What Is an Asian Handicap Bet? [Types, How It Works]


The Asian Handicap is a popular bet, especially for football betting. Asian Handicaps are slightly more complicated than other types of bets, so we decided to have the Asian Handicap explained for you, by us. This article will tell you everything you need to know about Asian Handicaps: what they are, how they work, what the main benefits are, and what is the best way to place one. Keep reading!

Asian Handicap Explained - Image 1

What Is an Asian Handicap Bet?

Before we dive into the intricacies of an Asian Handicap, let’s discuss what a handicap refers to.

In terms of betting, a handicap means that one team has a virtual lead over their opponent. This lead is given to the underdog, the team that has a lower chance of victory; this is done so both teams have an equal chance of winning. Looking at the Asian Handicap definition, this is referred to as a spread bet: a bet that is used when bookmakers want to even the odds between two teams.

The Asian Handicap has two possible outcomes. This type of bet eliminates the chance of a draw, so you will receive a payout only if one team wins. 

In traditional betting, the chances to win are 33%; since there are two possible outcomes from an Asian Handicap bet, your chances of a win jump to 50%

Unlike traditional fixed-odds betting, Asian Handicap betting allows an opportunity to bet on half goals; a head start is assigned to the team with listed goals in decimals (0.5; 0.25; 0.75). A minus symbol (-) is given to the favourite team which holds a handicap disadvantage, while a plus symbol (+) is assigned to the underdog, which means a handicap advantage

Asian Handicap Meaning and Origin

As the name suggests, Asian Handicaps originated in Asia, specifically Indonesia; they are most commonly used for betting on football matches

Journalist Joe Soumares Smith was asked to invent an English term for the Indonesian Han Chen by Joe Fan, the father of Asian Handicap. This bet gained popularity at the beginning of the 21st century and has gradually spread around the world. Today, Asian Handicap in betting can be found across the globe. It is especially popular in the UK, where football betting is a popular pastime; people like to diversify bets on their favourite sport. However, this is an advanced bet type, so it may not be the best choice for beginners to betting

DID YOU KNOW? Asian Handicap bets have made their way from the shops of Asian bookmakers to online betting sites! All the good football betting sites offer this type of bet nowadays.

How Does an Asian Handicap Work?

Before we dive into examples of Asian Handicap bets, let’s get familiarised with the rules.

  • Every match has a different Asian Handicap line determined by the number of goals teams are given as an advantage or disadvantage (+1; -1).
  • Asian Handicaps start with quarter lines (0.25 goals), continue with half lines (0.5 goals), and can go as high as three full lines (3 goals).
  • It’s possible to have more lines in a single match; one team may have a 0.0 line and a +0.5 line.
  • The total number of goals so a team wins the match has to exceed the number of goals stated on the line. For example, what does an Asian Handicap mean if the line for the favourite team is at -1? In this case, the favourite has to win by two goals or more for a successful bet. 
  • If the match ends in a draw – a common occurrence in football – the bet is void and the punter receives their original stake back. 

Asian Handicap Variations

There are different types of Asian Handicap bets, so let’s see what each type of Asian Handicap means

Level Asian Handicap

This type of Asian Handicap is offered when there is no significant difference between the two teams. In such cases, both teams begin the game with no handicap advantage or disadvantage, or a 0 goals tally. With a level Asian Handicap, you’re betting on whoever wins the match – if there is a draw result, your stake is refunded

Single Asian Handicap

A single Asian Handicap is ideal when the difference in the ability of two teams is significant. In Asian Handicap betting, the better team is assigned a goal handicap to eliminate the difference in quality; they start a game with -0.5, -1, -1.5, or -2 goals. If you bet on the winning team that has a handicap disadvantage of -1.5, for instance, that team needs to win by at least two goals for the bet to be successful.

Split Asian Handicap

What is an Asian Handicap split bet? If you’ve ever stumbled across this type, also known as a quarter handicap, it becomes available when the difference between two teams is not defined. The Asian Handicap betting market allows you to split your stake on one team over two handicaps, which is why they’re called two-way handicaps; they allow the possibility of the punter to receive two returns instead of one

Alternative Asian Handicap

Besides the main Asian Handicaps listed above, we should also mention that there are Asian alternative handicaps. What is an alternative Asian Handicap

The concept of alternative handicaps is identical to regular ones, with the handicap advantage being given to the underdog. However, the handicaps given to each team are bigger: -1.75, -2, -2.25, -2.5, -2.75, and so on. Different bookmakers may choose to display these alternative handicaps in various ways, so keep an eye out.

