How to Bet on Handball

Top Tips

What You Need to Know

  1. Handball may not be that popular in the UK, but it's still a great sport for betting on
  2. The best way to bet on handball is to go online and open a sports betting account. This way you can enjoy the best odds and range of bets. For this guide we've used Bet365 for our examples.
  3. The easiest bet to make on handball is the Match Winner bet. All you need to do is back one team to win a match
  4. Bookies will often offer handicap betting to make the odds more attractive. Make sure you know how this works before you make a Handicap bet
  5. Prop bets can be a good way of making a live game more exciting and potentially winning some money. Many, however, are just straightforward 50/50 gambles
  6. The best way of improving your chances of winning a bet is to do your research. Study a team's form and look out for attractive odds
  7. Remember that betting on any sport, including handball, can become an addiction, so always bet responsibly

Betting on Handball

Handball may not be that popular in the UK, but in continental Europe and other parts of the world, it has a huge following. Germany, Scandinavia, Spain and North America are particular hotspots, with both domestic leagues and international competitions offering excellent betting opportunities.

However, before you put any money down, you need to be sure you know what you're doing. This means that, not only do you know how odds work, but that you know what types of bet you can make on handball. Here's a quick guide to get you started:

Where to Bet

Forget the high street bookie, the best way to bet on handball is to go online. Here you'll find the biggest variety of betting markets, both for domestic and international competitions. It's always a good idea to sign up to more than one online betting site as this way you can compared the odds on offer and go for the bet which will make you the most money. Check out our guide to the best betting sites ( of the moment and open an account today to take advantage of some fantastic moneyback offers.

Understanding the Odds

You shouldn't be making a bet on any sport if you don't understand what the odds are.

Quite simply, the odds (also known as the price) indicate how likely the bookmakers think an event is to happen, whether it's a country winning the Gold at the summer Olympics or a player scoring the next point in a Bundesliga match. The odds also determine how much you will win if your prediction is correct. Most betting sites will give the odds as fractions. However, they could also be expressed as decimal points or even in the American style. In all cases, however, you should be able to change the settings to suit you. Here's what each of these mean:

1) Fractional Odds

On nearly all UK sports betting sites you will find that the default setting for displaying the odds will be as fractions. Odds displayed this way show you how much you will win on a bet compared to how much you put on. Here, the first number of the fraction indicates how much you will win if you place the amount of money shown in the second number of the fraction.

So, if the odds for Team A winning a specific match are 3/1, this means if you bet £1, you will receive £3 in winnings (and you will get your original stake back on top of this).

This works on a ratio basis. So, if you place £10 at odds of 3/1, you will receive £30 in winnings. Or, if you place £5 at odds of 8/1, your winnings will be £40, plus your initial stake.

Sometimes you will find that the second number of the fraction is larger than the first. This is what's known as an 'odds on' bet and shows that the bookies believe that the chances of a particular prediction (such as Germany beating Canada) coming true are greater than 50/50. The principle remains the same, however: the first number of the fraction indicates how much you will win if you place the amount of money shown in the second number of the fraction.

For example, if you put £2 down on odds of 1/2, your winnings will be £1. And again, this works on a ratio basis. So, if you put down £60 at the same odds, you will win £30, plus your initial stake.

2) Decimal Odds

Given most people are used to seeing odds displayed as fractions, understanding decimal odds may seem daunting. However, this system is equally straightforward once you've got the hang of it.

The way it works is that you just need to multiply your stake by the decimal shown and this is how much you will receive in winnings, including your returned stake.

So, if you put £1 down on odds of 3.00, you will win £3.00, including your initial stake, if your prediction comes true. And again, this works on a ratio basis. So, if you put down £15 at the same odds of 3.00, you will win £45, including your original stake.

Popular Types of Bet

Online betting sites allow you to place a wide range of bets on handball. In fact, if you can think of a scenario, a bookie will usually be happy to give you odds for it. That said, some types of bet are much more popular than others. Here are some of the most common types of handball bets:

Match Winners

The easiest type of bet to make on handball is to put money on one team winning a single match. This is known quite simply as a Match Winner bet, though on some websites it could be refereed to as the 'Money Line' (an American term).

In most cases, this will be a simple three-way bet; that is, you can put money on either team to win or bet on a draw. Note that draws almost always offer the best odds as these are very rare in handball since it tends to be a very high-scoring game.

