European handicap is a 3-way bet type where an integer number of goals is deducted from the favourite and added to the underdog. To calculate if your bet is a winner or not, you should sum the handicap on the final result. Bookmakers usually offer it in two formats on which you can bet on; for example, the home team -1 (plus/minus option) or the 0:1 (score form). The ΕΗ or 3-way handicap bet applies to low-scoring sports like football and baseball; it can increase the price value of your bets if you want to back a heavyweight favourite with a minus (-) handicap.
On the other hand, it’s a 3-way market where a draw also exists, a factor that affects your winning chances. Our European Handicap Explained section aims to help you fully understand the EH and calculate your bets accurately. Do you want to create new alternatives in betting, but it looks complicated to you? For bettors who believe they can make money from EH and want to learn more, here is a detailed guide to help you understand the market in-depth. Read the examples for this popular bet type and our bookmaker reviews for the full list of bookies offering the betting option.
European Handicap Meaning
The European handicap is a 3-way Win-Draw-Win bet, where a whole number is placed on the underdog with a positive (+) symbol in order to balance the scales with the favourite; the same number is placed with a minus (-) symbol on the opponent with the most winning chances. In order to grasp what EH is, you need to understand how it’s firmly identified among bookies.
Suppose you want to bet on the London derby between Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur for the English Premier League. The 1X2 odds set is 2.10 - 3.90 - 3.70. The European handicap effectively creates a WDW market with an adjusted number of goals, both for the favourite and the underdog. Bookies can present the bets in two forms based on the host/guest team.
The plus/minus option (+1 or -1, +2 or -2, etc.)
The score form (0:1 or 1:0, 0:2 or 2:0, etc.)
Now, taking as an example the +1 handicap, you can find the new odds and realise the European handicap meaning:
Arsenal -1 or Arsenal 0:1: If Arsenal wins by two or more goals, the bet wins.
Draw -1 or Draw 0:1: If Arsenal wins by exactly one goal margin, the bet wins.
Tottenham +1 or Tottenham 0:1: If Tottenham draws or wins the match, the bet comes through.
Euro Handicap Example for Higher Lines
Let’s take two more examples to ensure that you got the European handicap explained to the full extent. We will use higher lines and integer numbers 2 and 3, respectively, helping you comprehend how the odds are affected.
European Handicap 0:2
Football betting markets offer the underdog team’s goals based on their potential strength compared to the favourite. The same happens in other low-scoring sports where the EH applies, like baseball. Let’s take a European handicap 0:2 example based on the MLB game between the Boston Red Sox and the Baltimore Orioles, where the moneyline prices are 1.76 - 2.10 (an MLB game can’t end in a draw, whereas possible extra innings are included in these odds).
Boston Red Sox (-2) / Draw (-2) / Baltimore Orioles (+2)
- Boston Red Sox (-2): If you back Boston, you win if the Red Sox wins by three runs or more, at 4.35 odds.
- Draw (-2): In this case, you win if Boston wins by exactly two runs at 3.20.
- Baltimore Orioles (+2): The last option favours the Orioles, the dark horse of the game. Your bet will be considered a winning one at 1.58 odds if Baltimore wins the match or even if it loses by just one run.
European Handicap 0:3
Germany is playing at home against Andorra and has an almost 100% chance of winning the match. The 1X2 bet odds for a home win shouldn’t surpass 1.01. The European handicap favours underdogs Andorra with three goals as the main line, which Germany has to overcome in order to be considered the winner. This makes betting far more interesting as it’s harder to predict the outcome correctly. If the European handicap 0:3 applies, Germany will be the winner only if they win by four goals or more, at 1.55 odds. On the flip side, whoever backs Andorra, will win the bet even if they lose the game with less than three goals. The match will be a draw if Germany matches the EH and wins by exactly 3 goals.
How to bet on a 3-way handicap & win
Euro handicap isn’t more profitable than the Asian one because there are three options you have to face when you place a bet. The increased risk is balanced with better odds, which means higher profits if your 3-way handicap bet becomes successful. Do you want, for instance, to learn how to bet on football and win? Remember, It’s critical to avoid higher stakes or place several bets simultaneously. Before deciding which EH to wager on, follow our footprints, reducing your chance of failure.
Choose the sport
The European handicap applies in other sports besides football; however, the essence remains the same. For example, a points handicap exists in basketball betting, including a draw. In order to win a draw bet, the favourite must once again match the given handicap. We can also find it at tennis betting, on games-or even sets-difference, or on team sports like volleyball, handball and water polo; even on individual sports such as darts and snooker. High odds betting sites offer a European handicap option even on American sports, like ice hockey, baseball and American football. The key part here is to understand the sport; make a thorough analysis before each match on which you intend to use 3-way handicap betting.
Define the favourite’s strength
EH offers an alternative to betting, helping you understand the difference in strength between the favourite and the underdog in a match. It applies to many markets in all sports; goals, points, runs, total cards and head-to-head bets on stats (rebounds, fouls, tackles, passing yards). Follow our tips and understand where it’s optimal to build that strategy and how to bet and win it.
- You can back the favourite when there’s a huge quality difference, risking on a higher handicap line, meaning the team will have no difficulty scoring more goals/points/runs.
- Pick a favourite that’s coming from a shocking result, a defeat by an inferior opponent, a humiliating midweek Cup elimination or a massive loss at an international competition. If your research shows motivation to strike back, European handicap betting seems like a decent option.
- In the case of backing the underdog, look out for games where the favourite faces significant injury/suspension problems or has some real trouble, for instance, with the coach and his relations with the players.
