What is Asian Handicap Betting?

‘Asian Handicap’ is a gambling term used to describe spread betting in football (or soccer, for our American users). Handicaps typically range from one quarter goal to several goals but can be described in half or even quarter goals.

Asian Handicap sports betting reduces the possible number of outcomes from three (in traditional sports betting) to two by eliminating the possibility of a draw. This delivers two betting options with c. 50% chance of success each.

Asian Handicaps have positives and negatives for bookmakers that offer asian odds, like Bet365, 188Bet, CanBet, Pinnacle Sports and Victor Chandler. They help bookmakers minimize risk by allowing trading with parity or balancing the amount of wagers on each side of a soccer match.

This allows bookmakers to take far larger positions on major football matches.

Conversely, Asian Handicap markets are usually low margin and so contribute little to the gross win as other, higher vigorish soccer bets.

The term Asian Handicap was coined by journalist Joe Saumarez Smith in November 1998 as an English analogue for the Asian betting term ‘hang cheng betting’.

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What is Asian Handicap Betting?