14.11.2023, 18:25
22.05.2024, 16:38

What is a Handicap in Hockey Betting?

Handicap in hockey is a popular type of bet in which the sportsbook gives advantage or delay to the team before the start of the match.

Handicap allows betting on the favorite with larger odds or on the outsider with less risk.

It is important for beginners to know what the handicap in hockey means, what types of bets exist, how transactions are calculated, and be able to choose a winning strategy for betting on hockey matches.

Types of handicaps in hockey

Sportsbooks offer betting on negative, positive, and zero handicaps.

Negative and positive handicaps have an integer or fractional value.

Bets on fractional values involve only two outcomes - win or loss.

Refunds are possible on deals on integer handicaps, if the team wins or loses with a difference equal to the value of the handicap.


Sportsbooks give negative handicaps to favourites. The negative value indicates that the favourite has already "missed" a certain number of goals before the start of the match; for example, the H1(-1.5) market suggests that the hosts are losing by one and a half goals.

The fan will win the bet if the selected side wins with a difference exceeding the value of the handicap.

For example, a deal with H1(-1.5) will be successful if the home team wins with a gap of at least two goals - 3:1, 5:2, 6:3, etc.


Sportsbooks set positive handicaps for underdogs. The positive handicap in hockey means that the underdog has "scored" a certain number of goals and is in the lead before the start of the match; for example, H2(+2.5) means that the team is leading with a gap of 2.5 goals.

The user will win if the underdog does not lose with a gap exceeding the handicap value.

For example, H2(+2.5) will profit the player if the visiting team doesn't lose with a difference of 3 goals or more, wins the match or ends the game with a draw.


A zero handicap in hockey - a bet on a team's victory, allows for a possible refund. In case of a draw, the sportsbook returns the money to the player.

Zero handicap has lower odds than a clean win due to the possibility of a refund in case of a draw and higher quotes compared to a double outcome.

Examples of betting outcomes: win, loss, refund.

Clear examples of betting calculations in a sportsbook will help new players understand what handicap means in hockey.

A hockey fan bet 1000 naira on the victory of the hosts H1(-1.5) in the KHL match "Ak Bars" – "Metallurg" with a coefficient of 2.89.

Possible scenarios:

  • win – the hosts won with a difference of 2+ goals, for example, with a score of 4:1, 3:0 or 5:3, payout: 1000 * 2.89 = 2890 naira;
  • loss – the hosts suffered a defeat, played a draw or won with a minimal lead of 1 puck.

The sportsbook customer placed 100 naira for the victory of the guests, considering H2(+1.5) in the Czech Extraliga match "Vitkovice" – "Karlovy Vary" with a coefficient of 1.71.

Betting calculation options:

  • win – the guests won, played a draw or lost with a difference of 1 puck, payout: 100 * 1.71 = 171 naira;
  • the visiting team lost by a margin of 2 pucks or more.

The player bet 500 naira on H1(0) in the KHL match "Amur" – "Admiral" with the odds of 1.57. Possible outcomes:

  • win – the hosts won with any score difference, the sportsbook's user will receive 500 * 1.57 = 785 naira;
  • refund – the home team ended in a draw, the sportsbook will refund the bet amount to the client's account: 500 * 1 = 500 naira;
  • loss – the home team suffered a defeat.

What are Asian handicaps in hockey?

The Asian handicap in hockey consists of a whole and a fractional value, multiple of 0.25 or 0.75, for example, H1(-1.75) or H2(+2.25).

The sportsbook divides the bet into two parts: half is calculated as the nearest whole handicap, and the second part is calculated as the nearest fractional handicap.

For example, a sportsbook client bets 1000 naira on H1(-1.75) with a quotation of 3.40 in the "Avtomobilist - Tractor" match, the sportsbook will evenly divide the amount between H1(-1.5) and H1(-2).

Bet calculation scenarios:

  • if the club wins with a difference of 3 pucks or more - the player gets the win for the bet: 1000 * 3.4 = 3400 naira;
  • if the team wins with a margin of 2 goals - win H1(-1.50) and return H1(-2): 500 * 3.4 + 500 * 1 = 2300 naira;
  • if there's a defeat, a draw, or a victory of the chosen side with a difference of 1 puck – it's a bet loss.

Betting strategy for hockey handicaps

Experienced bettors use effective strategies for hockey handicap bets:

  • on the home win of a strong team H(-1.5) in a match against a weak opponent, who plays poorly away;
  • on the favorite H(-1) on their ice - the odds for a clean win is no more than 1.50;
  • on the home win of an outsider H(+1) in a match against a non-obvious leader - the odds for a clean win is above 1.50.
An effective betting model with zero handicap - bet on the non-obvious favorite to get a return in case of a draw.

When analyzing, it is important to consider the tournament position, the line-ups, schedules and team motivation, the results of rivals at home and away ice, read free hockey predictions from experts and amateurs.


The hockey handicap provides an opportunity to place bets on favorable terms - with high quotes on the favorite, with less risk on the lagging team, or with insurance in case of a draw.

Before betting on a hockey handicap, experienced players conduct a sports analysis and choose the value of the handicap from the point of view of the profitability of quotes and risks.


What is handicap in hockey betting?

Handicap is an advantage or lag that a bookmaker gives to a team before the start of a match.

How to accurately calculate a hockey handicap bet?
To select the optimal numerical value of the handicap, one should analyze the tournament situation, the results of the latest and face-to-face meetings, team motivation, and take into account the factor of home or away ice.
What is the difference between European and Asian handicap in hockey?

The European handicap has a whole or fractional value, while the value of the Asian handicap is a multiple of 0.25 or 0.75.

European handicaps provide for winnings, losses or a return of the entire bet, while with Asian handicaps a dual calculation is possible, for instance, a win of one half and a return of the other part of the bet.


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