3-Way Handicap Betting Explained

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One of the primary objectives of any sports bettor is to increase the amount of money they win with every bet. Of course, anyone would love to have a 100% success rate, but we all know that’s not possible – even when playing 1,01 odds every day.

If you take sports betting seriously, you should try to increase your average win as much as possible, and there are a few tried-and-tested ways to do this. Simply put, the idea is the following: if you analyze a game well enough, chances are you can predict more complicated things that a simple winner or loser. If you are able to do so, then 3-Way Handicap betting might make the difference between average returns each month and big success.

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Best 3-Way Handicap Betting Sites By Country

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What Is 3-Way Handicap Betting And How Does It Work?

Thankfully, 3-Way Handicap is very easy to understand, especially if you are familiar with other types of handicap betting systems, like Asian Handicaps or European Handicaps. Three-way handicap bets are available in a wide variety of sports, but we’ll only focus on football today. Lots of betting sites from all over the world offer bettors 3-Way Handicap bets, alongside European and Asian handicap bets. There isn’t a significant difference between these three styles.

3-Way Handicap bets focus on the same three outcomes as outright bets: home team to win, draw, or away team to win. The difference between 3-Way Handicap bets and outright bets is that the game doesn’t start from the score of 0-0. One of the teams has a larger or smaller advantage or disadvantage, and have to take this into consideration for the final outcome of the bet. As always, it’s easier if we take a practical example.

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3-Way Handicap Betting Example

Let’s assume that Middlesbrough prepare to host Manchester United, which is in good form and need a win, which could see them move into higher place. The outright odds of the game are the following: 6,25 for a home win, 3,90 for a draw and 1,65 for a Red Devil away win. Of course, the 3-Way Handicap options are much more attractive.

If we look at the 3-Way-Handicap section of the online bookmakers for this game, we see we have several scenarios: only one favourable for Man United, and several favourable for Middlesbrough. The one beneficial for the Red Devils is called “Game Starts 0:1” or Boro -1, Draw -1, United +1. In this case, the odds of an away win drop to 1,11, a draw is priced in at 7,50 and a home win at 15,00.

If you take the “United +1” bet here from the 3-Way Handicap slip, your bet will be a winner if the game ends in a draw or if the Red Devils win (essentially an X2 bet), since they do benefit from a one-goal advantage from the handicap. This is one of the ways to use 3-way handicap bets to search for “sure bets” – low odd bets, where the favourites just have to avoid losing.

Of course, the game offers some other great alternatives to use the 3-Way Handicap. If we look at the betting options, we see that we have lots of options where the home team is favoured: Game starts 1:0, 2:0 or even 4:0. These are all great ways to bet against favourites, especially if these favourites are teams which struggle to play well on the road – just like Man United have done this season.

Looking at their away form, they very rarely win by more than 1 goal away from home. Thus, if the game would start 2:0 and we would bet on the home team, even a narrow away win wouldn’t make us lose our bet. The odds of this scenario: 1,36 for Middlesbrough +2 handicap bet.

Such an advantage works in other ways as well. For example, an early United goal could force the home team to start attacking and opening their defence to counter-attacks – and we all know that Boro doesn’t have the best offence in the league. In such a case, United could score a few more goals, and even overturn the 2:0 deficit the bet has them to start with.

An away goal overturning the 2:0 star has odds of 5,50. Primarily, this bet could also be looked at as an Asian Handicap bet, Manchester United -2,5. 3-way handicap bet is, thus, just another way to make use of handicaps to win as much money per bet as possible.

Advantages Of 3-Way Handicap Bets

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Handicap bets of any type actually open the doors for larger-odds betting. Just think of it: one well-placed handicap win could bring you odds of 4.00 or 5.00. If you’re looking for smaller odds, you could need as many as 3 or 4 bets to obtain such odds, and we all know that adding games and predictions on the betting slip drastically reduce win chances.

Handicap betting can almost be seen as trading: your win rate, at the end of a period, could be just around 50%, but this could still bring you good profits if your average odds are over 2,00.

Summary And Recommendations

That being said, take a look at the 3-Way Handicap section before you place your next bet on the best football betting sites. Now that you understand how these bets work, you can easily find lots of options each weekend where a handicap bet could bring you quite some profits.

Usually, even favourites can have good odds to win away from home, and if we add even a -1 handicap , the odds become even greater. And teams like Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern or Juventus have no problem putting a few goals past their opposition.

If this isn’t your cup of tea, look at it from a different perspective: how often do teams like Inter, Milan, Chelsea, Arsenal or Manchester City win by two or more goals away from home? Is their away form really that good to warrant bets on them? Or are you better of trying to anticipate a surprise?

These are all betting ideas where a 3-Way Handicap bet could be ideal. After a careful analysis, these types of bets can quickly improve your win rate, and also increase the size of your account with it.