Asian Handicap markets to bet on.
  • The Asian Handicap market is different that traditional handicap markets.