Asian handicap betting is a form of betting on football in which teams are handicapped according to their form, so that a stronger team must win by more goals for a punter betting on them to win. The system originated in Indonesia and has gained popularity in the early 21st century. It is a form of spread betting. Handicaps typically range from one-quarter goal to several goals, in increments of half- or even quarter-goals.
Most importantly, Asian handicap betting reduces the possible number of outcomes from three (in traditional 1X2 wagering) to two by eliminating the draw outcome. This simplification delivers two betting options that each have a near 50% chance of success.
Asian handicaps are both good and bad for bookmakers. On one hand, they help bookmakers minimize risk by facilitating trading with parity or balancing the amount of wagering on each side of the match. This enables bookmakers to take larger positions on major matches. On the other hand, Asian handicap markets are typically low margin offerings that do not contribute as significantly to the gross win as higher vigorish betting options like 1X2.
The term “Asian handicap” was coined by journalist Joe Saumarez Smith in November 1998. He was asked by an Indonesian bookmaker, Joe Phan, to provide a translation of the betting method that was termed ‘hang cheng betting' by bookmakers in Asia.
- 1 Description
- 2 Quarter-goal or two-way handicaps
- 3 Whole handicaps and draws
- 4 References
Football (soccer) is one of the few sports in the world where a draw is a fairly common outcome. With traditional fixed odds, draws are treated as an additional outcome to the game. In other words, bettors lose when they place a wager on either team to win and the game draws. With Asian handicaps, however, the chance for a draw is eliminated by use of a handicap that forces a winner. This creates a situation where each team has a 50-50 chance of winning; similar to the odds for a basketball or football spread handicap typically offered by Las Vegas sportsbooks.
Asian handicap is a form of betting that creates a more level betting environment between two mismatched competing teams by giving a “handicap” (expressed in goals or points) to the teams before kick-off. In Asian handicap, a goal deficit is given to the team more likely to win (i.e. the Favourite) and a head start is given to the team less favoured to win (i.e. the Underdog).
This system works in a straightforward manner. The bookmaker's aim is to create a handicap or “line” that will make the chance of either team winning (considering the handicap) as close to 50% as possible. Since the odds are as close to 50% as possible, bookmakers offer payouts close to even money, or 1.90 to 2.00. Asian handicaps start at a quarter goal and can go as high as 2.5 or 3 goals in matches with a huge disparity in ability. What makes Asian handicaps most interesting is the use of quarter goals to get the “line” as close as possible. Taken in conjunction with the posted total for the game, the handicap essentially predicts the game's final score.
Quarter-goal or two-way handicaps
Subsequently, many matches are handicapped in ½ and ¼ intervals; both of which eliminate the possibility of a push since no one can score a half-goal. Quarter (¼) handicaps split the bet between the two closest ½ intervals. For instance, a $1000 bet with a handicap of 1¾ is the same as betting $500 at 1½ and $500 at 2. With ¼ handicap bets, you can win and draw (win ½ of wager) or lose and draw (lose ½ wager). The ¼-goal handicap may be expressed by some bookmakers as “0 and ½”, or as “pk and ½” (for “pick-em”) – especially for bookmakers whose systems are designed for sports like American football and basketball, where bets have a handicap that is designed to make the odds as close to even as possible.
The bettor's stake is automatically divided equally and placed as 2 separate bets. This means that with a handicap point of 0-0.5 or 0 and ½, half of your stake is on the 0 point handicap and the other half is on the 0.5 handicap.
Match: Everton vs. Newcastle United
Handicap: Newcastle +1.0, +1.5
Explained: This handicap states that half of your bet goes on Newcastle to win, draw, or lose by less than 1 goal; and half on Newcastle to win, draw, or lose by less than 1.5 goals.
If the final score is Everton 1-0 Newcastle, half your bet would be refunded due to draw (Everton 1 – +1 Newcastle, i.e: Newcastle lost by exactly one goal). The second half would win (Everton 1 – +1.5 Newcastle, i.e: Newcastle lost by less than 1.5 goals).
Whole handicaps and draws
In the event that a whole number is used for the handicap, the handicap adjusted final score could result in a draw. This situation is not a draw, but a push. With a push, all bettors have their original wagers returned as there is no winner. The plus signs in the Team result columns indicate “or more”, eg. “2+” means “by 2 goals or more”.
- ^ Games without frontiers, SCMP Post Magazine, David Eimer, 14 Apr 2013
- ^ “An Introduction to Arbitrage Betting and the Asian Handicap”. TBR. 25 January 2014. Retrieved 7 February 2014.
- ^ Charles, Gillespie (2007-12-04). “Asian Handicap Betting Basics”. WSN. Archived from the original on 3 March 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-02.
- ^ George, Haggett (2002-05-14). “Origin of Asian Handicap”. BetAsia. Archived from the original on 31 October 2009. Retrieved 2009-10-20.
- ^ “UnoGoal Livescore Terbaru Real Time Match Soccer Results”. Retrieved 26 December 2017.
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