Handicap betting

Handicap betting – a beginner’s guide.

What is handicap betting?

Handicap betting may seem confusing at first, but it is a different option offered by many bookmakers that makes a match or tie a bit more interesting to bet on by giving one of the competitors a head start.

For example, imagine if there was a race between a professional 100m sprinter against some average member of the public who had no training at all. The odds would be short on the professional sprinter and the outcome would be somewhat of a boring foregone conclusion. However, what if you gave the member of the public a 50m head start in terms of your bet? That would make the outcome less certain and put some interest back into the contest and, subsequently, the bet.

That is how handicap betting works. You are effectively giving one outcome an advantage, and the other outcome a disadvantage to make something you’re betting on more even and therefore increase your winnings should you guess right.

So, what is a single handicap?

Loveaflutter will take football as the example because it is the most popular sport in the UK. The number in brackets after the team name denotes the advantage or disadvantage applied in the handicap. Let’s go through some examples:

0.5 handicap e.g. Manchester United (-0.5) v Norwich City (0.5)

Norwich City are effectively starting the game with half a goal advantage.

If you’re backing Manchester United, and they win the match, you win your bet.

However if you’re backing Manchester United and the match ends in a draw, you lose your bet.

If you’re backing Norwich City, you win the bet if they win or draw the match.

1 handicap e.g. Manchester United (-1.0) v Norwich City (1.0)

Norwich City are effectively starting the game with a one goal advantage.

If you’re backing Manchester United they must win by at two goals for you to win your bet.

However, if you’re backing Manchester United and they only win by one goal, the result is effectively a draw and you lose.

If you’re backing Norwich City, you win the bet if they win or draw the match.

2 handicap e.g. Manchester United (-2.0) v Norwich City (2.0)

Norwich City are effectively starting the game with a two goal advantage.

If you’re backing Manchester United to win, they must win the game by a margin of three goals or more.

If you’re backing Norwich City, you will win your bet providing they lose by a goal margin of only one.

If you’re backing Norwich City, and they lose by a margin of two goals, your stake will be refunded.

2.5 handicap e.g. Manchester United (-2.50) v Norwich City (2.50)

Norwich City are effectively starting the game with a two and a half goal advantage.

If you’re backing Manchester United, they must win the game by a margin of three goals or more for you to win your bet

If you’re backing Norwich City, as long as they don’t lose by a margin of three goals or more, you will win your bet.

However, it is not just football where handicap betting can be applied to. You can have handicap markets in rugby, where one of the teams starts with a points advantage; golf, where a player can have shots taken off or added to their round, and tennis

You may have also heard the term Asian handicap betting. What is this?

Asian handicap betting is the name handicap betting specifically in football. The name has risen due to the huge popularity of handicap betting in Asia. Asian Handicap betting will aim to make each team have an equal chance of winning, so that as close to evens will be offered on each team.