14.11.2023, 18:25
28.05.2024, 02:34

What Does Handicap 1 Mean in Hockey Betting?

Beginner players are interested in what a handicap in hockey means -1 and +1, what strategies to use and how the betting calculation occurs.

A hockey handicap 1 is an advantage of the underdog or a lag of the favourite of 1 puck before the match.

Bookmakers give a plus handicap (+1) to the underdog, the favourite gets a minus handicap (-1).

The conditions for winning a bet are:

  • positive handicap - the club won or drew;
  • negative handicap - the team won with a gap of 2 pucks.
Trading on H (-1) or H (+1) provides for the possibility of a return if the HK wins or loses with a difference of precisely 1 puck.

Handicap 1 in hockey is a rare market that is not available in all sportsbooks. Hockey teams rarely end matches with a minimal victory. If a club leads by 1 puck, the other side removes the goalkeeper at the end of the game and puts an additional player on the ice. As a result, the losing opponent may even out the score and take the game into overtime or miss an empty goal.

When should you place a bet on handicap 1 in hockey?

Hockey fans bet on a negative handicap 1 favorite when they are confident in the victory of the strong side with a gap of 2 pucks, but want to insure the deal in case of a victory with a minimal score. For example, a fan believes in the victory of the guests in the match "Carolina Hurricanes" - "Anaheim Ducks", but betting on H(-1.5) is risky, so the player chooses H(-1).

Handicap 1 — advantage or lag of one of the teams in one puck

Sportsbook customers choose a positive handicap 1 underdog when they are confident at least in a draw and insure the deal in case the club loses with a minimal gap. For example, a player believes that "Severstal" will not lose in a match against CSKA but does not exclude the possibility of "Severstal" losing with a minimal difference, therefore, place a bet on H(+1).

Betting strategies on handicap 1 in hockey.

Hockey handicaps of minus 1 and plus 1 are available in prematch and in-play lines.

Experienced players use 2 strategies.

On H(-1) of the favourite

Customers of the sportsbook place bets on H(-1) of the favourite with odds from 1.60–1.70.

Additional data for using the strategy:

  • the favourite plays at home, motivated for victory;
  • the club has good results in head-to-head meetings with the opponent;
  • the odds on a clean win for the hosts do not exceed 1.50.

In most cases, the leading team will lead in scoring during the match with a difference of at least one puck, and the losing team will remove the goalkeeper in the last minutes of the match. Playing with an empty goal increases the chance of a successful attack.

If the strong team wins with a margin of 1 puck, the player will get a refund of the coupon amount.

On H(+1) of the underdog

Bets on H(+1) of the lagging HC can be placed with odds from 1.50–1.60:

  • the underdog plays on its own ice, motivated for victory;
  • the club has showed good results in head-to-head matchups with the favourite;
  • the odds on a clean win for the strong team is within the range of 1.50 to 2.00.

The home side can put up a fight against the favourite and at least draw.

The sportsbook will refund the bet amount if the underdog loses by the smallest margin.

Examples of betting operations: win, loss, return

Examples of betting calculations will help us understand what "handicap" in hockey (1) means.

The player bets 500 naira on the H(-1) hosts in the Sibir - Avtomobilist match with an odd of 1.90.

Possible scenarios:

  • The hosts won with a difference of 2+ goals - winning: 500 * 1.91 = 955 naira;
  • Sibir won with the minimal edge - refund: 500 * 1 = 500 naira;
  • Loss – the hosts lost or the result was a draw.

The fan made a bet of 1000 naira on H(+1) for the guests in the same match with the odds of 2.49. Possible scenarios:

  • Avtomobilist won or the result was a draw - payout: 1000 * 2.49 = 2490 naira;
  • The guests lost with a difference of 1 goal - refund: 1000 naira * 1 = 1000 naira;
  • Avtomobilist lost with a difference of 2+ goals – loss.

When calculating, the sportsbooks take into account the scoreboard score only in the main match time.

Pros and Cons

Advantages Disadvantages
Possibility to place a bet on the trailing handicap with less risks or on the leading club with higher rates Not available at all sportsbooks
Return in case of winning with a minimal difference or a draw result  
Simple game analysis  



The handicap (+1) and (-1) in hockey allows you to bet on an underdog with less risk or on a favorite with higher odds. The main feature of the market is the possibility of a return and lower odds. Bookmaker's odds on H(-1) are lower than on H(-1.5); on H(+1) are lower than on 1X or X2. The disadvantage of the market - it is not available in all sportsbooks.


When should you apply handicap 1 in hockey?

Players use a positive handicap (1) to insure a bet in case of a loss by the underdog by a minimum score.

Sportsbook clients bet on a negative handicap (1) to secure a stake in the event of a favorite's win by a minimal margin.

At what point to bet on handicap 1 in hockey?
It's possible to place bets in the sportsbook's prematch and live lines.
What will be the handicap score for 1 in hockey?

Betting on H(+1) will be successful if the underdog does not lose. In case of a loss by 1 goal, for example, 1:2 or 3:2, the bet will be refunded, in other situations - loss.

For the bet on H(-1) to win, it is enough for the favorite to win with a difference of 2+ goals, for example, 4:2 or 3:0. With a minimal victory there will be a refund of the bet, in other cases - a loss.


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