Let's take as an example Denmark against Sweden in the under-20 championships. Ahead of the match, you may be given the below odds. As you can see, Denmark are the big favourites: you would need to bet £5 on them to make a profit of £2. Sweden, meanwhile, are the outsiders, and if you bet £10 on them, you would get £33, including your initial stake back, if your hunch is right.

Importantly, it doesn't matter if the team you back wins by one point or by 20, so long as they come out on top after the 60 minutes of regular time has been played, you will win at the odds you were quoted.

Handicap Betting

In handball, some match-ups may be uneven. That is, there may be a clear favourite and a clear underdog, meaning the odds will probably be very unattractive.

To make the odds more attractive, bookies may offer Handicap Betting. Here, they will give the underdogs a virtual headstart or the favourites a points handicap, with the odds adjusted accordingly.

To illustrate this, let's go back to the example of Denmark against Sweden, where we will remember Denmark were the firm favourites. Below we can see the odds offered after a Handicap has been applied.

In this instance, the bookie is offering odds for a spread of +2.5 and -2.5. What does this mean? Well, as before, Sweden are the big underdogs. So here they have been given a virtual lead of +2.5 points. This will be added to their final score. If they lose the match by 2 points or less, this virtual headstart will make them the winners, so if you back them at 9/10 and they only narrowly lose, you will still win your bet. If, however, they lose by 3 or more points, you will still lose your bet.

Similarly, here Denmark have been given a handicap of -2.5, meaning they will start the game trailing Sweden. If you bet on them at 4/5, you will only win if they manage to overcome this handicap, that is by winning by 3 points or more.

Total Goals

One very popular type of bet to make is putting money on the total number of goals you think will be scored in a match. In almost all cases, you will simply be given a total and invited to put money on whether both teams will bet more or less than this number of points.

Alternatively, you could be invited to bet on whether the total number of points scored in a match will be an odd or an even number. This is essentially a complete gamble, so should be more of a fun flutter than a serious bet. Here's an example of a Game Total bet:

Futures Betting

As well as betting on the outcome of individual matches, most bookmakers will allow you to have a flutter on the outcome of whole competitions. In most cases, the bookies will offer their odds in the days or weeks leading up to the start of the tournament, with these fluctuating as the season or competition progresses.

Some of the main competitions you should look out for, not least since they will offer the best variety of betting markets, include:

  • The Olympic Games
  • The EHF Cup
  • The European League
  • The European Championship
  • The World Handball Championship
  • World Women's Championship
  • The German Bundesliga

For some of the biggest games, most online bookmakers will give you the chance to bet in-play, improving your odds of making a profit or, at the very least, minimising your losses.

Prop Bets

Alongside these popular types of bets, most bookies will also offer a variety of 'prop bets'. Also known as 'novelty' or 'exotic' bets, these allow you to put money on a variety of things either happening or not happening, not all of which will affect the outcome of a handball match. Some of the prop bets you might see include:

  • Which team will score first? This is essentially a 50/50 gamble
  • Which player will score the most points? How many will they score?
  • How many penalty throws will be awarded in the match?
  • How many players will be shown a yellow card or dismissed from the match?

Hints and Tips for Betting on Handball

Like with all sports, there is no such thing as a 'sure thing' in handball. Upsets do happen, even if teams can appear to be massively mismatched. At the same time, however, there are some things you should bear in mind if you want to improve your chances of taking money off the bookie:

  • Like with all sports, it pays to have a good understanding of handball before you make a bet. In fact, knowledge is power and even a little research can help improve your odds of winning.
  • Be wary of putting big bets on draws. Again, handball tends to be a free and high-scoring game, so ties are very rare.
  • If you do choose to bet online, consider signing up for more than one account. This way you can shop around for the best available odds, boosting your potential winnings.

A Quick Note on Responsible Gambling

Betting on handball is fun and, if you do it well, potentially quite profitable. It can, however, become addictive, so you should always make sure you are betting responsibly. Only ever bet with money you can afford to lose and be wary of placing a bet while under the influence of alcohol.

Important Information on Gambling

You must be 18+ to gamble and use the offers and betting odds featured

Every new gambling account offer has "Terms & Conditions" that will apply - make sure you read these before opening an account.

See for help and advice on problem gambling.

Please gamble responsibly.

Further Sports Betting Reading

If you want to make money from sports betting but don't know where to begin, we have a number of guides, as well as some great YouTube video tutorials, to help you get started:


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