Table Tennis Betting: Strategies and Features You Need to Know

Table tennis (aka ping pong) is a dynamic and fleeting game. In this article we will tell you about the importance of time in this sport and explain some of its rules. We will also explain why most players prefer to bet on this sport during the game (live betting), and which sportsbooks will feature table tennis betting. 

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  • You can read about other sports and sports betting strategies in our 'School of Betting'.

Every four to eight seconds on average a point is scored in a match, while the duration of each set is between one and three minutes. According to statistics, the net amount of time spent actually playing table tennis is 17-25% of the duration of a match.

The rest of the time the players spend changing sides between sets, on challenging the decision of the referees, rubbing their face with a towel and, of course, tapping the ball before serving. Therefore, matches can last from 20 minutes to over an hour, depending on the number of sets and the player’s technique and style.

With the number of dynamic occurrences in each match, this sport is interesting for live bets, and a lot of sportsbooks prefer to take live bets on table tennis. Odds in the course of the game jump very quickly, and the range of these fluctuations in most cases is great.

A handicap of 5-6 points in a set can be reduced to one or two or played out in a minute. Therefore, fans of live betting need to make very quick decisions, and it is recommended to act on a pre-thought out algorithm or strategy.

Table Tennis Rules to Know for Betting

Table tennis rules are similar in many aspects to sports like volleyball and tennis. However, there are some distinct differences that set the sport apart.

In table tennis, players serve two times and then switch. In tennis, the server usually has the advantage of winning more points on his serve. In table tennis, however, the serving factor does not give any tangible advantage to either side. A lot depends on the playing style of specific athletes.

In volleyball, the team serving the ball will also often have the advantage in scoring.

Also unlike certain volleyball competitions, points can be given to either side, regardless of who served the ball. Depending on the status and regulations of the tournament, table tennis rules may vary between competitions. This includes the length of matches.

Like tennis and volleyball, table tennis rules include out of bounds areas where players will not score and forfeit the serve. Hitting the net on the serve in both tennis and table tennis will require a re-serve, whereas in volleyball the point will immediately go to the other team. 

Format of Table Tennis Matches

Table tennis matches may consist of five or seven games, i.e. up to three or four wins necessary for the player to win the match. As a rule, the sportsbook's line shows the format of the match (five or seven sets).

This nuance is important to consider when betting on over/under or on the winner of the first game. Each game in table tennis is played to 11 points. If both sides are tied at ten, then each side will alternate serving the ball after each point until one side has a two point advantage and wins. 

At the Olympic Games, World Championships and high-ranking tournaments of the World Tour, the singles competitions matches are held with seven sets, meaning four wins are necessary.

In doubles competitions and smaller tournaments, each match will consist of five sets.

The Main Types of Table Tennis Bets 

The most common types of bets on table tennis include moneyline bets, spreads and totals. These can be made for both the overall performance of the match and for the specific set. Sportsbooks with a good selection of bets also offer wagers on the totals of an individual tennis player in a set or match.

In the sportsbook lines for table tennis standard types of bets are offered.

  • Outcome/victory
  • Total number of games/sets
  • Over/ Under scores
  • Different handicap forms

Betting on the handicap and totals can occur both in the number of points scored, and on the number of sets. Accordingly, the strategy of betting on table tennis will change depending on the type of bet.

It is important that before betting on a handicap or total of the entire match to make sure how many sets will be played. As mentioned above, in table tennis matches can consist of five or seven sets, that is up to three or four wins in games, depending on the length of the tournament.

Some sportsbooks in the pre-match line on table tennis have bets such as the outcome of the first game / the outcome of the match. The bet on the outcome of the "first game / match" gives players the opportunity to bet on a player's victory in the match with increased odds.

This is a great bet if you are sure that the athlete is motivated, knows their opponent well and will start the game with maximum determination. As in many other sports, where the match consists of five or more games, in table tennis sportsbooks offer to play a bet "record after the first two games."

The player is asked to choose between three options: 2-0, 1:1, 0:2. To increase the interest of the player, many sportsbooks offer additional bets in their lines like: "who will be the first to score five points" or "who will be the first to score seven points".

How to Analyze Table Tennis and Bet Correctly

Almost everyone has tried to play table tennis. Many will still occasionally play a game with friends or family. However, experts who follow professional competitions in the world of table tennis, understand the intricacies of the sport and are able to give the right advice are still quite rare in America.

It is a known fact that Asian athletes have dominated the international scene in recent years. Representatives from China (with some exceptions) regularly win the most prestigious competitions. Therefore, most of the specialized resources of the sport (including experts), are concentrated in Asia.

Tennis betting is popular all over the world, both on the court and on the table. However, only a real expert in the sport can weigh the sportsbook odds and better evaluate the pre-match situation in table tennis.

If you are not an expert in table tennis betting, then more or less simply objectively assessing the chances before the game will help you to understand basic tools like rankings, previous matchups of opponents and a player's current form.

Two of the most popular ways to wager on table tennis are live betting and over under bets. 

