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What is European Handicap Rules

What is European Handicap Rules

There is often an odds disparity when a match involves two teams that are far apart in terms of quality and performance. To resolve this bottleneck, online bookmakers introduced the European Handicap. This way, the odds associated with bets are more attractive.

Along with this bet type come certain rules too. Generally, the rules revolve around balancing the odds for both the favourite team and the underdog. This set of guidelines helps to govern the European Handicap bets, and this article provides a comprehensive dive into the key details.

Understanding European Handicap Rules

Getting a grasp of what this bet type is about might seem difficult. On the contrary, it’s quite simple, especially with the – and + coefficients that characterise the bets. One just needs to understand the logic.  

Bookmakers balance the odds by adding European Handicap, which comes as an integer with + or -. The team with the ‘-‘ is the favourite but are put at a disadvantage as they have to beat the underdog team with one goal more than the stated integer. 

The underdog team, which gets the ‘+,’ starts the game with an advantage of the indicated number of goals or points. To drive the point home, let’s take an example.

Example of European Handicap Bet

Consider a fixture from the Spanish La Liga between Real Madrid and Mallorca. Real Madrid is the favourite to win. The favouritism is based on a couple of reasons like the quality of players, the club’s financial situation, coach’s profile, current form etc. 

In the above case, going by the normal 1×2 market, the odds for Real Madrid winning would most likely be very insignificant. Therefore, for punters to make a significant profit, they would have to place a high stake. 

With the European Handicap, on the other hand, players can get higher odds for betting on Real Madrid. But the bigger odds come at a price. The bookmakers would create a handicap, for instance, -2. Here Real Madrid would have to win by more than 2 goals for the bet to win. This means at least a goal difference of 3.

This leads to the rules of European Handicap, which basically tell you when your bet won and when it is lost.

The European Handicap Rules

Taking the previous example of Real Madrid (-2) vs Mallorca (+2):

  • Your bet on Real Madrid – 2 wins when the team wins by 3 goals or more 
  • Your bet on Mallorca + 2 wins when the team wins the match, draws or loses by 1 goal. 

Note that as opposed to the Asian Handicap, a draw is possible with European Handicaps. So, there is a third result:

  • Your bet on Draw + 2 wins when Mallorca loses by exactly 2 goals, which is the same as Real Madrid winning by exactly 2 goals.

This 3-way bet applies to other sports too. However, in these sports, the handicap is based on other elements, not just goals. In Basketball, it is based on points scored, and in Tennis, it is based on games or sets won. You can also find European Handicap options for volleyball, handball, baseball and sometimes American football.

Stephen Olayanju
Professional casino content writer with 5 years of experience. He has been privileged to work with many popular casino brands, which are mostly ghostwritten. He’s a casino player and punter too, and has helped many players to get most out of gambling.
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