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Asian Handicap: Beginners’ Guide

The best way to learn how to bet using Asian Handicap odds is to understand the system the right way. The correct way to do so is to divide the process into three steps

a) Understanding the 1×2 system and the concept of value bet (click here to check our guide)
b) Reading this guide
c) Checking out the intermediate and the advanced guides to AH match result betting

We’ll also have a special guide about goal betting in the system, but here we’ll focus on match result betting.

Why this thing exists anyways?

A few years ago I was chatting with the founder of an online bookmaker. And he said something like ‘Oh my God who the hell invented this thing?’.

So if you believe the system might seem complicated at first glance, you’re definitely not alone. Even the owner of a betting site doesn’t find it that simple!

But the math behind it is not complicated, the numbers just ‘mask’ simple underlying math.

But let’s answer the question of this subtopic’s title: The reason why Asian handicap exists is to divide every football match in just two potential results.

That allows the bookmaker more ‘comfort’ to organize their books, meaning the Asian markets have higher betting limits than retail bookies.

So the reason is very, very technical!

Just two results, unlike 1×2

The 1×2 betting system has three potential results: the victory of the home team, the match draw, and the victory of the visitors.

For that reason, the odds are bigger than the average of Asian handicap.

As the bookies try to ‘stay’ around odds of 2.0, if the market fluctuates, Asian lines fluctuate too.

A Very simple, real-life example

In the upcoming game between Crystal Palace and Leeds, next Sunday, October 9th, 2022, these are the current odds in the Asian Handicap market.

Crystal Palace -0.5 @2.16

Leeds +0.5 @1.76

The -0.5 result represents the chances of Crystal Palace winning. On the other hand, Leeds +0.5 represents every other result!
This is called a half-ball handicap. The math behind this is simple: if the match ends 0-0, Crystal Palace would end the bet with -0.5 goals. This means they would lose the ‘game’ in the handicap scenario.

On the other hand, Crystal Palace would win because they would have a positive score of 0.5 goals.
But why half a ball? The concept may sound complex, but the reason is to bring you an example of a handicap that doesn’t involve refundable bets, a.k.a. void or Asian handicap draw no bet.

Summary
For now, you learned the difference between 1×2 and Asian Handicap.
Any handicap with half a ball at the end, such as -0.5, -1.5, -2.5, or +3.5 work the way you learned in this article. The AH underlying math is simply ‘allowing’ the bet to have just two outcomes.

As a final learning today, you may wonder, what happens if the odds change, like it happens with 1×2 betting?
Initially, odds will fluctuate. Let’s say the market starts to ‘believe’ more in the Leeds +0.5 selection. Odds can reach 1.80 or 1.95, for example.

But if the odds change too much, the lines will change. The line is -0.5 or -1.5, for example.
For now, if you understand the English Premier League example that we brought to you, that’s a great start.
Keep an eye on our blog for the upcoming intermediate and advanced Asian handicap guides, as well as the live betting guide and the AH goal betting guide.