Soccer Betting Strategy – Asian Handicap Betting

People choose to bet on soccer for a wide variety of different reasons, with one of the main reasons being that it’s not very complicated. Recreational bettors, or those who bet primarily for fun, particularly enjoy the amount of straightforward wagering options to choose from. They typically stay away from anything that isn’t easy to understand, so this is perfect for them.

Recreational bettors also aren’t typically too concerned about whether or not they win or lose. They obviously prefer to win, but more than anything else they just want to enjoy themselves. They might learn some simple betting systems and strategies to improve their chances of winning, but they don’t usually want to put in the time and effort required to learn any of the advanced strategies that could really take their betting to the next level. They also tend to avoid the more complex wagering options that are available.

This is precisely why the majority of recreational bettors ignore Asian Handicap betting. To most people, it appears to be a very confusing way to bet on the outcome of a soccer game. And, to be fair, it is probably one of the most complicated options available. It’s nowhere near as confusing as it seems though, and it really doesn’t take that long to figure out how it works.

In our opinion, it is DEFINITELY worth spending the time to learn more about this. Asian Handicap betting on soccer can be a very profitable way to bet on soccer if you know what you’re doing. Did you know that many successful bettors wager mostly on the Asian Handicap? It’s an excellent way to find extra value in the markets, and also to manage risk exposure.

This article will teach you everything you need to know about betting on the Asian Handicap. We start by explaining exactly how it works, and then tell you how to calculate results and payouts. We offer some general tips for betting in this way, and also detail our preferred Asian Handicap strategies. We can’t promise that you’ll start making profits immediately, but the information and advice we offer here will make sure you’re headed in the right direction.

Asian Handicap Betting Explained

Asian Handicap betting is very similar to standard handicap betting and point spread betting. You’ll soon discover, though, that there are some key differences. The basic idea is to make the outcome of a soccer game a 50/50 proposition, by giving a goals handicap to each team. The favorite is “deducted” goals for the purposes of wagering, while the underdog is “awarded” goals.

The best way to illustrate how this works is to use an example. Here’s the Asian Handicap market for a game that took place in the English Premier League.

Leicester vs Crystal Palace
Asian Handicap
Leicester -1.5
Middlesbrough +1.5

Since there is a +1.5 displayed next to Leicester, we know they are being deducted a goal and a half. This makes them the favorite. Since there is a -1.5 displayed next to Middlesbrough, we know they are being awarded a goal and a half. This makes them the underdog. There’s a slight difference in the odds for the two teams, but this is reasonably close to being a 50/50 proposition. That’s usually the case for the Asian Handicap, and the two sets of odds are often exactly the same. Typically, they’ll both be 1.91.

If we chose to back Leicester here, then we’d need them to win by at least two goals. If they only won by a single goal, after the -1.5 handicap was applied they’d actually be in a losing position. If we chose to back Middlesbrough, we could still win our wager even if Middlesbrough lost by a single goal. Why? Well, once the +1.5 handicap was applied, they’d be in a winning position.

Basically, we create a “virtual result” by applying the relevant handicap to the team we backed. That virtual result is then used to determine whether our wager wins or loses. So if we backed Leicester, and they won 3-1, the virtual result would be 1.5-1 and we’d win. If they only won 2-1, though, the virtual result would be 0.5-1 and we’d lose.

So far, this is very similar to standard handicap betting. One of the big differences with the Asian Handicap is what happens when the virtual result is a draw. Obviously this can’t happen when the handicap is -1.5, as teams can’t score half a goal. This can happen, however, when the handicap is a whole number, like in the example below.

Chelsea vs Tottenham Hotspur
Asian Handicap
Chelsea -1.0
Tottenham +1.0

Here we can see that Chelsea are the one goal favorites, and Tottenham are the one goal underdogs. If Chelsea were to win by a single goal, then the virtual result would be a draw. With a standard handicap line, a draw would be a loss for us no matter which team we backed. This is because we’d also be given the option of backing the draw, with the same handicap applied.

With the Asian Handicap line, however, we’re not given the option of backing the draw. We have to back one team or the other. When the virtual result is a draw, we get our stake refunded in full. This is a major advantage of betting on the Asian Handicap, and one of the reasons we like it so much. With games where the handicap is a whole number, it basically gives us some added insurance.

We hope you have been able to follow us pretty easily so far, as things are about to get a little more complicated. Now it’s time for us to start talking about the split handicap.

What is a split handicap?

A split handicap is also known as a quarter handicap, as it will always feature a number with a quarter fraction. +1.25 or -1.75 are two common examples. With these, two handicaps are essentially being combined to create one single handicap. A +1.25 handicap is a combination of a 1.00 handicap and a 1.50 handicap, and -1.75 handicap is a combination of a -1.50 handicap and a -2.00 handicap.

Confused yet? Don’t worry if you are. This is the part that most people struggle with. Once we explain it in more detail, it should be easier to understand.

