Table tennis: How do you play it and how do you bet on it

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, explain some of the rules, and explain why most players prefer to bet on this sport during the game (live bet), and which bookmakers will take bets on table tennis.


The average time of scoring one point is 4-8 seconds and the duration of the set is 1-3 minutes. According to the measurements, 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 on changing sides between sets, on challenging the decision of the referees, on rubbing their face with a towel and, of course, tapping the ball before serving. Therefore, matches can last from 20 minutes to an hour-plus, 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 bookmakers prefer to take bets on table tennis in live. Odds in the course of the game jump very quickly, and the range of these fluctuations in most cases is great. Handicap of 5-6 points in a set can be reduced to one or two or played out in a minute. Therefore, fans of bets in the course of the game need to make very fast decisions, and it is recommended to act on a pre-thought-out algorithm or strategy.

In table tennis, players serve two innings and then switch. Since the frequency of switching off is so high, this factor does not matter much. In tennis, the server usually has the advantage of winning more games on his serve. In volleyball, more points are won from the reception of serves. In table tennis, the feeding factor does not give a tangible advantage to either the presenter or to the host. Much depends on the style of play of specific opponents. Therefore, it is not always possible to calculate in whose favor the score will change during the set due to the absence of a dominant role. It is possible however to gain some insight if you have the stats of players’ serves for previous sets.

Depending on the status and regulations of the tournament, matches may consist of five or seven sets, i.e. up to three or four wins necessary for the player to win the match. As a rule, the bookmaker's line shows the format of the match (five or seven sets). This nuance is important to consider when betting on total or head start. 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, matches of five sets are held.

Types of betting in table tennis

In the bookmakers’ lines for table tennis standard types of bets are offered such as victory, total number of games, total and handicap in various modifications. Bookmakers with a good extension of the line also offer bets on the totals of an individual tennis player in a set or match. Outcomes, odds and totals are also offered in the lines, both for the overall performance of the match and for the specific set. 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 bookmakers 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 the victory of a player 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 bookmakers 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 bookmakers 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 can give the right advice are still quite rare in Australia.

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 regular and on the table. However, only a real expert in the sport can weigh the odds and better evaluate the pre-match situation in table tennis. If you are not an expert in table tennis, then more or less simply objectively assessing the chances before the game will help you to understand basic tools like ranking, personal meetings of opponents and results of recent matches. The same introductory data is likely what bookmakers will observe, so the pre-match line in most cases can be exposed by the player. 

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 of taking 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 betting live during the game and to base your bets on a pre-thought-out plan. 

If in a relatively equal meeting on pre-match odds one of the opponents wins the two starting sets, then it makes sense to bet on the victory of the opponent in the third set. The amount of betting 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 start making money with a bet in one of the sets. 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. In this case, you need to weigh the odds on the winner of the set, calculating the maximum amount of losses on a possible "catch" in the next set.

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 tennis players to score 9 points in the set for an even total to play. Therefore, in the meeting of equal rivals’ a popular game 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.

Total and head start in live bets make sense to play if during a game there is a maximum fluctuation from the pre-match prediction. If one of them organized a significant 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 bookmaker'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 bets, as there is no win-win strategy. Therefore, when using various progressive strategies like working for 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. 

  • Which Australian bookmakers take bets on table-tennis?
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