European Handicap – what is it?

man betting on phone

At times, the standings bring together in a single confrontation the clear favorite and the outsider. Such matches are not very interesting for fans to watch: the outcome can be predicted almost for sure. 

What is the European Handicap?

Anyone who has ever been to a P.E. lesson at school knows what a face-off is between teams of different ages. One team is noticeably stronger than the other, and there is no question of a winner. Only the final score is unknown. The junior varsity team tries to fight, but nothing works. The older team doesn’t try too hard and still wins.

There seems to be no motivation, no interest, no drive. At such a moment the teacher announces additional conditions of the game. The weaker team is given a head start before the game starts. That is, if the older team does not put in enough effort, they may lose. And in the eyes of the younger athletes lights up the fire of hope for victory.

The European Handicap has the same meaning. Its main purpose is to virtually level the playing field. In reality, of course, the favorite is sure to win. But in the odds table on the bookmaker’s website the picture becomes much more attractive for the player.

The essence of the European Handicap

The European Handicap is denoted as a pair of numbers in brackets. P2 (1:0) = 1.56 here, the match starts as if with a score of 1:0 in favor of the first team, and the player bets on a clean victory of the second team in regular time, taking into account this handicap.

That is, the real match should end with a margin of two goals in favor of the second team. Winning with one goal difference will not be enough for the player – then he will virtually get a draw, and he bet on a win. Of course, a draw or the victory of the first team will not suit the player: the bet will be lost.

Advantages for the player

European handicap allows to make a bet with an additional condition, which means that it becomes more difficult to guess the outcome of the match. In the confrontation of equal opponents it is not profitable, but if a clear outsider and a favorite meet, it is possible to increase the odds of your bet quite well, and the risk does not increase. This is used by advanced players who appreciate any risk-free increase in odds.

Odds higher than 5 in this table make no sense to consider. They are not very realistic. To choose a suitable handicap direction, you need to look at the composition of the teams before the match, read a couple of reviews and get acquainted with the statistics of the results of recent meetings.

The difference from the Asian Handicap

Asian Handicap is also a virtual handicap for one of the teams. Read more about the types of Asian Handicaps and methods of their calculation in this article.

Several key differences can be highlighted:

  • The philosophy of European handicaps is a little simpler. They are always whole. It is easy to imagine an advantage of one whole goal. Asian handicaps, on the other hand, can be non-zero, double, negative. It takes a little more imagination to feel them. Nevertheless, the underlying meaning of both types is the same.
  • European handicaps do not change the number of possible outcomes of an event. If you can bet on three outcomes without a handicap, then you can do the same with a handicap. In the Asian handicaps handicap handicap can be a non-zero handicap, which excludes the possibility of a draw.
  • European handicaps do not imply a bet refund in case of a draw. If you bet on a win, you only get the winnings. If there is a draw, you lose your bet. Asian handicaps are more loyal in this regard. In the case of a draw in a handicap bet, the player receives a refund at odds of one. That is, in fact, he does not lose anything. This reduces the player’s risks, and with them the profitability.


European handicaps are a very easy to understand type of betting on handicaps. It is better to use them in matches with opponents of very different classes so as not to get into an accidental draw. If in doubt, it is better to take an Asian handicap.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *