Asian Handicap Explained

Have you ever looked at the sports betting markets and wondered what an Asian handicap is? Well, wonder no more! This guide will take you through everything you need to know about the Asian handicap bet. By the end, you’ll find it’s  actually quite straightforward and very useful for punters betting on uneven fixtures.

Learn what Asian handicap is, so  you  can become more knowledgeable and flexible when betting  .  If you’re a football fan, you may want to check out our guide to football betting terms. That way, you can learn more about your beloved sport before you get into the more complex Asian handicap.



What is Asian Handicap? 

Before we start, please be advised that Asian handicap is an advanced bet type. If you’re struggling with more basic betting concepts, we recommend going through our betting guides on how to bet on sport, before returning to this later.

Asian handicap is a type of bet used across many sports in order to even out the imbalance that two teams facing each other may pose. For example, in the FA Cup we see plenty of small teams drawn against Premier League giants each season. If Manchester City were to play Newport, the betting odds would be greatly skewed in City’s favour. 

In other words, the odds would be so tiny it’s not worth a punt. Betting on Man City to win, draw or lose — often termed the 1X2 bet type — wouldn’t be very tempting. Asian handicap balances these odds by offering to even out the scoreline.

The Asian handicap bet levels the odds of both teams towards Evens, so the winning probability for either bet is closer to 50%. This is done by imposing a handicap on a team winning or losing by ‘adding to’ or ‘subtracting from’ their final goals tally. What’s great about Asian handicap  is you can win your stake back if a team doesn’t exceed or fall below your handicap mark.

One of the big reasons punters like to bet on football with Asian handicap markets is because your stake is more easily covered.  By placing an Asian handicap bet, you’re effectively removing the possibility of a draw and only betting on two outcomes. This means you’re covered in the event the two teams do end up drawing. 


How does Asian handicap work? 

Sport can throw up some fascinatingly equal contests. But quite often matches in the biggest professional sports such as football, tennis and NFL see vastly superior sides face inferior opponents. When this happens, the odds on the favourites to win are sometimes so small the potential returns are not worth the risk.

Bookmakers created the Asian handicap to provide balance to an uneven match-up and give punters the opportunity to roughly follow a 1X2 model of betting. Asian handicap betting is similar to regular handicap betting, in which a hypothetical advantage or disadvantage is given to one of the teams playing.

Types of Asian Handicap Bets

The Asian handicap bet doesn’t stop there. In fact, there’s a variety of different Asian handicap bets you can choose from. Some are more complicated than others, but all offer the chance to bet on your favourite games, no matter how uneven they appear to be.

There are plenty of terms you may have come across and want some clarity on. What is Asian total in 1x bet, for instance? And what is over/under Asian handicap betting? All your questions will be answered as you read this guide. Keep scrolling to find more information on Asian handicap full, half, and quarter lines, as well as Asian total betting.

Asian Handicap Full lines 

Asian handicap full lines are the simplest form of this type of betting. Let’s take a match between Tottenham and Crystal Palace, for instance, where the odds might be set at 1.30 for Tottenham to win, 5.50 for a draw and 9.00 for Crystal Palace. Tottenham are clear favourites, and you’d think they would win comfortably. 

Asian handicap betting makes it possible to raise the odds of a Tottenham win. You could instead bet on ‘Tottenham -1’, at odds of 1.80. In this scenario, Tottenham effectively start the match one goal down. You’ll therefore win the bet if Tottenham win by at least two goals. However, you’ll lose it if they draw or lose. But, crucially, if Tottenham win by just one goal, you get your stake back.

And that last bit is why Asian handicap betting is different to simple handicap betting. An over/under Asian handicap bet will give you back your stake in the event of a draw.

Equally, if you bet on ‘Crystal Palace +2’ on the Asian handicap market, you lose your bet if Palace lose by three or more goals, since they essentially start the match two goals up. If they lose by two goals, you’ll get your money back, and if they lose by a maximum of one goal, you’ll win your bet.

Another example of using Asian handicap is when two even teams come together. If Chelsea were to play Tottenham, you can reduce the risk of a classic 1X2 betting model to two outcomes by playing on Asian Handicap 0. If the team you bet on wins the game, you’ll win. If the match ends in a draw, you’ll get your money back just like when you’re betting on ‘Draw no bet’.


What are Asian Handicap half and quarter lines?

It might seem like we’re getting into more complicated territory now, but Asian handicap half and quarter lines aren’t as complex as they look. In fact, they’re actually designed to give punters more of a chance.

Asian Handicap half lines

The lines mentioned above are called full lines, where the line you’re playing on is a whole number (eg. +/- 2 or 0). But Asian handicap betting also offers bets on half and quarter lines. Half lines differ from full lines as they hold values that end with .5 and range between +/- 0.5, 1.5, 2.5 and so on.

