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Asian Handicap betting: The Gloria Clemente school of soccer betting

Do yo love soccer, but simple results like “winning” and “losing” aren’t enough for you when betting? Then Asian Handicap wagering just might be for you!

Chelsea’s Billy Gilmour during the Premier League match between Chelsea FC and Everton FC at Stamford Bridge on March 8, 2020 in London, United Kingdom. Photo by Stephanie Meek - CameraSport via Getty Images

“Sometimes when you win, you really lose, and sometimes when you lose, you really win; and sometimes when you win or lose, you actually tie; and sometimes when you tie, you actually win or lose. Winning or losing is all one organic mechanism, from which one extracts what one needs.”
— Gloria Clemente, played by Rosie Perez, in White Men Can’t Jump

If the speech of future Jeopardy champion and Billy Hoyle’s girlfriend in the best basketball movie of the 90s speaks to your soul, then Asian Handicap betting is likely for you!

I’m sorry, Asian Handicap?

Correct. The term originated in Indonesia, for what was known as hang cheng betting. In 1998, Indonesian bookmaker Joseph Phan asked English journalist Joe Saumarez Smith to come up with an English term to translate hang cheng betting. Smith recognized the handicapping nature of what Phan was doing, and decided there was no need to get too creative with the term.

What is an Asian Handicap?

Asian Handicaps developed because of the limited amount of goals often scored in soccer matches. Bettors were looking for a way to place wagers, but also not be completely at the mercy of the Football Gods when it comes to goals scored. A team can often have a dozen or more terrific scoring opportunities and still not find the back of the onion bag after 90 minutes. So Asian Handicap helps to reduce some of that variance.

While some parts of an Asian Handicap chart work just as other forms of betting you’re familiar with, it’s the quarter points that change everything. What’s the difference between 0.5 goals and 0.75 goals when every goal ever scored in soccer history counts as a full integer? That’s what we’re here to explain!

Here’s what an Asian Handicap chart might look like for a usual soccer game:

Team A -3 +1000
Team B +3 -1667

Team A -2.75 +600
Team B +2.75 -835

Team A -2.5 +425
Team B +2.5 -560

Team A -2.25 +380
Team B +2.25 -500

Team A -2 +330
Team B +2 -435

Team A -1.75 +220
Team B +1.75 -275

Team A -1.5 +163
Team B +1.5 -200

Team A -1.25 +128
Team B +1.25 -157

Team A -1 -104
Team B +1 -115

Team A -0.75 -141
Team B +0.75 +117

Team A -0.5 -180
Team B +0.5 +148

Team A -0.25 -265
Team B +0.25 +210

Team A +1 -2500
Team B -1 +1400

Team A +0.75 -1000
Team B -0.75 +700

Team A +0.25 -560
Team B -0.25 +420

Team A pk -480
Team B pk +360

Team A +0.25 -560
Team B -0.25 +420

Team A +0.5 -670
Team B -0.5 +480

Team A +0.75 -1000
Team B -0.75 +700

Team A +1 -2500
Team B -1 +1400

Team A +1.25 -2500
Team B -1.25 +1500

Team A +1.5 -3335
Team B -1.5 +1600

Team A +1.75 -10000
Team B -1.75 +2400

We can hear you now: “I am overwhelmed by these options!!” But don’t be, as everything you see with a full digit (+1, -2, etc) is just like you’d lay points in football or basketball: You’re either getting one goal, laying two goals, etc, for the match.

It’s the same for any bet ending in .5: those are just a half goal either way. If the match ends Red Team 2, Blue Team 1 and you have the Blue Team +1.5, you’re a winner. It’s just with Asian caps, you have more options to put your money down on what you think is going to happen.

Now for the tricky part

If a number ends in .25 or .75, you are actually making two wagers. Whatever amount you bet will be split by the half goal and full goal the number you’re betting is in between. Let’s give an example from the chart above:

Red Team -0.75 -141
Blue Team +0.75 +117

You’ve decided to bet $20 on Team B +0.75 goals at +117. Here’s how your bet looks when divided:

$10 on Blue Team +0.5 goals at +117
$10 on Blue Team +1 goals at +117

So if the game ends in a tie, you win both bets: because you have +0.5 goals and +1 goals, you’re a winner both ways. You’ll get your original $20 back, as well as an additional $23.40 ($11.70 twice).

But if the Blue Team loses 5-4, you only lose half your money: your +0.5 goals is no good, but your +1 goals is a push, and that money is refunded to you. You’ll lose $10 on the first bet, but be refunded $10 on the second bet. A rebate! Sort of!

This is why Asian Handicapping can work better for you: it helps mitigate the inherent risk of what can happen in a game where the sample size of goals can be so small.

Asian Handicapping for over/unders or totals

It’s the same thing. Betting $10 over 2.75 (+100) goals means you’re betting half your wager on 2.5 goals, and half your wager on 3 goals. If the final score is 2-1, you’ll win the 2.5 goals bet for $50, and push the 3 goals bet and be refunded. After the third goal is scored, you’re already a winner, and a fourth goal would double the size of your victory.

This seems easy! Why doesn’t everyone do this?

A fantastic question. But give it a whirl today and make your next game of (association) football a bit more fun via wagering. And make sure you pick a quarter-point option, as the sweat between a win-push and a win-win is undoubtedly the best in all of sports.

Remember what Gloria said: “sometimes when you tie, you actually win or lose.” With Asian Handicaps, truer words have never been spoken.

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