Updated at March 22, 2022

A handicap is an artificial leveling of opponents’ chances to win. When the athletes/teams are unequal in strength, one of them is given an advantage or attributed a lag, expressed in numbers (odds). This is the handicap.

These bets are most commonly placed in soccer; they are also used by bettors in basketball, handball, and tennis.

Types of handicaps:

  • negative (or minus);
  • zero;
  • positive (plus).

A minus handicap is given to the favorite. It means that the stronger team must not only win the match but also achieve a certain advantage over the opponent.

A plus handicap means that if the weaker team retains the virtual advantage obtained, the bet on it will bring profit.

A zero handicap can win when the favorite of the match is not clearly stronger (the day before the leading player was injured, the team does not have a clear mood to win, etc.).

There are three types of handicaps:

  • European (integers are used).
  • Asian (quarter odds).
  • Half numbers are used.

The result of the betting depends on the type of handicap. If handicaps 2, 3, and others are allowed, in case they are exceeded/understated, the bookmaker wins, and if the result corresponds to the figure, the bettor gets the bet amount back. 

For example, the player took F (+2), and the team on which the bet was made, lost with a difference of three goals or more – the money goes to the sportsbook. If such a team lost with a difference of exactly two goals, neither the bettor nor the bookie wins, and the funds will return to the personal deposit of the client.

With handicaps of 0.25 and 0.75 as a return, you can get half the amount, with 0.5 a draw between the client and the office, in any case, will not work, and only one of them will win.

Asian handicap with quarter odds is a relatively new method, and is not particularly popular among experienced players, as it takes time to calculate.

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Content author
Irina Sherbul

I am writing about betting since 2015. Put on dotat and table tennis