In a handicap bet, the bookmaker grants the supposed weaker team a lead, which in the following will be added to the actual outcome. As a result the team thought of as favorite will start with a draw of 0:0, but actually will already be behind with 0:1 before the game has even started. If the favorite wins with 1:0, the result of the bet, after subtracting the handicap, will be 1:1. So important for actual winnings is not the official final score, but rather the score as well as the added goals from the handicap. This type of bet on the one hand side is used to higher the chance of a draw between the teams, on the other hand to raise the odds for a win of the favorite.
The lead given in a handicap bet is not restricted to only one goal. The favorite team can start into the game with a handicap of 2 goals and higher.
Lets take a deeper look at a handicap bet, using a practical example. Lets say FC Bayern Munich meets Eintracht Frankfurt in the German DFB-Pokal. A win with a normal 3-way-bet of Munich gives us odds of 1.5 for a victory, 4.0 for a draw and 6.0 for a loss. Since we are totally convinced that Munich will win the game, instead of a usual 3-way-bet, we want a handicap bet with a one-goal lead for Frankfurt. The betting odds change to 2.5 for a win, 4.0 the draw and 4.0 for a loss. In our example the official result is 3:0 for the german record champion, after subtracting the handicap a 2:0 for Munich will remain. In this case our bet was a success.
Here is a table to illustrate how the end result varies based on a handicap bet.
||result with handicap – 1|
For the advanced better there is another type of handicap bets, the Asian-handicap, which – as the name reveals – is very popular in Asian countries.