Asian handicap in sports betting

There is a great variety of betting options offered by modern bookmakers, but the one that stands out is the so-called Asian Total. And despite the fact that in the past bettors were rather cautious and hesitant towards this market, today it is gaining more and more popularity. As it often happens, the rules and specifications of Asian Total may sound complicated in the beginning, but a closer look makes things clear and straightforward.

To begin with, let’s start with defining what the “Total” is. The “Total” in the betting world is the total amount of anything – whether this is the total penalties, total fouls, total corners in football and of course total goals. There are always two variants of a Total: “Total Over” (TB) and “Total Under” (TM) accompanied by a numerical indicator which can vary (1.5, 2.5, 3.5 etc). The European Total is more traditional, in that the bet either wins or loses and there is no possibility for refund.

For example, betting on “Total over 3.5” on a hockey match, you will win if the teams overall score at least four goals – as four is the first integer number greater than 3.5. If betting on “Total under 3.5”, you will win if the teams score no more than three pucks – with three being the first integer number lower than 3.5.

The Asian Total is fundamentally different from the European when it comes to the numeric indicator and the bet is calculated in a different way as well. In the Asian Total, the indicator either ends with .25 and .75 or is generally denoted as the sum of two bets (0.5 and 1.0). The following examples are all in terms of performance, since the Asian Total is most popular for total goals scored. 

The European Total can be termed as regular, half or simple, while the Asian Total can be termed as quarter, specifically due to the fact that the indicator is a quarter more or less than an integer.  So it is like:  “The total of goals scored is more than 2.25”. Some bookmakers make the entry more simple “The total of goals scored is more than 2.0;2.5”.

But what does this mean for the bettor? It means that his bet is automatically divided into two parts, with one half placed on “Total goals over 2” and the second half placed on “Total goals over 2.5”.

Here, the bettor will win if the teams score at least three goals. However, in the Asian Total there are three possible outcomes for the event, unlike the traditional “Total over 2.5”, where there are only two possible outcomes. These three outcomes are:

  • At least three goals are scored – the bet is won;
  • Exactly two goals are scored. Here half of the bet is lost (the half placed on “Total over 2.5” and the remaining half (the half placed on “Total over 2” is refunded);
  • None or one goal is scored – the bet is lost.

Similar scenarios will develop in the case of “Asian Total over 2.75”, in which there are two bets – “Total over 2.5” and “Total over 3”. This bet wins if at least four goals are scored, half is returned if three goals are scored and loses if two or less goals are scored.

And the “Asian total less” works in a similar way. For example, betting on “Total less than 3.75” means placing two bets – “Total less than 4” and “Total less than 3.5”. The bet wins if a maximum of three goals is scored, half is returned if four goals are scored and loses if five or more goals are scored.

The basic advantage of Asian Total is that it comprises higher odds compared to the regular Total, while you risk only half of your bet. This is the main reason why this bet is so popular amongst fans.