Startseite » asian handicap
Razak Yatim

The Asian handicap is one of Malaysia’s most popular bet types, and it’s easy to see why. It lets you bet on whatever specific outcome you like, giving you more control than regular bet types. 

Keep reading to learn how the Asian handicap market works, its pros and cons, how best to use it, and get a head start on this type of betting. 

Understanding Asian Handicap Betting

Asian handicap betting

With regular bet types, the sportsbook sets a small number of outcomes and gives you fixed odds in each case. The most classic example of all is the Match Result. In football, for example, you’ll have three options – Team A Win, Match Ends in a Draw, Team B Win – with the relevant odds in each case. 

Asian handicap betting works completely differently. You’re not just betting on the overall outcome here, such as a team or player to win. You’re being more specific and betting on the margin of victory. Rather than just betting on Team A to Win, you might bet on them to win by at least two goals. 

You will have many, many more options here than usual. In football, for example, that margin of victory might go from 0.5 goals (i.e., betting on Team A to Win by at least one goal) to 5.5 goals or more. You can take whatever handicap you like, with – as usual – the odds going up or down depending on the probability of that outcome. 

Overall, the main appeal here is greater control over both the outcome and your odds, hopefully leveling the playing field. In addition, it lets you bet on matchups you wouldn’t have otherwise. 

For example, if Manchester City is playing a Championship team in the FA Cup, Man City’s Match Result odds would be incredibly low. With an Asian handicap, you can bet on them to win by a large margin (two, three, even four goals or more) and get a far better price. 

Asian Handicaps vs European Handicaps

Finally, let’s clarify the main differences between a European handicap and an Asian handicap line.

With European handicaps, you can bet on the draw, in addition to taking either side to win. The draw will also be given a handicap. For example, the draw might be set at -2 if Man City are heavy favorites. 

With this form of betting, you can bet on whole numbers and decimals (e.g., -1.25, -1.5, and so on). You cannot, however, bet on the draw. 

If a draw does happen, based on the handicap you’ve taken, this will instead result in a ‘push,’ and your stake will be refunded. Asian handicap betting is slightly riskier than the European version. In turn, though, the odds will be proportionally higher.

Asian Handicap Odds

For starters, the actual formats for Asian handicaps are the same as for regular wagers. Almost all sportsbooks will let you choose between decimal, fractional, and American odds. Some will also let you use Malay odds, but this is slightly less common. 

The most common format for Asian handicaps is decimal odds. These are straightforward, showing your return for one unit of whatever currency you use. If the odds are 1.50, for example, and you bet MYR 10, your return would be MYR 15. The bigger the number, the better the odds and the higher your return. 

How Do Asian Handicap Odds Work?

The odds for Asian handicaps might seem a little strange at first. Don’t worry, though – you’ll get used to them quickly. 

As in all sports betting, there will be a favorite and an underdog. With an Asian bookie handicap, the favorite will have a negative number, and the underdog will have a positive number. 

With Asian handicap odds, you start each matchup with a ‘fake score.’ For example, if you take Man City to win at -1.5, they’re effectively starting 1.5 goals down. Therefore, they must triumph by at least 2 goals for your wager to win. If you take their opponents at +3.5, then as long as they lose by 3 goals or fewer, you have a chance of winning. 

You can take whatever handicap you like here. Though, your odds will increase as you take riskier handicaps. For example, you’ll get a far better price for Man City -3.5 than for -0.5.

Examples of Asian Handicap Betting

After the previous sections, you should have a solid idea about Asian handicap bets. Let’s run through two quick examples to help tie everything neatly together, hitting on underdogs and favorites. 

Winning Example

Barcelona are playing newly-promoted Cadiz in La Liga, and are heavy favorites. You’re confident in a big win, so you take Barcelona -3.5. The odds are 2.15, and you bet MYR 100. 

Barcelona wins the game 4-0. The winning margin exceeded 3.5, so your bet also wins. Your return is MYR 215 (2.15*100). 

Losing Example

Barcelona are underdogs to Real Madrid in El Clasico. Their Match Result odds are solid, but you don’t think they’ll win. 

Instead, you bet on them keeping it close and take Barcelona +1.5 with a MYR 100 stake. Unfortunately, Barcelona lose 2-0 in the final score. This exceeds your 1.5 goal cushion, and you lose the bet and your stake. 

Different Types of Betting Markets with Asian Handicap

So far, we’ve examined the Asian handicap bet in its simplest terms. There are three types of Asian handicaps, but all are straightforward, as you can see below. 



This is the most common type of Asian handicap and the one we’ve focused on so far. As explained previously, it simply involves placing one bet on the outcome of your choosing. 


As the name suggests, a double Asian handicap involves two wagers, meaning your overall stake is split in half. The double will normally involve one whole number and one-half number. 

For example, you might bet Barcelona at -0.0 and -0.5. If the game finishes in a draw, your -0.0 will hit, and you’ll get a push. If Barcelona wins by at least one goal, your -0.5 will hit, and you’ll win your bet. 


The split (or ‘quarter’) handicap works in the same way as the double – it’s presented a little differently. Rather than take a -0.0/-0.5 double, for example, you would take a -0.25 split handicap. This will automatically give you the two closest 0.5 values on either side – in this case, -0.0 and -0.5. If you took a -2.75 split, you’d get -2.50 and -3, and so on. 

Once again, there are three main outcomes here. You can simply lose, push in the case of a draw, or win on the half-number portion of your handicap. 

