Change your location

{{ c.title }}

European Handicap Explained – What is European Handicap Betting [2024]

There are many different types of ways that you can bet on sports, and the European handicap is one such option.

In fact, this type of bet is becoming more popular. The European handicap system does take some getting used to, though, which is why we are here with our European handicap guide.

If you want to understand European handicap betting and learn how to incorporate it into your sports betting strategy effectively, then our guide is all you need.

We will show you in the ins and outs of using this method for football betting, and explain how it can be used for other sports, too. With that said, let’s begin…

Best Bookmakers for European Handicap Betting in 21 June 2024 – Updated List

Safe & Trusted
Get Started
Exclusive 10% Rakeback
Rating 9.99 out of 10
100% up to 500 €/$/£
Rating 9.95 out of 10
Welcome bonus on your 1st deposit up to 100 EUR
Rating 9.93 out of 10
Exclusive: 130% up to €143
Rating 9.90 out of 10
100% bonus up to €122
Rating 9.80 out of 10
100% up to €100
Rating 9.65 out of 10
Exclusive: 100% up to €130
Use Promocode: JUDGE
Rating 9.52 out of 10
Exclusive: 100% up to €130 Use Promocode: GJBET
Rating 9.26 out of 10
100% up to 500 USDT
Rating 9.18 out of 10
Welcome Package 100% Up to 100EUR
Rating 9.12 out of 10

What is the European handicap? Your guide to European handicap sports betting in 2024

Consider this a guide on European handicap betting for amateurs. What does a European handicap mean? Let us begin by explaining how such a bet can be used for underdog betting.

Unlike straight betting, a European handicap is designed to balance out the odds for an underdog. In effect, they give an advantage to the underdog and are commonly found with football bets.

In essence, the bets add points or goals to the underdog’s tally, by subtracting them from the favorite. The bet is then determined by the result in a sports event, adjusted for the handicap which has been awarded. Confused, let us provide you with an example…

The ins and outs of European handicaps

The simplest way of having a European handicap explained and understanding how a European handicap works is by looking at an example. This will show how it differs from EVS betting.

Italy is set to take on Ireland in a football match. Ordinarily, Italy would be the overwhelming favorites. A European handicap bet will change that and be displayed like so:

  • Italy (-1) for 1.65 odds
  • Draw (-1) for 3.90 odds
  • Ireland (+1) for 4.10 odds

As you can see, this handicap has given Ireland a one-goal advantage. Should Italy win the match by two or more goals (-1), then they win. If a single goal separates the sides in Italy’s favor, the match is deemed a draw (-1).

However, should Ireland draw or win the match (+1), the bet pays out as if Ireland had won. Winning by exactly one goal is not enough for players wagering on Italy with a European handicap bet, thus giving the advantage to the underdog bettor.

European handicap bets are often shown as (EH). By contrast, Asian handicaps appear as (AH). Speaking of Asian handicaps available at Asian handicap bookmakers, what is the difference between the two?

European vs. Asian handicaps - The key differences

Aside from the fact that Asian handicaps bets are more commonly found at Asian bookies than European ones, there is another major difference between the two.

Both types of handicaps give an advantage, or head start to the underdog, but in different ways. A typical Asian handicap might feature whole numbers (like Asian handicap 1 or -1 Asian handicap) but also non-whole numbers, such as Asian handicap +0.25, Asian handicap +0.5, Asian handicap +0.75, Asian handicap -0.5, 1.25, 1.5 or 1.75 (corresponding to the alternative Asian handicap), which cannot happen with European handicaps – only whole numbers are used.

Using the example above, an Asian handicap bet would see the bet push if Italy wins with a single goal. The odds would be displayed as follows:

  • Italy (-1.5)
  • Ireland (+0.5)

Note that there is no winning draw in the Asian handicap. In the case of the European handicap vs. Asian handicap, we could argue all day about which is better. Ultimately it is up to you to decide for yourself, based on how you like to wager on underdogs.

How to wager with European handicap bets

To begin betting with European handicap rules, you need to know how to read soccer odds and have an idea of how to place a bet online.

If you’ve got these basic steps down, you can move on to the actual betting. Here is what you need to do:

Step 1
Head to your favourite bookie
Step 2
Look for odds displayed with (EH)
Step 3
Examine the European handicap odds to find something worth betting on
Step 4
Check other forms of odds to ensure that you are getting a fair handicap
Step 5
Place your bet

Key things to look out for

These types of bets are most common in football betting. What is a European handicap in soccer betting, though?

What should you keep an eye out for? Here are just a handful of European handicap tips to keep in mind:


Always look at the recent form of a team. A team on a bad losing streak may not be as advantageous a bet as the handicap suggests.


A team being home or away does have its advantages. Some footy teams perform better at home or on the road, thus potentially giving your underdog a hidden advantage.

Weather/Pitch Condition

Adverse weather conditions or cup games against lower league teams with shoddy pitches can also play a part in determining whether there is an advantage to be had with a European handicap.


Is there a rivalry? Derby matches, significant matches in the hunt for the title, knock-out games, and relegation dogfights (check here our relegation betting guide) can also play a part in European handicaps.

By examining the above, you can put yourself in an ideal position to analyse a European handicap bet and see if there really is value for money to bet had.

Using European handicaps in other sports

European handicaps are most favorable for football, but a variety of other low-scoring sports can be ideal.

Some of the different types of sports betting options commonly found at bookies appear in our European handicap table below. Not all are advantageous for European handicaps.


If you know how to bet on basketball, then you will understand that American handicaps may be more advantageous. They are suitable for high-scoring games. European handicaps aren’t brilliant for basketball.


Tennis is a low-scoring game, so using European tennis handicap betting on sets and games can be ideal.


Puck line hockey betting and other forms of hockey bets are also suitable for European handicaps bets. The suitably low scores in ice hockey are similar to football, making this sport well-placed to take advantage of this way of betting.


Similar to darts, when using European handicaps to bet on snooker, you need to wager on frames, not frame scores. Apply a snooker betting system to increase you winning chances.

Pros and cons of European handicap betting

Every betting strategy and wagering option has pros and cons. Here are a few attached to European handicap betting.


  • There are European handicap betting strategy options available
  • European handicaps can be used to even-out heavily backed favorites
  • Suitable for low-score sports events


Frequently Asked Questions about European handicap betting:

It is understandable that when learning a new way to bet, you may still have a few questions. We aim to help you get answers to them in this short, frequently asked questions guide.

Any type of handicap betting is designed to lower the advantage that a favorite has, to make the game or match more balanced.

A European handicap can be used to bet on draws, although you may wish to follow a European handicap chart to ensure that you know when and where to do it. You will often need to bet on the underdog to prosper from a winning draw.

In a sense, yes. Some bookies prefer the term three-way betting, but they are essentially the same thing.

It depends on several things. Firstly, if you want to prosper from a winning draw, European handicaps are more favorable. However, if there is likely to be a flood of goals, Asian handicaps have their advantages.

Whether you can use the bonus money to place European handicap bets really depends on the terms and conditions of any bonus you opt to claim. Always read the rules of any deposit bonus first before claiming it.

Start betting with European handicaps at top bookies today!

Properly using a European handicap can be one of the best sports betting strategies around in 2024. We hope that our betting guide has helped you understand the perks of this betting option. We have also prepared a guide about making living on Betfair.

If you are ready to play, you need to find a top bookmaker. Have a look around our website, and we’re sure that by checking out the odd review or two, you can find the perfect online bookmaker which offers European handicap betting.


Other related articles you might like: