What is Handicap Betting in E-sports?


Let’s face it that while playing online Fifa or CS:GO, we have all come across some formidable opponents. They not only have higher skill levels and better control but also top ranks that give them an added advantage. No matter how hard we try, we simply cannot beat them. They have hours of practice and hence better upgrades that tip the game in their favour. Thus, it becomes a one-sided match as we simply do not stand a chance.

However, when it comes to online betting, such matches do not attract wagers. You would not put your money on the weaker team when you know the odds are wholly against you. This makes the betting sites lose money and customers. Hence, to spice things up, most of the sites introduced handicap betting. Handicap bets give a somewhat level playing field and mix things up to make the tie interesting. There are different types of handicap betting in e-sports, and this article will help you understand them. 

What is handicap betting?

When a stronger team and a relatively weaker one play a tie, bookmakers hand out a virtual advantage or disadvantage before the match. Either the stronger team gets a virtual disadvantage, or the weaker team is given a virtual advantage. This virtual advantage or disadvantage is known as a handicap, and the practice is known as handicap betting. The goal of the handicap bet is to make the playing fields more equal, hence drawing in more wagers.

How does handicap betting work?

Let us take the example of an online football match to understand how handicap betting works. Imagine someone playing with Brazil has to play against someone picking an Asian team, for example, Nepal. Because of such a pronounced gap in quality, Neymar’s team would have significantly better odds of winning against Nepal. Hypothetically, Brazil could be priced around 1/25 to win, while Nepal is 40/1. Given that Brazil’s price is so short, it is unlikely to lure in many gamblers looking for value. 

To make the odds more lucrative, bookmakers would back Brazil to win the game by at least 5 goals. To do this, betting sites would assign them a -4 handicap – effectively, they start the match 4 goals down.

Contrariwise, bookmakers can also bring Nepal’s price down by backing them, to begin with, a few goals advantage. If gamblers are to wager them on a +4 handicap, as far as this bet was concerned, they will start the game 4 goals ahead. 

For Nepal to win the bet, they cannot lose the game by more than 3 goals. A 4 goal defeat will automatically level the match from the perspective of the handicapped bet.

Different types of handicap bets

There is a wide variety of handicap betting available in the e-sports circuit. Some of the main types of handicap betting are:

1. Map handicap betting

In e-sports, the most general choice of handicap betting is to gamble on the victor of the game. In a set of 3 matches, most bookmakers provide a bet on the winner with a map handicap of +1.5 or -1.5. You generally come across this type of handicap betting in games such as CS:GO, Dota 2, League of Legends (LoL). 

2. Round handicap betting

Many online e-sports gambling sites give the option to wager on the number of rounds won by a team. It is generally counted in a single map or a match. These types of bets are easier to call a handicap. For example, player A is assigned a handicap of +5.5 in a bet on the round superiority. He has to ensure that he does not lose by more than 5 rounds in order to win the bet. In these types of betting, it does not matter whether he won the game or not. 

3. Kill handicap betting

This betting option is quite similar to round handicap betting. However, we count the number of kills in a single match or map instead of rounds won. Again, your wager does not concern about who the winner is. Let us say that the favorite team has a handicap of -6. As long as the underdog does not lose by more than 5 kills, they win the bet.


Handicap betting in e-sports is all about making the game more interesting to attract gamblers. Most of the time, you bet on total rounds won or kills in such games. This helps you to make more money than betting on the favorite to win the tie.

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