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Online Gambling Sites » Betting Guide » What is Asian handicap betting? Detailed guide Canada
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What is Asian handicap betting? Detailed guide Canada

Publish Date:20/08/2021
Fact checked by: Melissa Roy

What is Asian handicap betting? We’ll have Asian handicap betting explained so that you never have to ask ‘What is Asian Handicap betting?’ any more. Unsurprisingly, the Asian handicap is a form of handicap betting which originated in – you guessed it, Asia! It is mainly applied to the sport of football, or soccer, and works to the concept that one of the teams is given a head start before the match, to reduce the advantage held by the favourite. In our handy guide, we’ll be introducing the Asian handicap rules to you, to try to make this common form of betting more understandable. So keep reading to have Asian handicap explained.

Asian handicap explained, Canada and elsewhere

So what is Asian handicap? Although the Asian handicap is now known as a relatively common way to bet on football and soccer throughout the world, it is still quite a new concept, at least outside of Asia. The term ‘Asian handicap’ was itself coined by a British journalist – Joe Saumarez Smith – in November 1998.Smith had been asked to come up with the term by an Indonesian bookmaker, Joe Phan, who wanted to export the method of betting known as ‘hang cheng’ which had long been popular with bookies in Asia.Just two short decades later, you can find Asian handicap odds Canada gamblers, at most online bookmakers, including the ones recommended right here at!

The idea behind Asian handicap football betting

So let’s have Asian handicap explained. As mentioned before, the Asian handicap is mainly applied to the sport of soccer, or football. Why is this? Well, football is one of the few major sports in which a draw, or a tie, is a regular outcome. In fixed odds betting markets, draws are one of three outcomes that can occur during a game – so, if a bettor places a wager on either team to win and the game ends up in a tie, they lose. The Asian handicap, which is a form of spread betting, was designed to prevent this from happening, working in such a way that each team has a 50/50 chance of winning – just like in the United States with basketball and football points spreads.

So why do you need an answer to the question of ‘What is Asian Handicap?’. Asian handicaps is a form of betting that aims to create a more level betting environment between two competing football teams who are seen by punters as being mismatched. How does it do this? Well, the two mismatched teams are given a “handicap”, which we’ll go on to explain later in this guide to Asian handicap football, before kick-off. In Asian handicaps, the favourite, or the team which is seen as most likely to win the match, is given a goal deficit, while the underdog is given a head start. The general aim of the bookmaker when they are compiling their odds is to keep the chances of each side winning (once the handicap is taken into consideration) as close to 50% as possible. Think of it as flipping a coin, with one team on the heads side, and the other on the tails!

The different types of Asian handicap

It’s not enough to know the answer to questions like ‘Why do people enjoy Asian handicap betting?’. As with most things in betting, the Asian handicap is used by both beginner and experienced gamblers, so it can vary in its complexity.In the following few paragraphs, we’re going to delve into three different types of Asian handicap, illustrating each with some examples so you can get a better idea of just how to read the odds on an Asian handicap sportsbook.These three types of bets are often referred to as ‘whole-goal’ handicaps, ‘half-goal’ handicaps and ‘quarter-goal’ handicaps. Find out more about each below as we have Asian handicap explained even further:

Whole goal Asian handicaps

Like in other types of Asian handicap, with a whole goal bet one of the teams is given a set head start, while the other is given the opposite number as a handicap. In a whole goal handicap, this is always a whole number: so 1, 2, 3 etc. So what is Asian handicap like with an example? The Asian handicap table in the sportsbook might look something like this:

  • Manchester City -1
  • Tottenham Hotspur +1

The corresponding odds (we’ll use decimal odds here) for each bet would also be listed alongside each team, so let’s say these are:

  • Manchester City -1 1.63
  • Tottenham Hotspur +1 2.45

In this bet, Manchester City have a handicap of one goal, while Tottenham Hotspur have had a head start of one goal. If you want to bet on City, they must win by two or more goals, while a bet on Spurs means they simply need to win the game. If City win by one goal, we have what’s known as a draw, or a ‘push’ – in which case, all bets are refunded.