Pros & Cons of Asian Handicap Betting

We don’t intend to persuade you to try Asian handicaps. We simply want to give you a balanced look at this bet type. In that spirit, here are the main advantages and disadvantages of this gambling. 


  • Asian handicaps give you far more control over your betting. Rather than saying a side will win, you can predict the winning margin
  • You can bet on teams to lose, which isn’t possible for regular Match Result picks
  • The ‘push’ offers some extra insurance on standard Asian handicaps, even if you don’t get your prediction quite right
  • Allows you to bet on heavy favorites whose Match Result odds are prohibitively low


  • They’re not ‘complicated’ by any means, but Asian handicaps aren’t as straightforward as regular Match Result bets. As such, there’s more room for error in your calculations
  • At a basic level, Asian handicaps are harder to win than Match Result picks. Even if you predict the general outcome of a game correctly, there’s no guarantee it’ll go exactly as you anticipated

Other Types of Handicap Bets at Malaysian Sportsbooks

We’ve already explained the basic difference between the two main handicaps – Asian and European. Briefly, you can bet the draw in European handicaps, while draws result in a push for Asian handicaps. 

Aside from that big divide, however, many other individual bet types are under the ‘handicap’ umbrella. Here are some of the most popular examples. 

Score Props

We’ve already looked at the handicap equivalent of the Match Result bet. While we’ve focused on football, this can apply to any sport involving a finishing score—you’re simply betting on the margin of victory. 

Aside from that, though, you can place all manner of score props. For example, the bookie might set the line for the number of points a basketball player scores or what a golfer will shoot in a round. You can then decide to handicap that amount positively or negatively and by how much. 

First Half/Second Half

Asian handicap first half betting

If you want to take your basic Asian handicaps to another level, this is a great way to do so. Picking a handicap correctly across an entire game is already challenging enough. However, with a First Half/Second Half pick, you must correctly handicap both the half-time and final margin to win your wager. 

Alternatively, you can pick the first half or second half individually. This can be useful if you know one side is a fast starter or tends to finish games strong.


You won’t find as many outright bets on Asian handicaps as for regular, fixed-odds wagers. There are some, though, with the main version being ‘league betting.’

This happens in points-based leagues (as opposed to cups, for example), where you handicap a team regarding their finishing position. For example, if you think a Premier League team will finish in or around the top spot, you might handicap them at around +5-10 points across the campaign. 

Popular Sports for Asian Handicap Betting

While handicaps don’t lend themselves to every sport, we’re pleased that most popular markets are covered. Here are three top examples for bettors at Malaysian sportsbooks


The world’s biggest betting market is also Malaysia’s most popular sport. Fortunately, football also enjoys the greatest volume of handicaps. 

Nowadays, all respectable bookies cover every professional football match of any reasonable quality. Asian handicaps are also an incredibly common bet type. You’ll almost always be able to get a simple handicap down on the result, and the bigger sites will also provide some of the alternatives mentioned in the previous section. 


Basketball enjoys similarly excellent coverage to football on Malaysian sportsbooks. You can bet on not only the NBA but other competitions worldwide, and – once again – Asian handicaps are available most of the time. Most commonly, these will involve betting on the final points margin, but you may also find player props (such as individual points totals) for the biggest matchups. 


Asian handicap betting on tennis

Tennis provides a steady stream of matchups to bet on throughout the year, with a whopping 64 ATP events. It also lends itself brilliantly to Asian handicaps. You’re often able to not only bet pre-match on the winning margin in terms of sets, but live bet the winning margin of games within each set too. Some sites will even let you place handicaps on the likes of aces, unforced errors, and more.  

Top Tips to Winning with Asian Handicap Bets

As with all forms of gambling, there’s no straightforward path to success with Asian handicap betting. That being said, here are a few steps you can take to boost your chances. 

  • Understand and Exploit the Concept

This is your first task. To get the most out of handicaps, you must recognize and exploit the fundamental differences between them and regular wagers. At a basic level, you’re not just thinking about winning and losing here – you’re thinking about winning and losing margins. This offers you far more opportunities but is undoubtedly harder to get right. 

  • Do Your Research

As noted, handicaps are harder to judge than straightforward fixed odds bets. Research is, therefore, even more important than ever. Fortunately, there’s an endless array of information online to help you. Form tables, player stats, injury news, expert betting tips – get your hands on as much of this as possible and make the most informed decisions. 

  • Manage Your Bankroll

This is just as important, if not more so than actually winning your bets. You can win as many wagers as you please, but one oversized, poorly-judged handicap can wipe all that out instantly. Take the time to determine your weekly or monthly bankroll and divide that on a bet-by-bet basis. Feel free to recalculate regularly, but – once you’ve set your maximum stake amount – you should never exceed it. 

  • Make Use of Live Betting

In-play betting is one of the most powerful tools in your arsenal—don’t neglect it. If you’re watching a game, remember to check the handicap odds. They’ll change constantly as the action proceeds, and if you strike at the right time, you can get far better value here than you would pre-game.

A Whole New Way to Wager

Asian handicap betting might sound intimidating or complicated. In reality, it’s neither. And – after reading this article – you should have the knowledge you need to give it a shot. Do so, and you’ll find a new world of gambling opportunities opening up, giving you unprecedented control over your sports betting. 

Start slowly, build up as you gain confidence, and – like many punters – you may find Asian handicaps becoming your new favorite bet type. 


What is the underdog in Asian handicap bets?

Which sports are good for Asian handicap betting?

What’s the difference between Asian and other handicaps?

What is a +1.5 Asian handicap?

Can I use Asian handicap betting at Malaysia sportsbooks?

Razak Yatim
Razak Yatim