All About Asian Handicap

All About Asian Handicap

What You Need to Know Before You Bet on Sports in Asia

What is an Asian Handicap?

In essence, an Asian handicap is a form of handicapping that attempts to make the stronger team handicapped through having to win by a certain amount of goals to win a bet. Furthermore, it reduces the number of potential outcomes by eliminating ties or draws through adding goals in increments of half or a quarter. As no team can score a partial goal, the only outcome is either a win or a loss.
For example, if you bet on A to win by 0.5 goals, a tie would result in losing the bet. In the event of a very strong team playing a much weaker opponent, the handicap may be a larger number of goals, for example, 3.5. In that case, the expected winner would need to win by 4 goals in order to win the bet placed on them. In essence, this makes the outcome a 50/50 bet, and also balances betting between both expected winner and underdog.
Invented in Indonesia, it is mainly used for football (soccer) betting but can include any sport or competition. It is widely adopted across Asia and is now seeing increased market penetration in the American and European gambling consumers. It has risen to popularity, due to the increase of sports betting in Asia, and as the sports betting sector looked to capitalize on this fast and relatively untapped market.

How Do Payouts Work?

As there are only two outcomes and the chances of either are, in theory, 50%, bookmakers generally payout close to even money, keeping a small percentage for themselves. An example of this type of payout would be 1.90 to 2.00. So, for every dollar you bet on a specific team, you would receive 95 cents extra if your predicted result was to happen.

Quarter Point Handicaps

Some matches will use quarter point handicaps, like .25 or .75. In these cases, the handicaps split the bet between the two closest half intervals (.5) and place them as two equal, separate bets. In essence, a .25 handicap would mean you are betting half on a tie and half on a 1 goal win. For example, if you were to bet $100 for team A to beat team B by .25 goals, and the final score was 1-0 in favor of A, you would win both and receive the full payout. However, if the results of the match were a draw, you would break even as you would lose one of the two bets made on your behalf. In the event of a .75 handicap for A, a tie would result in you losing your bet, and a 1-0 victory would result in you winning half of your bet, essentially breaking even. “A” would need to win by 2 goals to win both bets. Many bookmakers will express this as 0 and ½ or “PK and 1/2” (for the pick). The bookmakers that accept bets on American Football and Basketball will usually express their odds in this manner.

Whole Handicaps

In some instances, there are whole handicaps that, adjusted for the final score, could result in a draw. Asian handicapping does rarely have this situation, but in the rare event this happens, it is considered a push and all bettors have their original sums returned, voiding the bet. For example, if you were to bet on a game where A had to win by 2.0 goals and the result of the match was 2.0 in favor of A, the result would be a draw and, in this case, all bettors would receive back their wager. This is, again, very rare for Asian handicaps and only generally happens with very large odds where one team is expected to win by 2 or 3 goals.

Reading the Odds

The biggest benefit to a better is that the odds, in theory, predict the end results as close as possible. This makes it possible to ascertain an expected score and the marginal difference in ability between the opponents. In the event of injuries or penalties, this can work in favor of the bettor who is informed, as Asian handicaps change frequently and have been known to fluctuate widely during the few days prior to a match. In effect, if a player is on a hot-streak, for example, and his team has to win by .75, many will bet on him and his team. Likewise, if that player’s injury was to be announced the day before the match, the odds would change to zero or even against his team. When betting on Asian handicapped games, it’s important to stay up-to-date with changing odds and information-locking in a bet, when the best possible odds are available.

Shifting Odds

In some instances, heavy betting on one party can shift the odds. As Asian handicaps are primarily used to minimize bookmaker risk, when overwhelming bets are placed on any particular side, the odds shift to make betting on the opposing party more likely. For example, if the odds were 1.5 for team A to win and everyone was betting on team A, the bookmakers would shift the odds to 2.5 or even 3.5 increasing betting on team B.

Asian Handicap Table Explained

Handicap Team result Bet result Handicap 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
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