Asian Handicaps can be a pretty difficult market to master when you're just starting out but eventually they become like second nature. And it's well worth learning about them, not only because they can often be better prices than the European markets, but also because they open new doors to betting on events.
Why do Asian Handicaps exist?
Well they are offered to give you a more level playing field really, and to give you more options to bet on. An Asian Handicap, unlike the straight Win-Draw-Win market only really has two outcomes and it allows you to squeeze a little more value out of a team.
Pre-Game Asian Handicaps There are 3 types of asian handicaps and when you back them pre-game it's the easiest time of all to follow what they mean exactly. Firstly we have an Asian Handicap which shows just one number i.e. -1.0, -2.5, 0.0, -0.5, +3.5 etc. For pre-game asian handicaps that show only one number it only takes a simple bit of maths to figure out if you've won or not. If you're backing a minus handicap, just take a look at how many goals your team won by and take away whatever asian line you backed, if the result is greater than zero, you won. If it's exactly zero you get your money back and if it's less than zero, you lose. Here's a few examples:
You back Arsenal -2.5 Asian Handicap and they win 2-0 (by 2 goals) - 2 minus 2.5 = -0.5, so you lost
You back Liverpool -1.0 Asian Handicap and they win 1-0 (by 1 goal) - 1 minus 1 = 0, so you get your money back
You back Galatasaray -1.5 Asian Handicap and they win 4-0 (by 4 goals) - 4 minus 1.5 = 2.5, so you win
Now if you're backing a positive asian handicap, exactly the same applies but this time your subtracting the number of goals your chosen team lost by and if it's less than zero you win, exaclty zero you get your money back and greater than zero is a loss:
You back Crewe +1.5 Asian Handicap and they lose 2-1 (by 1 goal) - 1 minus 1.5 = -0.5, so you win
You back Torquay +2.0 Asian Handicap and they lose 4-2 (by 2 goals) - 2 minus 2 = 0, so you get your money back
You back St Mirren +2.5 Asian Handicap and they lose 4-1 (by 3 goals) - 3 minus 2.5 = 0.5, so you lose
Now, remember everything I've just told you while I explain split asian handicaps. These look the most confusing of the bunch, but are actually just the above combined together. You may have seen things like "Arsenal 0.0, -0.5 Asian Handicap" and thought, fuck that I'll just bet on the win, but bear with me. You already know what a 0.0 asian handicap means as it's explained above, and you know what a -0.5 asian handicap is too right? Well a splt like this just puts half of your stake on each of those bets. So a £20 bet on Arsenal 0.0, -0.5 basically means £10 on Arsenal 0.0 and £10 on Arsenal -0.5. It's these handicap which create those unique little markets that can help you find exactly where you want to be.
Inplay Asian Handicaps
Now there's one important thing to remember when back an Asian Handicap in-play and that's the scores are reset to 0-0. They work in exactly the same as above, but when you back it you have to imagine it's 0-0 at that time. So if Arsenal are winning 3-0 and you back -1.5 you'll need them to win by at least 5 goals to get your cash back. Don't forget this bit.
So why are they useful?
As well as often being a better price than European markets, they can also offer lines in between the markets you are used to which can be useful when you can't quite be sure what to back.
When you first start betting it will probably be all about WIN-DRAW-WIN, basically backing the result of a game. Then when you get more advanced you might start hitting a "double chance" or a "Draw No Bet". But to become the top gambler that you will be when I've finished with you, you can go even deeper with Asian Handicaps. Check out this little guide I've done: