Handicap in volleyball is an artificial difference in the score by points or parties, which is taken into account in the rates and equalizes the odds. Usually, the number of the handicap is added to the result of the outsider, and subtracted from the result of the favorite. In this article, we will define what handicap means in volleyball, how it is indicated in the bookmaker’s lines and how to bet correctly.

There are several shorthand designations in the betting lines markets: H2 (-2.5), “Team” (+ 2.5). Plus handicaps can occur without a sign, for example, H1 (3). Explanation of all designations:

  • H – abbreviation for “handicap”, designation of the type of bet.
  • 1 or 2  – the command indicated in the line first or second, respectively.
  • 0, -0.5, +0.5, etc. – the value of the handicap.

Types of handicaps in volleyball and what they mean

A volleyball match is played up to three wins in sets. When placing a bet, pay attention to what indicators will be taken into account:

  • Handicap on sets and handicap on points in a set . The match consists of sets (parties) – from three to five. Before the match, bookmakers offer handicap betting on points for the first three sets. If this is not indicated in the line, it is a set handicap. If in doubt, check with support.
  • Handicap for aces . Handicap for errors on serve. Ace is a feed right through. If, when throwing in the ball, he did not cross the net from above and did not get into the wrong zone, then a mistake and loss of a point are counted. Such lines usually appear only for the most popular tournaments.

The handicaps themselves are divided into three types:

Plus handicap

In the line of bookmakers, it is displayed with a plus sign or without a sign. The bet will be successful if the selected team wins after the handicap has been added. Suitable for betting on outsiders who, as you would expect, will not lose by a large difference in points or in sets.
An example . Match of the Russian Super League “Dynamo” LO – “Belogorye”.

F1 (+2.5) in volleyball
We are betting on points in the first set. If Dynamo LO in the first game loses with a minimum difference of two points or even wins, then the bet will be successful. Otherwise, she will not play.

Negative handicap

It is displayed with a minus sign in the bookmaker’s line. Suitable for betting on the absolute favorites of the meeting. The bet will be settled if, after deducting the handicap, the selected team still wins.
An example . The match of the Russian Super League “Zenith” – “Ugra-Samotlor”.
F1 (-2.5) in volleyball
We wager on a set handicap. We will only be satisfied with a dry 3-0 win for Zenit. Otherwise, the rate expires.


In the bookmaker’s line, it is placed with the number 0. This is a bet on the victory of one of the insured teams. In case of a tie, there will be a return with odds of 1.
An example . Match of the Russian Super League “Gazprom Yugra” – “Neftyanik”.
F (0) in volleyball
In terms of points or sets, there is no zero handicap in volleyball. In this case, we are betting on the number of blocks per match and are waiting for the victory of Gazprom Yugra. If teams make the same number of blocks, the stake will be refunded to the account.

Integer and fractional odds

According to the method of calculation, bookmakers divide handicaps into two types:

  • Fractional odds: +0.5, -1.5, +2.5;
  • Integer handicaps: 0, -1, +2.

Betting on fractional handicaps has only two possible outcomes: win or lose. When choosing integer odds, we can also count on a draw, that is, on a return with odds of 1.

How to count correctly

As an example, we took the Polish Women’s Championship match between Bydgoszcz and LKS Kommerson. The bookmaker set a minimum odds of 1.05 on the victory of the guests in the match, but the odds are much more attractive for bets on negative handicaps:
When choosing the option F2 (-2.5), we will only be satisfied with a dry win for LKS Kommerson 3: 0, since after deducting the handicap (-2.5) the guests will remain the winners with a notional score of 0.5: 0.
But if you make a bet on Away 2 (-2), then when the score is 3: 1 in favor of the guests, the bet will be returned with odds of 1, since after deducting (-2) a draw will be counted. This insurance is the difference in odds between the handicaps (-2.5) and (-2).

Features of odds betting

The artificial difference in advantage gives a wide range of betting options. You can bet on a handicap both on the favorite and on the outsider. Unlike the classic 1×2 bets, the player chooses the appropriate numerical value for a certain result.

How to select events correctly

Before betting on a favorite with a negative handicap, make sure that in the recent past he has confidently dealt with opponents who are also inferior to him. The second important factor is the freshness of the teams. If the outsider has had more time to rest and prepare, then it is better to refrain from betting on the favorites or consider betting on the outsider with a plus handicap.

Volleyball handicap betting strategy

Typically, in volleyball, the serving team has an advantage over the receiving team, and the libero position is designed to neutralize this difference. The Libero is a free player who is responsible for defending the ball. If the “cleaner” is in good shape among the outsiders, then his team will fight for every point on someone else’s serve.
Volleyball is a non-contact sport, and athletes receive the most injuries on the block and when playing under the net. Some live betting strategies take this factor into account. For example, if at the beginning of the match the attacking team is unable to interrupt the opponent’s defense, then in subsequent sets its chances of success increase. The main thing is not to rush to take negative handicaps on the first sets.