Asian Handicap Football Betting Guide

What is Asian Handicap Betting?

Asian handicap betting is a form of betting on football. This form of betting originated in Indonesia (then known as Hang Cheng Betting) in the early 1990s. The term ‘Asian Handicap Betting’ was first coined in 1998 by English journalist Joe Saumarez Smith. Asian handicap betting has become increasingly popular with UK punters.

Asian handicap betting reduces the outcome of a football match to two outcomes, with the draw excluded. Just like normal handicap betting, the ‘handicap’ gives one side the advantage before the event has started.

There is typically two types of Asian handicaps, half goal and whole goal. Half goal (0.5, 1.5 etc.) ensures that there will always be a clear winner from your bet. Whole goal (1,2 etc.) means that sometimes there can be no winner of the bet, with all bets refunded. These terms will be explained further in this article.


Football is one of the few sports around the world where a draw is a common outcome. In traditional betting markets it is treated as an outcome of the match.

For Example:

Manchester City vs Manchester United

Man City to win 4/9

Man United to win 11/2

Draw 10/3

An Asian handicap eliminates a draw as a possible outcome. Instead, it creates two possible outcomes both with odds of about evens. A goal deficit is placed on the team most likely to win (the favourite) and a head start is given to team less likely to win (the underdog). Again we can use Manchester City vs Manchester United as an example.

Man City (-1.5) Evens

Man United (+1.5) 7/4

The above is the most straightforward form of Asian handicap betting. Some bookmakers also offer whole goal and quarter goal handicaps.

Whole Goal Handicap

In the event of a whole goal handicap being used the adjusted outcome of the game can be a draw.This is referred to as a push by bookmakers. All punters have their original stake returned as a non-winner.

Half Goal Handicap

This is the most common form of Asian handicap betting. The layout of half goal handicap betting is outlined above in the Manchester United vs Manchester City example. One team is giving a surplus of a half goal increment e.g. 0.5, 1.5, 2.5 and so on. Their opponents will be given a deficit of the corresponding number before the game starts.

Quarter Goal Handicap

Quarter handicaps are most commonly used in American sports like basketball and American football. These bets are often expressed as handicaps of 0 and 0.5 or 1.5 and 2 etc. In these instances your stake is divided equally and placed on two separate bets. That means if one teams handicap is 0 and 0.5, half of your stake is placed on the 0 point handicap and the other half is on the 0.5 handicap.

For Example:

Man United +1.0, +1.5

Man City -1.0, -1.5

Half of your bet goes on Manchester United to win, draw, or lose by less than 1 goal; and half on Man United to win, draw, or lose by less than 1.5 goals.

If the final score is Manchester City 1-0 Manchester United, half your bet would be refunded due to draw (Man City 1 – +1 Man United, i.e: Man United lost by exactly one goal). The second half would win (Man City 1 – +1.5 Man United, i.e: Man United lost by less than 1.5 goals).

A zero goal start in Asian handicap is the equivalent of ‘Draw – No Bet’ i.e. there must be a winner or all bets are voided. A void bet means the money is returned to all who bet on that particular Asian handicap.

Quarter goal handicap markets are not offered by all bookmakers.

In-Play Betting

Many bookmakers now include Asian handicap markets in their in-play betting. During the match you will see the handicap changing with the flow of the game. You can place bets in the same way you would with other live football markets.

Glossary of Terms

Some of the terminology used around Asian Handicap Betting can be quite complex. We have developed a glossary of Asian Handicap terms below.

Asian handicap betting: Betting on the outcome of a football match with only two possible outcomes. One team will be given a deficit and the other a surplus of goals before the game starts. This removes the possibility of a draw.

Half goal handicap: The most common Asian handicap type. One team given a surplus (0.5, 1.5 etc.), the other a deficit (-0.5, -1.5 etc.) of goals before the game starts.

Quarter goal handicap: A more complex form of Asian handicap betting. A quarter goal handicap is usually expressed as 0 and 0.5 or -1 and -1.5. In these cases you are betting on two outcomes. Half of your stake goes on the first handicap (0) and the other half goes on the second handicap (0.5). Further explained above.

Voided bet: A whole goal handicap bet can result in a voided bet. This means the punter gets their stake back as there is no winning outcome. For example, if you placed a bet on Manchester United (+1) and the result finished Manchester City 1-0 Manchester United, that would be a draw with the handicap applied.

Whole goal handicap: Similar to half goal and quarter goal handicaps. The handicaps are in whole number in these cases e.g. 1,2,-1,-2. This means that the final adjusted score can be a draw.

Read more of our betting guides here: 

Spread Betting Guide

Football Accumulator Guide

Live Betting Guide

Free Bet Guide

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