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Betting Advice

How does Asian Handicap betting work?

Asian Handicap betting is one of the many options available to football bettors. Most markets are extremely easy to understand – win-draw-lose, first scorer, both teams to score (yes or no), total goals etc. Asian Handicaps require a little bit more explanation, however. Here, OLIVER BRETT tries to simplify them.

Asian Handicap betting: the basics

Asian Handicaps effectively provide a framework in which a team is handicapped according to its form and with consideration to the opponent it is facing. Typically, a stronger team must win by more than one goal, sometimes by more than two or even three, for a punter betting on them to win. Once a handicap is set, the market becomes active and the prices can move if a large majority of punters perceive the handicap to be “wrong”. Crucially, Asian Handicaps eliminate draws.

The history of Asian Handicaps

In parts of Asia, a system of handicap betting in sport known as hang cheng has been in existence for many years, certainly deep into the last century. In 1998, the London-based journalist Joe Saumarez Smith (now a major figure in the online gaming and gambling industry) was contacted by an individual in Indonesia asking how best to translate the term hang cheng. Without overly thinking, he felt the best description was Asian Handicap and the terms stuck.

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But it doesn’t just refer to Asia

Far from it. The system was popularised in the Far East, but is now commonplace in all football markets worldwide. They are a mainstay of the Betconnect football offering. The thing is, while all Pros know what Asian Handicaps are, some Punters may only have a vague understanding, and it’s important that everyone in the community knows the score.

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So, how exactly does it work?

The most common handicaps are the half-point and full-point handicaps. If you back Team A at -1.5 goals then any result in which Team A wins by two goals will result in a winning bet. However, any win by LESS than a two-goal margin, ANY draw and ANY defeat, result in a loss. In full-point handicaps, the possibility of a void bet comes into play, so if you back Team A at -1 goal and they win 1-0 (or 2-1, 3-2, 4-3 etc), the bet becomes void and you get your stake back. Any result featuring a two-goal winning margin is a WIN, while any draw or defeat is a LOSS. Still confused? Simply refer to the table above!

What about quarter-point handicaps?

This is where it gets a little bit complicated. On Betconnect, there will always be three Asian Handicaps available for every match. Sometimes, typically in a match from a major league with no clear favourite, there might be a “quarter-point” market. In this situation, half the bet is staked at the value a quarter point BELOW the advertised price with half the bet staked at the value a quarter point ABOVE. This is where you definitely need to look at the table above unless you are a naturally better than average mathematician.

Important footnote: On some betting sites, rather than listing the quarter-point market as 1.25 or 1.75 they will give both prices above and below on the same selection. In other words, an Asian Handicap bet at 1.25 will be represented as 1.00 & 1.50.

That’s it! You have finally unlocked the mystery of the Asian Handicap!

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