Table Tennis Live Betting Strategy

As the game progresses in live bets due to incredible speed and dynamics, profitable offers with good odds can arise. Therefore, in order to have a chance to take advantage of these opportunities, you should know the pre-match odds and how evenly matched the opponents are.

Be sure to arm yourself with a strategy for live betting during the game and to base your bets on a premeditated plan. If in a relatively equal meeting on pre-match odds, one of the opponents wins the first two sets, then it makes sense to bet on the victory of the losing player in the third set.

The amount of the bet should be calculated in such a way that even in case of losing in the third set it is possible to increase the amount of the bet on the fourth set and at the end of the match to stay in the plus, thus "catching up" and finish the game with a profit.

This works because it is rare that in matches consisting of seven games and equal opponents that one of the opponents will win 4-0. In a similar scenario, you can bet on the victory of the favorite in the second set if the underdog manages to take the first set.

Over Under Bets on Table Tennis

Since table tennis games are played up to 11 points, the probability of an even total in the set is higher than, for example, in volleyball or badminton, where the set is played up to 25 and 21 points respectively.

It is enough for both players to score nine points in the set for an even total to play. Therefore, in a matchup of equal competitors, a popular bet is on the "catch" of the even total in the set. In a meeting of equal rivals, the probability of an even total is higher than in the meeting of a clear favorite and an underdog.

Over under and head start bets during live competitions make sense to wager on if during the game there is a large fluctuation from the pre-game predictions. If one of them has achieved a significant odds margin before a matchup of equal rivals, it is more likely that this gap will be reduced rather than increased.

If they win in the first set, it is more likely that the favorite will win the second set more confidently, and the sportsbook's proposed set total will not be changed (if the bet on the total is smaller).

Table-tennis matches, like other sports, can be unpredictable and there is no 100% algorithm of winning on all bets, just as there is no win-win strategy. Thus, when using various progressive strategies like placing live bets in table tennis, it is important to calculate the maximum number of iterations and the size of the starting rate relative to your bankroll. 

Betting Odds on Table Tennis Matches

Since the uncanny rise in the popularity of table tennis betting, sportsbooks in the United States will always have odds on the competitions available. Most commonly, these will be for each table tennis match in the Russia Liga Pro, with odds on a few major lines. 

Match betting for table tennis is the most popular betting line. This is the equivalent of moneyline betting for other sports. In the Russia Liga Pro, along with other popular leagues, table tennis odds for match betting will often be close as they resemble the competitiveness of the sport at a professional level, however, major favorites can also emerge. 

Despite the presence of underdogs and favorites for each table tennis match, the odds gap between the two will rarely be significant. Instead, players can expect to find even odds for the underdogs, and odds of around -200 for the favorites. 

With live betting, table tennis odds can fluctuate very quickly, and so concentration is key to making those split-second wagers. In addition, spread betting or betting with a handicap can quickly change the player's status with just a couple of points either way. 

In other sports like football, the spread intends to make both teams even. However, in table tennis, this is not always the case, and is another testament to the absence of a talent gap in many matchups. 

Table Tennis Rankings and How They Help Bettors

As with many other sports, in table tennis there are many individual athletes vying for the top spots in the world. Decorated and respected players come from multiple countries, and each year could bring new faces to the top of the sport. 

When betting, we can take advantage of table tennis rankings, as they give us a basis for what to expect from which players. There are two main categories, including both international rankings done by the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF), and those for specific countries like the USA. 

With international competitions on our mind for betting, we will need the former.

Official rankings will evaluate players on a point-based system. The way that players will earn or lose points has been updated in recent years. Starting in 2018, the ITTF ranks players solely based on their finishes in international competitions. 

Each player's top eight finishes from the year are used, with specific points awarded for finishing positions.

The highest number of points that can be awarded to a player is 3000, which is reserved for first-place finishes only in the most prestigious tournaments, the Olympics and the World Championships. Adding up the top eight finishes for each player will give us our official table tennis rankings. 

These rankings will come in handy for betting on table tennis, and especially in helping beginners get acclimated to the top names in the sport. When looking through the rankings, paying attention to which competitions earned the players their points will give you a great idea of the tournaments that players perform well in. 

In addition, recent table tennis rankings will tell you which direction a player is currently headed, slowly declining or up and coming. 

Sportsbooks for Table Tennis Betting

Table tennis is certainly not the first sport that comes to mind when thinking about betting. However, the niche game has recently gained popularity. Much of the interest coming from when sports were on hiatus during the coronavirus lockdowns. 

One of the only sports that continued during this time was table tennis, and therefore many United States sportsbooks began to include table tennis betting on their sites and apps. Today, you can still bet on table tennis both pregame and live on nearly every online sportsbook. 

The biggest online sportsbooks like William Hill and BetMGM will always have table tennis competitions for betting on. 

Both of these sportsbooks work in multiple states, as well as having a great selection of betting lines, top quality mobile apps and are well known for their professionalism and experience.

They will serve as great places to put the table tennis betting skills you have learned today to the test!

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