How Does the Handicap Work in Hockey Betting?

Hockey is one of the most popular in the world after soccer among observers and bettors. Betting on handicaps is the main focus of hockey betting after total. In this article with, we will talk about the concept of handicaps in hockey betting, tell you what types of handicaps exist, and point out the advantages and disadvantages of the game.

Handicap сoncept


A handicap is a gap between the teams on the score in the final result. Betting on the handicap in hockey means that the player must determine whether the team will win with the margin designated by the bookmaker. The basic meaning of handicaps is to add or subtract a certain value on goals. Therefore, a distinction is made between minus, zero, and plus handicaps.

A minus handicap is indicated in the line as H1 (-2) or H2 (-1.5). The meaning of the bet is that the first team wins by 2+ goals; the second team will win with a minimum difference of 2 goals. Bettors make bets with minus handicap on favorites if the odds for their clear victory in the match are too low.

A plus handicap is indicated as H1 (+3.5). This means that for the bet to win the hosts mustn’t lose with a difference of 4 or more pucks. Such a bet is made on underdogs in cases when the player is sure of not losing or losing with a small difference.

A zero handicap is a hard analog of the 1X or X2 bet. A zero handicap is the winning one when the team wins. For example, you bet on H2 (0). The bet will be paid off if the visitors win by any score and go for a return if the regular time ends in a draw. If the visitors lose, the bet will be lost. According to the NHL, the home team is more likely to win than the visitors, but if there is a risk of a draw, a bet with a zero handicap allows you to hedge.

Other types of handicap


Asian handicap

Asian handicap is expressed in fractional numbers, half or quarter. For example, H2 (-1.5) or H1 (+2.25). A half goal handicap does not provide for a return. That is, with a handicap of H2 (-1.5) you need the visitors to win with a difference of 2 pucks or more. If they win by 3-2, for example, the bet is lost.

European handicap

This type of handicap is expressed by an integer: H1 (+3), H2 (-1). At this type of bet returns are frequent because, in case of a team win or loss with the declared number of pucks, the bet does not win and does not lose so the bookmaker makes a return. For this reason, bettors do not like to play on European handicaps, although the integer value of the handicap is still used for the insurance. For example, a player does not want to bet on H1 (-1.5), so he bets on H1 (-1). With plus handicaps the situation is the opposite – it is possible to take a risk. For example, a prediction on H2 (+2.5) was originally planned, but H2 (+2) has a higher odds.

Statistics handicap

Handicaps are not just for goals. Bookmakers have a special statistical action line that includes shots on goal, penalties, and penalty time. If a player has a good knowledge of the tournament and knows the teams’ peculiarities, this type of handicap will be the best option to play. If not, you can watch the match on TV to make an accurate prediction.

Periods handicap

You can bet on the handicap not only for the entire match. Bookmakers accept bets and for each period separately. The outcomes are the same: goals, penalties, shots on goal, penalty time. If you know the game features of the teams in each period, you can play on it and get a good profit. The odds are high and not always correctly evaluated by the offices.

An effective strategy for betting on handicaps


The most effective tactic in hockey is to take away the minus handicap of the winning team at the end of the match. The scheme is as follows: we look at games in which there is an advantage of one club in 1 puck. We wait until the end and for 1,5-2 minutes before the final buzzer, we place a bet that the winning side will win with 2 or more pucks, i.e. on a handicap of -1,5.

Recommendations for players: watch the match online whenever possible. Sometimes there are situations in which the coach does not replace the goalkeeper, even with a minimal advantage of the opponent in the score. They are rare, but in sports anything is possible. The coach takes the goalkeeper off, a sixth field player appears on the ice – this is the signal for betting on the winning team’s handicap. The odds are usually higher than 2, with each second the odds increase. The strategy is based on the fact that hockey players score a lot in the empty net at the end, and the bookmaker evaluates this event by high odds. With a betting win rate of 45% or more, profit will be assured.

Pros and cons of betting on a handicap in hockey


The advantages of betting on a handicap in hockey matches include:

  1. Odds. They are always high for minus handicaps, with correct analysis, you can even choose a match between approximately equal opponents on paper and play on a handicap with an increased quote of 3+.
  2. A large number of strategies. Handicap by periods, handicap play at the end, and handicapping the underdog, all of these models can be used effectively on a long-term basis.
  3. Wide amplitudes of outcomes in the action line. Handicap is one of the most popular markets in the hockey line. Therefore, in any bookmaker’s action line there will be a lot of outcomes in this type of market – the top matches will have 8-10 pairs of events – there is a chance not only to hedge yourself but also to take a chance on a big odds.

There are no disadvantages to the handicap as a type of bet in hockey, if you bet in life. Because on the eve of the match you can misjudge the motivation of the players, and they will decide to win by 2 pucks instead of 3, as you assumed. You can also include here the need to spend a lot of time analyzing the match, but this is the main part of betting, and each outcome (especially the handicap) should be detailed.


When placing a handicap bet in hockey, carefully study your opponents. Determine their form for the current game segment, be guided by statistics. Large handicaps are not recommended, even in cases where the clear favorite is playing. The risk in betting is not necessary, it leads to a decrease in the bank share. Use betting strategies, correctly manage your finances, conduct a detailed analysis, then you will protect yourself from a lot of losses and provide profits for the long run.