Handicaps Sports Betting Guide

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What is Handicap Betting?

Handicap betting is a popular type of betting that involves adding or subtracting a value from a team or the event’s final score. Some handicap markets level out the playing field and add value for a team to win or lose a match, completely changing the landscape of how you’re betting on a match-up.

A superior team may be short odds and realistically have a solid chance of winning the match. Therefore, you may find more value in using the handicap markets for the match, backing them to win over a certain margin to get more appealing odds.

Whether you're a sports betting expert, or a casual bettor, you can bet on both Asian and European handicaps on a wide variety of sporting events at Stake Sportsbook.

How Does Handicap Betting Work?

Regular handicap markets are typically split into two. Some of them use whole numbers, and others use half numbers.

When using whole numbers, there are three outcomes. A win, loss or a push.

In this instance, a push (or a void) means you get your money back. If in a multi-bet , the leg gets taken out of the bet, and the odds are adjusted accordingly.

Different Types of Handicap Betting Markets?

There are two main types of handicap bets: Asian and European (classic 3-way). Let's dive deeper into these two different forms of betting.

What is Asian Handicap Betting?

Asian handicap betting are the only handicaps with quarter numbers, which can be quite confusing. Four outcomes can come from these bets: Win, loss, half-win or half-loss. This is unique in the plethora of sports betting. Bets can be placed on a quarter number such as 0.25, 0.75, 1.25, etc., or bettors can place a split handicap, where the handicap is split into two separate bets. Asian handicaps should not be confused with Asian totals , which relate to total goals or points markets.

What is European Handicap Betting?

European handicap betting is a classic 3-way bet type (win-draw-lose). In European handicap markets, a whole number of points or goals is added to the underdog (weaker team) and therefore subtracted from the favourite (stronger team). Bettors also have a handicap tie option, which involves betting on a game with a win for the team which has received the deficit, by an exact winning margin.

What Sports Use Handicap Betting?

You can place handicap bets on a range of sports, including the following:

Soccer Handicap Betting

Let’s use Liverpool vs Manchester United as an example of handicap betting on a soccer match. If you’ve bet on Manchester United +1 goal handicap, you must add 1 goal to their final score. If they are winning after that goal is added, your bet wins. However, using this example, let’s say the outcomes below are taken at the exact full-time score.

Manchester United +1: If Manchester United win or draw, your bet is a winner. If they lose by 1 goal, your bet will be voided (pushed), and you will get your money back. If they lose by 2+ goals, your bet has lost.

Conversely, betting on Liverpool -1 means subtracting one goal from their score.

Liverpool -1: If Liverpool lose, your bet is a loss. If they win by 1 goal, your bet is voided. If they win by 2+ goals, your bet is a winner.

When half numbers are added to handicap markets, it simply eliminates the possibility of your handicaps resulting in a tie. This means the element of voiding or pushing a bet does not exist. Therefore, there will be two outcomes in this scenario.

Manchester United +1.5: If Manchester United lose by two or more goals, the bet is a loss. If Manchester United lose by 1 goal or draw/win, the bet is a winner.

Liverpool -1.5: If Liverpool win by 2+ goals, the bet is a winner. If Liverpool win by 1 goal or draw/lose, the bet is a loss.

For the most up to date information, check out our ultimate soccer betting guide .

Rugby Handicap Betting

Fundamentally, rugby handicap bets are the same as soccer or football handicap betting. However, as point scoring is different, you will notice a difference in how rugby handicap bets are presented.

For instance, you might bet on England to beat Italy with a 13.5+ handicap. England would have to win the fixture by 14 points or more for your bet to be successful.

Golf Handicap Betting

As golf is an individual sport, the players within the field are handicapped accordingly. So, for instance, if you bet on Justin Thomas to win the US Open with a handicap of +3, he would need to win the tournament by at least three shots for your bet to be successful.

Note that golf handicap betting is different from having a handicap in golf!

Tennis Handicap Betting

In tennis , handicap bets can be presented as games or sets. If you back a player with a 1-set handicap, they must overcome this to win the match outright. However, if you bet on a player with a game handicap, they must overcome this deficit to win the set outright.

You can also place handicap bets on other sports like American football , Aussie Rules Football and high-profile matches in competitions like the UEFA Champions League .

What is the Difference Between Handicap Betting & Spread Betting?

A handicap bet is the same as a spread bet. The difference is that in the American betting market, handicap bets are typically referred to as spread bets or simply as “the spread.”

Advantages of Handicap Betting

Some of the benefits of handicap sports betting are as follows:

  • It’s a great way of wagering on the stronger team, as the weaker team is given a theoretical advantage in a handicap bet. This typically gives you better odds when making your selections.

  • A handicap is a type of bet that’s easy to understand. The number given indicates how many points or goals the team needs to overcome for your bet to succeed.

  • You can opt for Asian handicap bets (-1.5 goals, for instance) or European handicap bets (-1 goal, for example), depending on how you see the match going.

  • There are different types of handicap bets, such as three-way handicaps and draw handicaps, which you can incorporate into your sports betting strategy.

Live Betting with Handicaps

As well as upcoming sporting events, there are also several live betting handicap options to consider, tied to wagers like an outright winner and margin of victory. You can place live handicap bets on football matches, golf tournaments, and other sporting events as the action is taking place at Stake.com.

Handicap Betting Odds & Payouts

The odds are subject to change in the build-up to any sporting event. This is also true for live betting, so you need to be aware of the market’s potential fluctuation when making your selections.

You will earn a payout according to the odds you have been given should your prediction come true. So, for instance, if you bet 100.00 on Manchester City +1 to beat Arsenal and City win 2-0 at odds of +250, you would win your handicap bet and earn a payout of 250, plus your stake back.

How to Deposit & Withdraw Funds for Sports Betting on Stake

Easily deposit crypto units into your account in order to place handicap bets and other sports wagers by following these simple steps:

  1. Step 1 - Retrieve your deposit address, located in Wallet > Deposit.

  2. Step 2 - Choose the method that suits your needs. Stake.com supports multiple cryptocurrencies , including Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Dogecoin (Doge), Litecoin (LTC), and others.

  3. Step 3 - Use your deposit address as the ‘send to’ location for your crypto wallet or exchange.

  4. Step 4 (Optional) - If you wish to make a deposit via fiat currency, you can buy crypto for Stake via Moonpay.

Be sure to read our crypto security and crypto coin guides to learn more. Stake.com offers live support to customers via our support staff for help with issues regarding sports betting.

Moonpay supports multiple payment options , including Visa, Mastercard, Apple Pay, Google Pay, and others, to buy cryptocurrency to place sports wagers. For a full list of supported payment methods, please refer to the Moonpay documentation.

You can process your winnings instantly at Stake.com and withdraw via your chosen payment method. Check out our supported deposit and withdrawal methods to help you get started.

Final Things to Consider: Sports Betting Rules, Regulations & Security

Sports betting should be fun, so gamble responsibly and bet within your limits. You can refer to our full terms and conditions for more information before placing handicap bets and other popular forms of bets at Stake.com.

If you consider yourself a new sports bettor, or want to gain more betting knowledge, learn more with our sports betting blogs or check out our elite tips to get started. Our sports betting guide also contains helpful information to help you pick winners throughout the season.

There are no shortage of bet types on Stake.com. If you're looking for new betting options, read our guides to teaser betting and round robin betting .

Check out some of our more in depth sports guides including how betting odds work, explaining the vig and even a list of the unique sports to bet on!