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Asian Handicap

Asian Handicap Explained: History and Examples

Originating in Indonesia, the term Asian Handicap was first decided upon by journalist Joe Saumarez Smith in November 1998 when he was asked to give a translation by Indonesian bookmaker Joe Phan to what was then called ‘hang cheng betting.’

Originating in Indonesia, the term Asian Handicap was first coined by journalist Joe Saumarez Smith in November 1998 when he was asked to give a translation by Indonesian bookmaker Joe Phan to what was then known as ‘Hang Cheng betting.’

Smith was working for an online gambling information site when he received an email from Phan. After the Indonesian bookmaker explained what is the market about, the journalist thought it sounded like a handicap system.


Joe Phan started using the term, and despite some people disagreeing with the name, Asian lines betting soon became a household market in the betting industry, especially popular across Asia, America, and Europe.

Read more to know how lucrative this form of betting is. Don’t forget to register an account with us to get access to competitive Asian handicap odds and get up to a $100 welcome bonus.

What is Asian Handicap?

asian handicap example

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Asian handicap is a form of betting based on a goal handicap system. As the name indicates, it gives one team a positive or negative handicap over the other team. It levels the playing field between two opponents by giving one a head start and one a deficit.

This means that the team with the handicap is expected to score more or fewer goals than their opponents, depending on whether the odds are positive or negative. By using this system, bettors can increase their chances of making successful bets and enjoy a fairer betting market overall.

One of the key benefits of the Asian handicap market is that it eliminates the draw. Similar to Draw No Bet, you only either bet on a home or away win. And in case the game ended on a draw, you win or get a refund on your bet depending on the odds you wagered on.

How to Bet Using Asian Handicap

The first step is mastering the positive and negative goal odds associated with the teams. This can be difficult to understand at first, but once understood, it can be quite lucrative. Especially if you are into football betting where this bet type has a big market worldwide.

The table below shows how your chosen goal handicap odds affect your payout. If you are betting on the stronger team, look at the negative odds, while positive odds for the underdog team. After mastering them, you can check our betting platform to see live odds and upcoming games for this market

handicap example

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For illustration, let us use an Arsenal vs Manchester City game, in which case Arsenal is the stronger team. You predict that Arsenal will win the match and bet on them using the -0.25 handicap. Following the table, if Arsenal wins then you win the bet as well. And if the game ends in a draw, then you lose half of your stake. 

However, the same case will be said even if you bet for Manchester using a +0.25 goal handicap. This is where knowing Asian handicap strategies become important. 

Asian handicap is one of the most well-liked betting options since it enables punters to benefit from the various levels of handicaps offered.

By taking into account the numerous circumstances that come into play in any specific game, you can earn a greater return from your bets if you play it right. 

Which AH Strategies to Consider

In general, the best time to bet on Asian handicaps is when the underdog team has the chance to score, or at least end the game in a draw. Otherwise, if you bet on the stronger team, they will need to score more goals for you to win the bet as well.

Let us consider different situations and what positive goal handicap you can bet on:

  • Prediction: the game result will be a draw.

Choose one goal handicap starting from 0.50 until 2.00. There are a total of seven goal handicap that results in you winning the wager when the game ends in a draw.

  • Prediction: the underdog will only lose by 1 point.

This is for the games where you believe the underdog has a fighting chance or the gap in skills is not that big between the opposing teams. 

You can bet one among 1.00, 1.50, 1.75, and 2.00 goal handicaps. You will still win the bet result or get a full refund even if your chosen team loses by 1 goal score.

  • Prediction: the underdog will only lose by 2 points.

For this case, select the 2.00 goal handicap line. This is the safest positive handicap for Single Asian handicap betting. Because this got you covered in case the underdog team loses by up to 2 points or they ended the game in a draw. Whichever, you can win or your stake is returned.

After reading our AH betting guide, you should have a good grasp of Asian handicap betting. The most critical step is to find a betting platform with great Asian handicap betting odds.

You can look for Asian bookmakers as they offer a wide variety of odds and betting options, as well as a unique approach to handicapping. In comparison to European bookmakers, Asian bookies are known for being sharp and offering better value for bettors.

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