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A 3-way handicap, also known as a 3-way handicap betting or European handicap, is a type of sports betting that offers three possible outcomes for a given event or match. This type of handicap betting is commonly used in sports like soccer (football) and hockey. It’s designed to even the playing field when there’s a perceived difference in skill or ability between two teams.

Here’s how a 3-way handicap works:

Team A Handicap: In a 3-way handicap, Team A is given a positive or negative goal advantage or disadvantage before the match begins. This adjustment aims to level the playing field. If Team A is considered the underdog, they may receive a goal advantage. If Team A is the favorite, they might start with a goal deficit.

Three Possible Outcomes:

Win for Team A: If Team A wins by a margin that accounts for the handicap, then bets placed on Team A win.


If the actual result, accounting for the handicap, is a draw, then bets on the draw win.

Win for Team B:

If Team B wins by a margin that accounts for the handicap, then bets placed on Team B win.


Let’s say you’re betting on a soccer match between Team A and Team B. The sportsbook offers a 3-way handicap of +1 for Team A. If you bet on Team A with this handicap, and the final score is 2-1 in favor of Team B, your bet wins. Even though Team A lost 2-1 in reality, with the +1 handicap, the adjusted score is 2-2, resulting in a draw, and your bet on Team A wins.

The purpose of the 3-way handicap is to provide more balanced odds and betting opportunities when there is a clear favorite and underdog. It makes matches with a significant skill or ability difference more appealing to bet on since the handicap levels the playing field, and bettors can wager on various outcomes, including a draw.

It’s important to note that the exact rules and terminology for 3-way handicaps may vary depending on the sportsbook and the sport in question. Always check the specific terms and conditions for each bet you place to understand how the handicap works in a particular match.

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