European Handicap

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Many online punters will be familiar with the Asian Handicap as it is extremely popular throughout the world. However, prior to the popularity rise of the Asian Handicap we already had the European Handicap in place at European based online bookmakers. Continue below where you can find out more about the European handicap and how it is used.

1. What is the 3-way Handicap/European Handicap?

The European Handicap is a 3 way bet and, in that respect, it is similar to the standard 1X2 betting market you would use to place a bet on something such as a football match. Being a 3 way bet, the European handicap is also known by many people as a 3-way Handicap. Whenever you are looking for this bet type online you must be aware that it will be referred to by both names.

The European Handicap/3-way Handicap is used on a sporting bet where one team is the huge favourite to win. A handicap advantage is placed on the weaker team for the purposes of the bet to make the match more interesting for gambling purposes.

handicap betting three way

It is possible to place a bet on the weaker team to win with their advantage or the stronger team to win with their disadvantage. If you wish, you can also bet on the match to finish in a draw. Having this third option is the main difference between the European Handicap/3-way Handicap and the Asian Handicap.

However, before we look at the difference between the two handicap bets, let's take a closer look at exactly how the European Handicap/3-way Handicap bet works.

2. How Does the 3-way Handicap/European Handicap Work?

The best way to understand exactly how the European Handicap/3-way Handicap bet works is by using an example. For this example, let’s use an international football match between France and Bulgaria. Below you will find the handicap odds for this match:

  • France (-1) 1/16
  • Draw (-1) 10/1
  • Bulgaria (+1) 20/1

You can see that by using the 3-way Handicap/European Handicap bet, there are three potential outcomes for this game. If France win the match by 2 or more goals, the France (-1) is the winner. If the game finishes level or Bulgaria win then the Bulgaria (+1) is the winner. If France win the match by exactly one goal then the Draw (-1) is the winner.

So, regardless of the final score in the match the bet will be settled. The majority of leading online bookmakers will have a selection of 3-way Handicap/European Handicap bets for most football matches. In addition to the example above you will also find odds for +/- 2, 3 and 4 goals.

3. Difference between 3-way Handicap and Asian Handicap

While the above statement regarding having the third option of a draw being the main difference between the 3-way handicap and the Asian Handicap is correct, there is slightly more to be explained in regard to this difference.

european handicap betting

For example, let's say you have placed a -1 Asian Handicap bet on a football match between Liverpool and Norwich City. Liverpool are the massive favourites to win the game and they come out on top but by the narrow margin of 1-0. The outcome of this bet is considered a ‘Push’ as you have not won but not lost the bet. Therefore, you do not win anything but you have not lost anything as you will receive your initial stake back.

When using the European Handicap market, there is no possible outcome that will see you have your initial stake returned. As highlighted in the example involving France and Bulgaria above, regardless of the outcome the bet will be settled.

If you have been struggling to fully understand the Asian Handicap or you are just beginning to bet on handicap markets, the 3-way Handicap/European Handicap is a good place to start.

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