What is Asian handicap 0.5?

When answering the question ‘what is Asian handicap 0.5?’, we must consider how the whole goal handicap worked. As we’ve just seen, there’s a very real possibility that the bet could still end up as a draw, or a ‘push’.To mitigate this, we have the 0.5 or ‘half-goal’ handicap. Since, in football, it’s impossible to score half a goal, there’s no longer any chance for the bet to be drawn. Taking our example above, the ‘half-goal’ handicap might be listed thus:

  • Manchester City -1.5
  • Tottenham Hotspur +1.5

This time, a bet on City to win means they must win by two or more goals; any other result, including a win by one goals, a draw, or a Tottenham win and you lose the bet.

What is a quarter-goal Asian handicap?

Many bookmakers also now offer a quarter-goal Asian handicap; these can be listed as 0.25, 0.75, 1.25, 1.75 and so on and so forth. Unlike whole goal and half-goal handicaps, with quarter-goal Asian handicap bets, the wager is split. So, if you place $100 on a bet with a handicap of 1.75, this is the same as betting $50 at 1.5 and $50 at 2. Therefore, with quarter-goal handicap bets you can win and draw or lose and draw – in which case, you win half your wager or lose half.

An example

  • Handicap: Tottenham Hotspur +1.0, +1.5
  • In this instance, half of your bet is on Spurs to win, draw, or lose by less than one goal. The other half is on Spurs to win, draw, or lose by less than 1.5 goals.
  • If City win the game 1-0, you would receive the first half of your bet as a refund as it would be drawn, while the second half would win.

Did you know?

When weighing up a quarter-line Asian handicap bet, you might find it useful to draw up a table which outlines what you stand to win or lose given a certain combination of results. Here’s an example, using a Manchester United v Liverpool match:

Say you’ve placed a bet of $100 euros on United to beat Liverpool with a handicap of -1.0/-1.5 and you have been quoted odds of 2.0. This means that $50 of your money goes towards the United to win with a goal handicap of -1.0 bet, while the other half of your stake goes on United to win with a goal handicap of -1.5.

The table shows what you stand to win or lose for each outcome:

  • Match Result Lose by 1 Draw Win by 1 Win by 2 Win by 3+
  • 1st bet (Man Utd -1.0) Lose $50 Lose $50 Bet refunded Win $50 Win $50
  • 2nd bet (Man Utd -1.5) Lose $50 Lose $50 Lose $50 Win $50 Win $50
  • Total Lose $100 Lose $100 Lose $50 Win $100 Win $100

What is alternative Asian handicap?

Many punters get confused when they see online bookmakers offering an ‘Asian handicap’ alongside an ‘alternative Asian handicap’? ‘What is alternative Asian handicap?’ we hear you ask. What you need to understand is that most bookmakers have a ‘main Asian handicap’ offering: this is usually 0.5 goals. So, if you went to their sportsbook, you’d usually see match listed like this:

  • Manchester United -0.5
  • Aston Villa +0.5

An alternative Asian handicap is simply any Asian handicap that doesn’t correspond in value to the bookmakers main one, so:

  • Manchester United -1
  • Aston Villa +1
  • Manchester United -1.5
  • Aston Villa +1.5

And so on, including quarter-goal forecasts.

Facts check

We can’t ask ‘What is Asian handicap betting?’ without looking at the origins of this bet. Just as the ‘Asian handicap’ is called ‘hang cheng betting’ in Asia, so the different lines have alternative names. The ‘whole-goal’ handicap, for example, is called ‘one ball’, the ‘half-goal’, ‘half-ball’ and so on.