With a split handicap, our stake is basically split into two separate wagers: one on one handicap, and one on another. Let’s use another example to better demonstrate.

Arsenal vs Bournemouth
Asian Handicap
Arsenal -1.25
+ 1.91
Bournemouth +1.25

If we decided to back Arsenal here, we’d be putting half our stake on Arsenal at -1.00 and half on Arsenal at -1.50. The following outcomes are possible.

  • Arsenal loses outright or draws. We lose both our wagers.
  • Arsenal wins by a single goal. Our wager at -1.00 means the virtual result is a draw, so half of our stake is returned to us. Our wager at -1.50 means the virtual result is a loss for Arsenal, so half of our stake is lost.
  • Arsenal wins by two goals or more. Both wagers mean the virtual result is a win for Arsenal, so we win both our wagers.

Trust us when we say that this really isn’t as complicated as it seems. Essentially, we’ve just placed two wagers at two different handicaps. The only difference is that we’ve placed them as a single wager with a single stake, and that stake is then split across the two different handicaps.

In the next section of this article we’ll cover how to calculate our betting results and payouts when betting on split handicaps. Before we get to that, though, we need to explain a little more about Asian Handicap betting in general. Specifically, we need to explain what the Alternative Asian Handicap is all about.

The alternative Asian Handicap is exactly what it sounds like. It gives us some alternative handicaps to consider. Going back to the Arsenal versus Bournemouth game, for example, we might see the following options available.

  • Arsenal -1.50 / Bournemouth +1.50
  • Arsenal -1.75 / Bournemouth +1.75
  • Arsenal -2.00 / Bournemouth +2.00
  • Arsenal -1.00 / Bournemouth +1.00
  • Arsenal -0.75 / Bournemouth +0.75
  • Arsenal -0.50 / Bournemouth +0.50

The first three options on this list INCREASE the number of goals that are deducted from Arsenal and awarded to Bournemouth. They make it harder for a wager on Arsenal to win, and easier for a wager on Bournemouth to win. The odds are adjusted accordingly, getting longer for Arsenal and shorter for Bournemouth.

The second three options on the list DECREASE the number of goals that are deducted from Arsenal and awarded to Bournemouth. They therefore have the opposite effect. They make it easier for a wager on Arsenal to win, and harder for a wager on Bournemouth to win. The odds are also adjusted in opposite directions.

These additional options allow us to “customize” our wagers, balancing the risk versus reward ratio. If we thought that Arsenal had a high chance of beating Bournemouth, then we could increase both the size of the handicap and the size of our potential payout. If we thought they might only win by a very small margin, or that they might even draw, we could reduce the size of the handicap for a safer wager. Although we would win less money overall, our chances of winning would be greater.

This level of flexibility is another major advantage of the Asian Handicap, and another reason why we like it so much. In our opinion, it makes it a LOT easier to find suitable betting opportunities.

Now that we’ve finished explaining how Asian Handicap betting works, we should probably mention the fact that there are other Asian Handicap markets too, in addition to those based on the result of a game. We have listed these for you below.

  • Total goals
  • Number of yellow and red cards
  • Number of corners
  • Number throw ins

Although we do think it’s important for you to be aware of what’s available, we don’t think they’re worth your time. It’s better to focus on the game result markets.

Calculating Betting Results & Payouts

When first betting on the Asian Handicap, it can be a difficult to predict what circumstances will cause a wager to either win or lose. This becomes even more difficult when betting on split handicaps, where half of your wager will have a different outcome than the other half.

This is something that becomes a lot easier over time. If you’re new to the Asian Handicap, however, the following chart will be very useful for you. It shows you exactly what the outcome of your wager will be based on the relevant handicap and the result of a game.

Table shows you exactly what the outcome of your wager will be based on the relevant handicap and the result of a game.

As you can see, there are a total of five possible outcomes when betting on the Asian Handicap.

  • Win
  • Lose
  • Stake refunded
  • Win half/half refunded
  • Lose half/half refunded

Let’s now take a look at how to calculate the payouts from each one of these possible outcomes.

Calculating a payout when you’ve won is easy, as it’s the same as with any standard wager. You simply multiply the decimal odds by your initial stake. Here’s an example.

Calculating Example 1

Calculating a payout when you’ve lost is even easier. You will receive nothing, just like with a standard wager. Calculating a payout when your stake is refunded is just as easy too, as you simply get your entire stake back.

Things get a little more complicated with the next outcome. When you win half and get half refunded, you have to apply the following formula.

((STAKE / 2 * ODDS) + (STAKE / 2)

Here’s an example of this.

Calculating Example 2

When you lose half and get half refunded, you simply get half your stake back.

Although we understand how confusing this can all seem, we can assure that it really isn’t that hard to grasp in practice. Once you’ve placed a few Asian Handicap wagers, the necessary calculations will soon become second nature to you.

