From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
An Asian Handicap (simply because of its Eastern origins) is a gambling term used to describe spread betting in soccer that has gained popularity over the years.
The Asian handicap system eliminates any chance for loss due to a tie, which increases the gamblers' chances of success (or loss).
From a mathematical point of view, the gamblers' chances of success is same as in fixed odds betting. Bookmakers adjust Asian handicap odds (decrease a favorite team's odd and increase the opposite odd) more frequently than fixed odds, thereby charging the gamblers more Vigorish for the more probable outcome and reaching the break-even situation more quickly.
When break-even situation is reached, a gambler always has equal 50-50 chances of winning like playing a pure game of luck. As a result, on the long run he/she will lose out by paying commissions to bookmakers. A professional Asian handicap gambler must therefore place his/her bets early before the advantages are evened out by adjustment of odds, but by doing so sometimes the gambler inevitably gains and analyzes less information of the match.
Football (called soccer in the US and Canada) is one of the few sports in the world where a tie is a fairly common outcome. With traditional fixed odds, ties are treated as an additional outcome to the game. In other words, bettors lose when they place a wager on either team to win and the game ties. With Asian Handicaps, however, the chance for a tie is eliminated by use of a handicap that forces a winner. This creates a situation where each team has a 50-50 chance of winning; similar to the odds for a basketball or baseball game where a tie is impossible.
This system works in a straight-forward manner. The bookmakers goal is to create a handicap or "line" that will make the chance of either team winning (considering the handicap) as close to 50% as possible. Since the odds are as close to 50% as possible, bookmakers offer payouts close to even money, or 1.90 to 2.00. Asian Handicaps start at a quarter goal and can go as high as 2.5 or 3 goals in matches with a huge disparity in ability. What makes Asian Handicaps most interesting is the use of quarter goals to get the "line" as close as possible. Taken in conjunction with the posted total for the game, the handicap essentially predicts the game's final score. Take a look at this example:
Match: Everton vs. Newcastle United
Handicap: 0 : 1 1/2
Explained: This handicap states that Everton is "giving" Newcastle one and one half goal for the match.
What this means is that Newcastle is starting the game with a 1.5-0 lead. If the final score of the game is 2-1 to Everton, then a bet on Newcastle wins with the final score (considering handicap) as 2-2.5.
Subsequently, many matches are handicapped in ½ and 1/4 intervals; both of which eliminate the possibility of a tie since no one can score a half-goal. Quarter (1/4) handicaps split the bet between the two next closest 1/4 intervals. For instance, a $1000 bet with a handicap of 1 3/4 is the same as betting $500 at 1 ½ and $500 at 2. With 1/4 handicap bets, you can win and tie (win 1/2 of wager) or lose and tie (lose 1/2 wager). The ¼-goal handicap may be expressed by some bookmakers as "0 and ½", or (especially for bookmakers whose systems are designed for sports like American football and basketball (where bets have a handicap that is designed to make the odds as close to even as possible)) as "pk (for "pick-em") and ½".
Whole Handicaps and Ties
Handicaps that are whole numbers still allow bets to be refunded in the case of the match being drawn once the handicap is factored in.
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