DID YOU KNOW? Asian Handicap bets can be placed in-play (during the match) as well as before. With Asian Handicaps explained, this in-play betting increases the chances of a payout since punters can bet after they’ve studied the match.

Key Takeaways

An Asian Handicap gives one team a virtual lead over the other to even the chances of winning.
There are two possible outcomes of an Asian Handicap. If there’s a draw, you’ll receive a refunded bet.
One team can have more than one line assigned to it. This additionally increases the chances of a winning ticket and a more substantial payout.
Asian Handicap bets are most commonly placed on football matches.
Asian Handicap bets differ from European Handicap bets in the betting possibilities offered.

How Is an Asian Handicap Used in Football Betting?

Football is the sport where you’ll encounter Asian Handicap bets the most; it’s also the easiest sport for placing an Asian Handicap if you’re new to betting. Football is suitable for betting since draws are a common occurrence, although the Asian Handicap takes draws out of the equation.

If you’re still unsure as to how this bet works, don’t worry – you’re not the only one. We thought it would be best if we illustrate what an Asian Handicap in football looks like through several examples

Example 1

  • Arsenal -1.5
  • Everton +1.5

This is the simplest variation of the Asian Handicap because each team is given a start of a half number of goals. If you back Arsenal to win, they need to score two or more goals during the match since they have a -1.5 handicap. If Everton wins the match, you lose the bet – you’ll also lose if Arsenal wins by only one goal. This is an Asian Handicap explained most simply!

Example 2

  • Liverpool +0 & +0.5
  • Chelsea -0 & -0.5

This bet offers a half-goal and whole goal handicap, also known as a quarter goal handicap. With this bet, you divide the stake between one bet on the zero (level) handicap and one on the half-goal. If you bet on Chelsea to win, you are technically placing two bets: one on Chelsea -0, and one on -0.5. 

  • If Chelsea wins by one goal or more, both bets win.
  • If the game ends in a draw result, the -0.5 bet loses, and the other bet (-0) is void.
  • If Chelsea loses, both bets lose.

We hope that these examples help clear up what is an Asian Handicap and how to go about placing one. 

DID YOU KNOW? There are several other popular football betting methods. Multiple bets are especially popular among punters whose first choice is football. Examples of popular football bets include Trixie bets, Yankee bets, and Patent bets

Asian Handicap vs European Handicap

European Handicaps are different from Asian Handicaps in that there are three possible outcomes instead of two. Additionally, you can only bet on full lines in European Handicaps, whereas Asian Handicaps let you bet on half lines and quarter lines

The European Handicap is more similar to fixed-odds betting in that it offers the option of betting on a draw – that’s why it’s also called the three-way handicap. The odds are also different; European Handicap betting markets use whole numbers, while the Asian Handicap markets use decimals to denote the quarter and half lines

Now that we’ve had the Asian Handicap betting explained vs the European, it’s time to decide which one is better for you. Even though European Handicaps are easier to understand because they are similar to traditional bets, Asian Handicaps are becoming increasingly popular since they increase chances of victory. When deciding which one to use, make sure to calculate which bet will produce a more substantial payout

DID YOU KNOW? If you want to diversify your betting experience and look into other sports besides football, consider horse racing as a viable alternative. Numerous types of bets can be placed on horse races, a Lucky 15 bet being one of the most alluring.


Asian Handicap bets are one of the most popular betting options currently available. Although they may be difficult to understand, once you’ve learned what is Asian Handicap betting, you’ll see why choosing this type might be a good idea. There are numerous advantages to placing an Asian Handicap, but the biggest one is that it increases your chance of winning, so get to betting!

Disclaimer: Enjoy betting, but always practice betting responsibly.


What is a +1.5 Asian Handicap?

If you’re betting an Asian Handicap with -1.5 odds, the team you’re betting on needs to win the match by a difference greater than, meaning they need to score at least two goals.

How does an Asian Handicap work?

The Asian Handicap is a type of spread betting that allows you to bet on the number of goals which are expressed as decimal odds, also referred to as lines. With the Asian Handicap explained, this bet also eliminates a draw as an option.

What is a 0.0 Asian Handicap?

Placing an Asian Handicap on a team at 0.0 odds means that the team is the favourite; they have to win the match for you to win the bet. If the team is defeated, your bet loses and you won’t receive a payout.

18+ Gambling



Alex is an IT wizz gone SEO gone fire-juggler. We’re not even joking. When he isn’t researching why one personal loan is better than the other and which piece of hardware you should buy next, he’s rollerblading or selling homes (because he does that, too, the smarty-pants).

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