European Handicap:What Is It, Tips and Real-life Examples

Sports betting continues to emerge in the betting industry due to its impact on helping bettors to define their financial goals.

 To talk about sports betting, there are hundreds, even thousands of options available to choose from, and one of them is the European Handicap, also known as the 3-way betting.

In a previous post, we discussed about Asian Handicap, its nuances, and how to apply it to bet in real-time. 

We also mentioned European Betting and today, we will be discussing everything you need to know about the European Handicap betting option.

Key Takeaway

  • European Handicap prioritizes the weaker team, making it hard for the clear favorite to match up the advantage.
  • In European Handicaps, the lower the point the higher the reward which leads to higher risk, and vice-versa

What is Europan Handicap Betting?

Just like regular 1×2 betting, the European Handicap offers 3-way betting, allowing players or bettors who are looking for a careful, strategic way of betting to achieve their financial goals. This betting option brings flexibility into sports betting, creating a leveling ground for teams, most especially the underdogs.

European Handicap betting is super straightforward for OGs in the game but may be a bit difficult to understand for beginners. We will explain more in a simple language.

Elaborating European Handicap

As mentioned earlier, the European handicap offers three-way betting options which mean Home win, draw, and Away win. Hold up, it is not the same as moneyline betting, instead, it is a more strategic and simply complex way of betting. 

European Handicap provides odds for both the favorite and the underdog. Its draw is similar to that of the “draw no bet”. Don’t stress too much trying to understand, it will become clearer before your eyes as you dig into this guide.

Usually, in sports betting, there is a favorite team and an underdog. Bettors mostly wager their stake in their favorite team since they are quite strong. However, in some cases where there is an even match that involves two big teams, it is hard to tell who will win in this type of match. This is where the beauty of EH (European Handicap) comes in.

The European Handicap betting option allows you to place either a +1 or +2 goal advantage on the less-stronger team, this way, you have a more leveling ground in the match which means your team may lose by one goal margin but your ticket will be won due to goal advantage.

Conversely, the favorite team can also be handicapped, that’s where the negative handicaps come in. This will be explained as we go further!

What is European Handicap -1

Among the integers offered by European Handicap is -1 Handicap. This option means a negative one, in other words, it is called a one-goal deficit. This integer is offered by the bookmaker and placed upon a favorite team, and its function is to put the favorite team in a single-goal debt. So it means the favorite team owes one goal.

For this bet to be marked as successful, the favorite team will need to return the goal deficit and score an extra winning goal. In this case, the favorite team needs to win with at least a 2:0 margin. One of the goals for the debt refund, and the other goal will serve as the winning goal. If they fail to score up to two goals margin, the bet will be considered a loss.

What Happens a Match Ends at Draw

In the case of a draw…. This is one of the factors that set European Handicaps apart from the Asian Handicaps, and get people confused. Since the EH is a 3-way betting, in case of a draw where the real-life score levels up with the handicap point on a player’s bet slip, the match will be considered a loss. However, the player or bettor’s stake will be refunded back to their account.

What Does European Handicap +2 Mean?

In handicap betting, any integer that begins with a positive (+) sign means an advantage. In other words, it means you are putting a team in favor of goal(s) ahead of the other team.

Let’s take for example, we have Team A and Team B. If Team A happens to be the underdog team (weak team), and Team B is the favorite for that match. If you stake the +2 handicap on the home team (Team A), it means you are tipping Team A with a two-goal advantage ahead of Team B.

For you to win this bet, Team A needs to end the match in a draw or lose by only a single goal margin. If they get defeated by more than two goals, the bet will be considered lost.

4 Essential Tips for Placing Successful European Handicap Bets

Because European handicap bets are 3-way and Asian handicap bets are 2-way, European handicap is, as we have already shown, a little riskier than Asian handicap. Therefore, understanding how to gamble is crucial before you ever consider doing so. As a result, we will provide you with some essential guidance on how to make profitable EH wagers.

Tip 1: Choose Wisely

Selecting carefully is perhaps one of the best pieces of advice from today’s post. It matters a lot which of the thousands of daily events that online bookmakers offer the European Handicap Market for you to wager on. Some may seem lovely, but they are completely worthless. Thus, you should only include the occurrences that you are certain about.

Tip 2: Thorough Research

The second piece of advice is linked to the previous one: regardless of whether you are putting single or accumulator bets, you cannot make an informed decision without learning more about each game. Therefore, you must thoroughly investigate any event before adding it to your bet slip. 

Expert gamblers who are turning a large profit mostly rely on their research abilities. Most of them only wager on a match they can predict for sure what is likely to happen because they already know the ups and downs of the game and the league in general. Even if you are yet to be an expert, act like one and make a thorough investigation.

We suggest that you begin by keeping an eye out for the big items, such as:

  • Which of the teams is more likely to go home with a victory
  • What sort of match is it, a qualifier, cup, or a race to win or escape relegation?
  • Players injury status
  • Home team advantage

Tip 3: Look for Better Odds

In addition to providing you with superior odds for favorites against underdogs, the European Handicap system may also be quite effective in even matchups involving two major teams. The best match for this scenario is El-Classico between Barcelona and Real Madrid, one of the biggest rivalry matches in the world. Bookmakers will likely offer similar odds of 2.30 for either club to win.

This kind of match is usually tough and the scoreline is always tight. Both teams may end up with either a draw or a narrow chance of winning. A handicap +2 is great for this kind of match however the odd may be small, remember, the higher the handicap point, the smaller the odd, and the lesser the handicap point, the higher the odds given.

Tip 4: Try different Sports

We advise you to utilize the European Handicap in the sport you understand perfectly. That way you can easily pick and be sure of the possible outcome. EH betting in football can be simple due to the fact that you can tell how many goals are possible to be scored, but in sports like basketball where the handicap is given by point, it may be quite difficult to predict.

It will take a guru to utilize EH perfectly when betting on the basketball team. You may also try sports like ice hockey.

Risk and Benefits of European Handicap 

While European Handicap betting may seem like a careful and strategic way of betting, it has its pros and cons and we will be shedding light on these risks of betting on the European Handicaps, as well as the benefits.


  • The situation on the real-life match field may not be the same as that of your bet
  • In European Handicaps, the lower the point the higher the reward which leads to a higher risk
  • It can be risky when a handicap is placed on a weaker team as the point may be outscored by the favorite
  • Picking handicap +1 for an underdog team may be difficult to win, as there is a tendency for the underdog to lose by one goal margin or more


  • European Handicap makes it possible to wager on an underdog and ensures a possible edge
  • European Handicap can be very valuable for punters who understand team performance and possible outcomes, odds can be gauged
  • It increases the odds and provides a third option in the market for any game


European Handicap betting introduces a strategic layer to the world of sports wagering, combining the thrill of traditional outcomes with the nuanced adjustments of handicaps. Armed with a solid understanding of team dynamics, recent form, and the implications of selected handicaps, you can navigate the complexities of European Handicap betting with confidence. As with any form of betting, responsible gambling practices are essential for a satisfying and enjoyable experience. So, step into the world of European Handicap with knowledge, strategy, and a dash of excitement.


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