Asian Handicap Betting


·        'Asian Handicap' betting is a form of sports betting which is very popular, particularly across Football markets. The handicap element means that one team receives a "virtual advantage", effectively leading the game be a specified amount before the event has started, and therefore often results in more enticing odds as opposed to standard home-draw-away market prices. 

Asian Handicap betting is a form of soccer betting in which one team receives a virtual head start, effectively leading the game by a differing amount or amounts, chosen by the punter, before the game starts.

Asian Handicaps eliminate the possibility of a draw in a match, reducing the match to just two possible outcomes. They are very popular in Asia, hence the name “Asian Handicap”.

There are numerous types of handicap bets - half goal (0.5, 1.5 etc) whole goal (0,1 etc). as well as 0.25 and 0.75. 

Asian Handicap Table

When betting on a half-goal handicap, there is always a clear winner of the match as it’s not possible to score half a goal. When betting on a whole goal handicap, if the result is level after the handicap is taken into account, then your bet will be refunded.

For example, in a standard odds soccer market there will be three options available to back:

• Arsenal

• Everton

• Draw

However, when if you choose to bet on the Asian Handicap market, the draw is taken out of the equation, so you will be left with two options from which to choose.

In this example, Arsenal are strong favourites, so the handicap is one and a half goals:

• Arsenal -1.5

• Everton +1.5

The above example is the simplest case of Asian Handicap betting on Betfair. A team is given a head start of a half number of goals, +0.5, +1.5, +2.5 for example, and the team who scores the most when the handicap is applied will be deemed the winner.

For example, if you back Arsenal to beat Everton with a handicap of -1.5, then to win your bet Arsenal must win the match by 2 or more goals.

Your bet will lose if Everton win, it’s a draw or Arsenal win by only 1 goal.

When betting on Asian Handicaps via the Betfair Exchange, they will always offer three markets to cater  for any significant changes in the handicap line at first, but you can click the “show all” button to reveal the full quota of available handicaps. The most accurate handicap will usually be the middle one listed.

Some Asian Handicap markets give teams two virtual head starts (or handicaps in the case of the favourite). In the above example we have a combination of a half goal and a whole goal handicap (+0 & +0.5, -0 & -0.5). These bets are sometimes referred to as “Quarter-Goal Handicaps”:

• Liverpool +0 & +0.5

• Chelsea -0 & -0.5

In this example, the stake is divided between a bet on the zero (level) handicap and a bet on the half-goal handicap.

So, if you back Chelsea for £20 to beat Liverpool with a handicap of -0 & -0.5, then you have two separate £10 bets (at the same Odds, 2.03 in the example) - Chelsea -0 and Chelsea -0.5.

• If Chelsea wins by 1 goal or more, both bets win.

• If the game is drawn, then the -0.5 handicap bet loses and the other half (+0) is void/refunded.

• If Chelsea loses, then both parts of the bet lose.

A zero goal start in Asian handicap betting effectively means ‘Draw – No Bet’ – i.e. there must be a winner in the match, or all bets will be voided. It is worth comparing Asian markets to DNB markets offered by bookmakers – as you will often find that the Asian market is better value. 

The market is similar to a normal odds market in that you Back or Lay in the same way, but because of the more complex rules involved with Asian Handicap betting.

When placing bets in the Bet Manager, you may tick the 'Detail View' box on the 'Place Bets' tab to view your Profit and Loss for each outcome. Under the 'My Bets' tab, there is a summary of your current matched position and your worst possible outcome for each possible result, and each unmatched bet on the 'My Bets' tab has profit and loss information underneath it.

When you place a bet, money will be reserved from your account to cover your worst possible position on the market. In an Asian Handicap market, the amount reserved will reflect bets on all lines.

For example, if you Back a team to win with a 1.5 goal start and Lay them to win with a 1.5 & 2 goal start, then your maximum loss may (depending on odds and stake) be if they lose by two goals and may result you losing half your stake, not the stake on both bets.

This will be reflected in my Available to Bet balance, and commission on these markets is taken from total winnings on the market across all lines.


What is a Void bet?

If the handicap given is a whole goal, +1, -1, 0, -2 for example, and the result means the settlement is a draw, your bet will be voided.

Neither the Backer nor the Layer can be said to have won the bet, so the money staked is returned to both.

What is the settlement score?

The settlement score is the result with a given handicap applied. This score is used to settle the bets. If you have backed Arsenal -0.5 and Arsenal win 1-0, the settlement score is (0.5)-0 and you win your bet. If Arsenal draw 0-0, the settlement score is (-0.5)-0, you lose your bet.

What are Quarter Goal Handicaps?

When a handicap is made up of two parts, such as 0 & -0.5 , or +1.5 & +2.0 , it means that the bet is split 50/50 between the two handicaps.

These are often referred to as -1/4 (-0.25) or +1 ¾ (+1.75) goals handicaps. So if you back Chelsea +1.0 & +1.5 (also +1 ¼ or +1.25) with £100, you are effectively betting £50 on Chelsea +1.0 and £50 on Chelsea + 1.5.

For example:

If you bet Porto -0.5 & -1.0 (also -3/4 goal handicap, or 0.75 goals) odds of 2.0 with £10.


(lose by 1)

0 (Draw)

Win by 1

Win by 2

Win by 3+  


Bet 1

Lose £5

Lose £5

Win £5

Win £5

Win £5


Bet 2

Lose £5

Lose £5

Void £5

Win £5

Win £5



Lose £10

Lose £10

Win £5

Win £10

Win £10