Asian handicap odds Canada

We’ve seen how what you’re betting on in the Asian handicap spread is listed, but how are betting odds calculated for this type of wager? The odds are listed in a fractional, decimal or American format, which we’ve explained elsewhere in our site guides. In 1X2 betting, the odds are listed the same way, but one side might be such clear favourites that you think it’s not worth taking the risk for such a small return. With Asian handicap betting, the idea is to bring the field closer together, so a bet – whether on the favourite or underdog – is more profitable.

As well as betting on the result of a match, you can also place an Asian total wager, which means that you’re gambling on how many goals are going to be scored in total in the match. This works in a similar way to what we’ve already talked about, with ‘whole lines’, ‘half lines’ and ‘quarter lines’. So, if Manchester City are playing Bournemouth.

Manchester City v Bournemouth – 1 goal line

If you bet on this, you win if there are more than two goals in the game. If there are fewer, you lose, but if there is exactly one goal it’s a push and your bet is refunded.

Manchester City v Bournemouth – 0.5 goal line

Similarly, here if there is more than two goals in the game, you win, if there is none you lose. In this bet, though, if there is one goal you also win, as it’s not possible to score half a goal.

Are Asian handicaps good or bad for bookmakers?

The answer to that question depends on which bookmaker you ask! Once you know the answer to the question of ‘What is Asian handicap betting?’, you’ll see that it can give you many benefits. Generally, Asian handicaps can be seen as having both positives and negatives for bookmakers. Due to their two-sided nature, bookmakers can minimise their risk and try and make it a sure bet by balancing the amount of wagering on each side of the match. However, when compared to other betting options, such as 1X2 betting – where the wager is placed on a win, a draw or a loss and the teams are not handicapped – the margins are lower and, generally, Asian handicap betting does not contribute as significantly to the bookmaker’s profits.

Yes! The Asian handicap is most commonly used in football, but it can also be applied to several other sports. It is best in sports where a superior opponent regularly comes up against an inferior one in a head to head match – think cricket (say, if Australia play Afghanistan in a one-day international) or tennis (Roger Federer versus a wildcard in the early rounds of Wimbledon, anyone?). It has also been adopted in North American sports, such as baseball, basketball, American football and ice hockey. Spread betting is already the most popular form of betting in the US and Canada, so the Asian handicap has quickly grown since it was exported from Asia in the late years of the 20th century.

Can you cash out on Asian handicap bets?

The ‘cash out’ feature is one of the most popular among punters, as it allows them to have greater control over their bet. Being able to settle the bet early means you can maximise your profit or minimise your losses. Only certain types of bets qualify for the cash-out feature, but the Asian handicap is usually among these, especially when you include several selections together in an accumulator.It’s worth bearing in mind when trying to cash out, that the potential returns on an Asian handicap can fluctuate wildly. If you’re in doubt as to whether you’ll be able to cash out your Asian handicap, get in touch with the bookmaker’ friendly and professional support team and they’ll endeavour to answer your questions.

Conclusion: Asian handicap, a great way to mix things up

We hope that we have answered your questions about ‘What is Asian handicap betting?’. The Asian handicap bet is a great way for punters to make money betting online. With fixed odds betting, such as the 1X2 betting system, it can be hard to make a decent profit, especially when wagering on sports which often have a heavy favourite pitted against a rank outsider. The Asian handicap, which is still a relatively new concept in the Western betting world, aims to mitigate this, by levelling up the playing field and offering punters such as yourself a greater level of flexibility – especially when half and quarter-line bets are factored into the equation.

Here at, we’ll help you find online bookmakers that offer Asian handicap markets on many different sports, including football, cricket, tennis, baseball, basketball, American football, ice hockey and many, many more. To take advantage of the pure variety offered at these sites, all you need to do is sign up for a free account. You can quickly and easily deposit funds to your account, and if you deposit a certain amount, many of these bookmakers will credit you with a number of free bets! And, if you have any questions, these bookmakers will have a friendly and professional support team that will give you all the help you’ll ever need.

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