What is handicap in betting football

The sheer variety of open betting markets usually confuses beginner bettors. Well, bookmakers offer a lot of variations on how to bet your money. Over time, everything will fall into place for you, but for now, you need to systematically deal with each type of possible bet.

Today we will talk about handicaps in betting football. Perhaps you have already bet on the simple principle of 1X2 or even/odd, it is time to deal with artificial advantage in the score or handicap – in other words.

The main concept

Explanatory dictionaries explain to us that a handicap is called equalizing chances when teams compete with a significant difference in potential. This operation can be performed in two ways:

  • adjustment of the final account in any direction;
  • adding other indicators, for example, playing time for one of the parties.

When it comes to football, it is precisely the numerical handicap in goals scored and conceded that is meant.

The handicap can concern both the favorites of the game and the teams that are predicted to lose in a future meeting. With the help of a handicap, bookmakers make betting odds more attractive. The owners of the totalizator strive to ensure that the process of online betting on the results of sports events brings pleasure to customers because the betting business as a whole rests on the constancy of the game of many of them.

Betting on football matches with a handicap is quite similar to the classic 1X2 predictions but with its peculiarity. Quotes on the websites of bookmakers look quite familiar if you move on to betting with a handicap. Only near the name of each of the teams, you can see the numerical designation of the handicap, which can have a negative or positive value. By the way, for a certain team, it can be zero if the handicap is set only for the opponent.

How to use it in football?

Three types of handicaps can be involved in the betting process:

  • A positive handicap is assigned in favor of a weak team to increase the likelihood of its victory, and therefore – its winning.
  • Negative Handicap – A minus handicap can be assigned to the favorite team to slightly equalize the chances for a weaker opponent.
  • Zero – sometimes this value may be reflected or not mentioned at all. This means that the game is played at the specified coefficient without reference to the handicap.

The calculation of handicap betting results is simple, just like for simple 1X2 predictions. For example, you bet €100 and the handicap odds were “-2” for the favorite. But the outsider was weaker, and as a result, the team leading in the ranking won with a score of 4-0. The handicap was overcome, and the bet was played. The set coefficient, taking into account the handicap, was 1.8, which means that your winnings will be: 100 euros x 1.88 = 188 euros.

If this seems a little complicated to you right now, don’t worry. As soon as you start to develop playing practice, everything will become clear. Football handicap betting is no more difficult than usual, you just need to learn how to keep in mind the handicap that the organizers set.

The main types of bets on football with a handicap

There are two broad categories of how you can bet money on the outcome of a handicap football match: European and Asian. Let’s take a closer look at how they differ from each other.

Asian Football Handicap

Here the odds are given in decimal fractions and reducing the match to a draw does not imply a win. When it is not possible to determine the winner of the match, taking into account the established handicap, the bet in the Asian Handicap is considered not to have won. The money is simply returned to the players, offering to make another choice.

European Football Handicap

It is more suitable for the classic designation 1X2 because a draw here is also counted as a result. You can even bet initially at the end of the game without a winner. The value of the handicap in European football sweepstakes is indicated in whole numbers, no fractions!


Now you know how you can bet 1X2 with more interesting odds – you just need to use the handicap betting market. A couple of practical exercises will put you in full order regarding this concept.

We can only advise you not to bet solely on the matches of your favorite team, check out the full line of events. Often other matches can offer better odds, choose the best one for you!