Asian handicap betting with the half line +0.5 means that the team you bet on starts the match with a positive Asian handicap value of a 0.5 goal lead. This means you win if the team you placed a bet on wins or if there’s a draw. If the team loses, you’ll lose your bet.

If you bet on +1.5, the team starts with a 1.5 goal lead. You win if the team you bet on wins, there’s a draw, or they lose by a maximum of one goal. If the team loses by two or more goals, you’ll lose your bet. Asian handicap betting with negative half lines gives you the same situations but the other way around.


Asian Handicap quarter lines

Quarter lines differ from full lines and half lines, as they have values that end with .25 or .75 and range from +/- 0.25, 0.75, 1.25, 1.75 etc. The beauty of quarter lines is that your bet can be covered for certain outcomes but not to the extent of half lines, so the odds are usually greater.

Asian handicap betting with the quarter line -0.25 means that you bet that a team with a negative Asian Handicap value starts the match with a disadvantage of -0.25 goals. This means you win if the team you bet on wins the match. If the team loses, you lose your bet and if the match ends in a draw you’ll get half of your stake back.

With the quarter line -0.75, the team you bet on will start the match with a disadvantage of -0.75 goals. You win if the team you bet on wins with at least two goals. If they win with one goal, your bet will be divided so you get the money back on one half of the bet, while you win on the other half of it. You lose the bet if the team loses or if the match ends in a draw. The situation will be reversed if you bet on a positive quarter line in Asian handicap betting.


Asian total betting explained

Asian total betting isn’t as complicated as it might look. In fact, it’s often used interchangeably with quarter line betting, since Asian total bets typically end in quarter values. There’s a bit of arithmetic that goes into working out an Asian total bet, but you don’t need to know all that. Below, you’ll learn all about how Asian total betting works and what it means for your wagers. 

What is Asian Total in Betting? 

Asian total is Asian handicap betting for the total number of goals scored in a match. It works in the same way as over/under betting, with the difference between the lines. You can bet on full, half, and quarter lines from over/under 0.5, 0.75, 1, 1.25, 1.5 and so on.

Let’s use Manchester City vs Norwich as an example. If you bet on full lines in Asian total, for example over one goal, that means you win if the match contains at least two goals. If it turns out to be a goalless match, you lose your bet, but if there’s one goal in the match, you’ll get your money back.

If you bet on under one goal for City vs Norwich, you win in a goalless match, get your money back at one goal, and lose your bet if there’s two or more goals.


Asian total half lines

If you bet on half lines in Asian total, for example over 0.5 goals, there are only two possible outcomes – a win or a loss. You win your bet if the match contains at least one goal and lose if the game ends goalless. If you bet on under 0.5 goals, the payback will be reversed. If you’re betting on football, try and think about whether a team is likely to score – taking into account defensive record, goalscoring form, and their opponent.

Asian Total Quarter Lines

If you bet on quarter lines in Asian total, for example over 0.75 goals, your bet will win if the match contains at least two goals. If there’s only one goal you win on half the bet and if there’s a goalless match, you lose your bet. 

If you bet on under 0.75 goals, the payback will be reversed. You win your bet on a goalless match, on one goal you lose half the bet and on two or more goals you lose your entire bet. If you want more advice on Asian handicap betting, you can ask a question yourself in the Unibet Community.

Which sports are best for Asian Handicap?

Football is a straightforward sport to bet on when using Asian handicap for the first time. That’s because a draw is a likely outcome, meaning some betting fans want to cover that potential result.

Sports like cricket and rugby do have the potential for draws but they are much rarer events, so the Asian handicap is not really required. Other sports such as basketball and netball, which witness large points totals, cater strongly for Asian total betting markets.

Asian Handicap FAQs

Still not quite got the hang of Asian handicap betting? Maybe you want to know more about over/under Asian handicap bets, or you just want to consolidate your knowledge on the subject. Whatever the reason, it’s worth checking out these Asian handicap frequently asked questions to get more information on the topic.

What Does 0.5 Asian Handicap Mean?

The 0.5 Asian handicap is a popular type of bet among sports fans. You essentially give a team a 0.5 head start in terms of goals, points, or whatever is used to score the sport you’re betting on. That way, you can bet on weaker sides and even if they lose the tie, you could still win your bet.

What is Over/Under Asian Handicap Betting?

With Asian handicap over/under betting, you can bet on a team to win or lose with either an advantage of over X goals or a disadvantage of under X goals. For instance, you can bet on Chelsea to win with a handicap of -1.5 goals. This means they have to win by two goals for your bet to come off.

What Does Over 2.0 Mean in Sports?

A bet of over 2.0 means you’re betting on a team to win or lose with an advantage of +2 goals or points. In other words, if you bet on a Fulham loss with a +2.0 handicap, they would have to lose by 3 or more goals for your bet to win.

Bet on sports with Asian handicap