Learn the handicap markets
We have mentioned team or individual sports which have a scoring system that differentiates two teams or players in a match. So, you can use betting markets that directly impact the scoreboard (e.g., goals, points, runs) or personal stats (e.g., cards, rebounds, hits, passing yards). Our experts have put together a handy list for your bets, collecting the main available markets for Euro handicap bets for each popular sport and avoiding similar ones such as Asian handicap over under.
Bet on better odds
The European handicap is offered as an alternative betting option on an increasing number of matches; even among opponents who, theoretically, have the same chances of winning. In this case, the EH isn’t used to balance the strength difference but to give more tempting odds to the favourites. Let’s say a Spanish La Liga Barcelona vs. Real Madrid derby has been scheduled on a neutral venue. If no significant absences exist, the odds should be around the same for both teams.
The best football bookmakers will offer higher and more attractive EH odds for the Clasico. For example, if a Barcelona win is offered at 2.20 in a 1X2 market, betting on European Handicap 0:1, the price for the Catalans would be over 3.50. The EH is recommended when analysis indicates a favourite’s win and you would like to wager on better odds with higher risk.
Do your research
Many bettors look for experts’ written analysis before placing their bets. The safest path is to take the advice of our football betting guides while also making your own research. Here are some tips to follow before taking an EH punt.
Recent form: Has the favourite enjoyed broad wins or narrow ones? Did the underdog play well in recent away matches, or did it lose by more than one goal? Answer these questions and then pick a line for European handicap betting.
Home/Away matches: Contenders’ current records indicate a significant behaviour, which you should get to know before betting.
Weather/Pitch conditions: In case of rain, the pitch becomes heavier in outdoor sports; so it’s more difficult for the favourite to overcome the handicap.
Motivation: Is the favourite motivated to win by more goals than one, or is it going to be a boring tie, as nothing is affected by the result? In all sports, it’s enough for teams and athletes to secure a win without counting the final score range.
Clubs’ relations: Are they hostile or friendly? In the case of a friendly crowd, higher lines for goals/points/runs should be avoided.
What is the difference between European & Asian Handicap
The EΗ is older than the Asian one, as it was already broadly used by European-based online bookies before the AH got popular. EH is always an integer number, which can be matched with a goal/point/run difference. Instead of placing an AH of -0,25, -1 or -1,75, the EH is always a -1, -2, -3 etc. In the Asian handicap, the main target is to get rid of the draw result (i.e., with a non-integer line, you can win or lose the bet). The European does have a draw, not an actual draw in a match, but matching the specific handicap which is set by all the betting sites and Asian bookmakers.
The absence of a winning draw result isn’t the only critical difference between Asian handicap and European handicap. When you place a bet on a -1 AH, if the favourite wins by one goal/point/run, you will get your money back, as the bet is considered void; you don’t win, yet you don’t lose either. On the other hand, if you place a -1 EH and your team wins by a single goal/point/run, you will lose your wager. That’s because, in European handicap betting, you can’t get your stake back. The only way you could have won that bet is if you had backed the draw option, expecting a one-goal/point/run margin win by the favourite; an option that doesn’t exist in the 2-way Asian Handicap.
Why you should avoid European Handicap Bets
The probability of a draw is one of the major drawbacks of the European handicap. It’s more convenient for bettors to place a wager with two possible outcomes to avoid dealing with 3-way bets, which reduce their winning chances. EH makes it simple for bookmakers to offer unfair prices. Remember, they earn profit by adding a VIG into the odds; in this type of bet, there are three probable outcomes, so a bigger profit for the house. Additionally, when using an EH, there is no possibility of seeing your initial stake returned or half-returned, as happens with Asian handicaps. To sum up, if you have been struggling to understand the AH fully or you are a beginner in betting, the European handicap isn’t the optimal market to start wagering.
Where to Bet on European Handicap lines
Our list of new online bookmakers comprises the best betting sites with the most competitive lines and highest odds. They offer the most options for European handicap betting in all sports, so follow them and start bolstering your bankroll by wagering on this handicap market.
EH is a single handicap while betting sites call it a 3-way handicap. It gives more options to bet on different sports markets, referring to goals, points, runs, cards, passing yards, etc. The integer number is given to the underdog possibility as a positive head start, increasing the odds value for the favourite and improving any potential winnings.
Suppose you bet on the EΗ 0:1 for a football match’s favourite. In order to win, the team you back should win by a minimum of two goals. Otherwise, your bet will become a loser; in the drawing case, where the team you bet on wins by one goal, the Draw (-1) option takes the money. The third option can be successful if your favourite’s opponent EH (+1), doesn’t lose.
Several bettors choose to bet on EH to take advantage of this difference, the draw result. They back the favourite to cover the exact integer digit (e.g., in case of 1 goal handicap, the favourite to win by one goal). It’s a high-risk/reward bet, as players seek higher-range scores to win, but the offered odds are worthy of trying.
Βetting on Asian handicaps, you can find lines such as +1,25, +1,75, or +2, while EH bets can only have integer +1, +2, or +3 lines. In an AH football market of Team A (-1) / Team B (+1), if Team A wins by exactly one goal, the result is a push, and the bookies refund both stakes. On the flip side, when it comes to EH, a one-goal win for Team A is a loss for the Team A (-1) and Team B (+1) bets; only the Draw (-1) wins in that case.
Suppose your strategy includes backing stronger teams to win, usually at home; in that case, you should take a closer look at European handicaps. In football, you can earn a hefty profit by finding matches where the home team is expected to win by more than one goal. The odds difference could be massive, affecting your bankroll. Let’s take a European handicap example; 1.25 odds on a favourite could be replaced by 1.70 prices for the same team winning by two goals or more.
Many team and individual sports are available for European handicap betting. Football tops the list since it’s a low-scoring sport where even a goal can determine the match winner. However, there are other team sports where you can bet on EH, such as basketball, American football, ice hockey and baseball. For individual games, tennis and snooker include handicap betting markets.