General Tips for Asian Handicap Betting

We wholeheartedly recommend that you give Asian Handicap betting a try, as we firmly believe it’s one of the best ways to bet on soccer. However, we also urge you to be cautious. Although this form of betting offers some excellent opportunities for making money, one or two little mistakes can cause you to LOSE money, especially while you’re still getting used to it.

This is why we recommend only placing wagers for small stakes when you’re first starting out, as this will keep the amount of money you lose to a minimum. Also, please make sure that you FULLY understand everything we’ve covered here. This is one of the most complex forms of betting and it may take a couple times of reading through our explanations for you to truly grasp what it’s all about. Don’t be afraid to re-read a section several times in order to allow the information to really sink in.

After you’ve already gotten started, the following five tips will help improve your chances of making money.

  1. Use suitable and reputable betting sites
  2. Shop around for the best prices
  3. Study team’s scoring records
  4. Check current form
  5. Always consider motivation

You should ALWAYS use suitable and reputable betting sites, so this tip is not unique to the Asian Handicap. It’s particularly important here though, as the number of options available is somewhat limited. Not all sites offer Asian Handicap betting, and there are only a few that are genuinely top quality. If you are serious about pursuing this form of gambling, then please choose your site carefully.

Ideally you want accounts at least two or three sites that offer Asian Handicap betting, as this will allow you to follow our second tip. If you compare the odds and handicaps at various sites, you’ll quickly find that not all sites offer the same prices. Shopping around to find the best prices will help you get the most value for your wagers. Just getting an extra half a goal can be the difference between winning and losing, and getting even slightly better odds can have a big impact on your results in the long run.

Our third tip is a vital one to follow. The goal of placing wagers on the Asian Handicap is to predict how many goals a team is likely to win by. This cannot be accomplished unless you know and have studied the team’s scoring records. This is easy information to find, so there’s no excuse for not being up to date with it.

The current form of teams is just as important, which is why we’ve made that tip number four. Don’t expect to make accurate predictions about the likely result of a game unless you know how well the two participating teams are playing. Obviously, there are never any guarantees that a team’s current form will continue, but it’s certainly a useful indicator of future performances.

Our final tip can really help you to gain an edge. A lot of bettors, and even some bookmakers, don’t pay enough attention to the motivation of teams. This is an important betting factor though, especially when trying to predict the likely winning margin of a game.

If a team is highly motivated, you can expect them to put in a strong performance from kick-off right through to the final whistle. If they’re not particularly motivated, however, then they may not put in the same level of effort. Both teams’ motivation levels will have a significant impact on the result of the game. This is especially true if one team has a lot to play for, while their opponents do not.

Although these tips are relatively easy to understand, they still represent good advice. We promise you won’t be disappointed if you do choose to follow them in addition to implementing some solid Asian Handicap betting strategies.

Our Preferred Asian Handicap Betting Strategies

There are countless strategies you can use for betting on the Asian Handicap. We could list them all here, but we don’t want to overload you with information. In any case, the best strategies to use are the ones that you develop yourself. Once you have more experience with the Asian Handicap, this won’t seem like a daunting task.

In the meantime, however, there are two specific strategies that you might want to consider using. These are our preferred strategies that have proven to be successful over the years. They’re actually very straightforward, so they’re ideal to use while you’re still getting used to this form of betting. The goal is to use them in the right way, and at the right times.

Backing big favorites at -1 or -1.25

This is a great alternative strategy to betting on big favorites in the traditional way. One of the biggest drawbacks of backing big favorites on the win-draw-win market is that the odds are usually very low. Although we can expect to win plenty of our wagers, the low odds mean that any profits can easily be wiped out with just one or two unexpected losses.

We want to alleviate that risk as much as possible. Realize that backing big favorites at -1 or -1.25 means we will be using the alternative Asian Handicap in order to receive lower odds. We’re still going to get quite low odds, as taking big favorites at -1 or -1.25 will usually mean using the alternative Asian Handicap and therefore receiving reduced odds.

However, the odds WILL be better than simply backing them to win and chances are high that we’ll still win plenty of our wagers. It’s important that we choose our spots carefully though, and only bet when we’re confident a favorite is going to win by at least a couple of goals.

Backing small home underdogs at +1.75

We use this strategy a lot. Typically, we look for home underdogs that are at +1.0 or +1.25 on the Asian Handicap. Then we back them on the alternative Asian Handicap, taking slightly reduced odds in exchange for getting an extra half a goal or so. This gives us a very high chance of winning, or at least getting half our stake returned, as small home underdogs rarely lose by two or more goals.

While there are several more advanced strategies that we have used successfully, these two strategies definitely give us the most consistent returns. Don’t expect to get rich off of them though, as they’re low risk and low return. They’re still a great starting point for betting on the Asian Handicap, and there’s no reason why you can’t earn a profit from using them.

One final point to mention before we finish is that Asian Handicap betting can also be done in play. This opens up even more opportunities for finding good value wagers to place. The advice in the following article will help you to make the most of them.