I’ve tried looking through posts mentioning handicap, but there are too many to sort through, so…

I decided to try playing with handicaps because I’m getting a bit tired of either super simple games or super difficult games. I tried rank restricting for awhile but it seemed to make it a bit more difficult to find games it still seemed pretty lopsided when playing beginners. So I turned on the handicap system.

**First game - https://online-go.com/game/15049166**

25k vs Me(20k)

My komi was 0.5, black got 2 starting stones on the board and I got an extra 2 ‘handicap’ points

**Second game - https://online-go.com/game/15049275**

21k vs Me(20k)

My komi was 3.5, no starting stones on the board and I got an extra ‘handicap’ point

**Third game - https://online-go.com/game/15058942**

Me (20k) vs 15k

His komi was 3.5, no starting stones on the board for me and he got an extra ‘handicap’ point

So I’m trying to figure out what is supposed to happen. If komi is normally 5.5 points, that means I was 3 points behind normal in my first game and he got 2 handicap stones and that is from a 5k spread. In my last game, it was still a 5k spread but my opponent was only 1 point behind normal and I got no starting stones.

Can anyone help me make sense of this? It seems pretty out-balanced but I’m not sure what’s supposed to happen.