Not only is table tennis an awful lot of fun, it is also a serious professional sport, and one of the highlights of the Olympics every four years! We live in a golden age for table tennis stars, with the likes of Wang Hao, Zhang Jike and Dimitrij Ovtcharov dominating the men’s singles game, while Zhang Yining and Ding Ning are more often than not a safe table tennis bet to win in women’s competitions.
Table tennis is a great spectator sport and even more enjoyable when having fun with table tennis betting, whether you’re betting on the outright winner of a tournament or who will win the next game. If you’re interested in getting your head around this fun and exciting sport, and learning what kind of bets can be made on the professional games, check out the below guide. Then, with your new-found understanding of the game, check out the links provided here at Best Deal Casinos to find the ideal website to make your bets – have fun!
The history of table tennis
The game of tennis originated in the late 19th century in jolly old England. Europeans love tennis, but because of restrictions on venues and weather (which, we have to admit, is not always the jolliest in England), keen tennis players started to move to playing indoors. From there, the game gradually moved from indoor tennis to the table, as the game of table tennis slowly developed. The game was originally known as table tennis or indoor tennis. Soon, though, an American manufacturer noticed that the sound of a table tennis game sounded a lot like “ping… pong… ping… pong…” and registered the trademark “ping pong” for their version of the game. This then gradually took over as one of the more popular names for the sport, especially in the United States of America and China, where the game is extremely popular. You will notice that most of the tournament winners are Chinese! This is partially because China, being a country with a very large number of people, mostly living in very densely populated cities, does not have a lot of outdoor space in which to play, so indoor sports such as table tennis and badminton are very popular among young people and adults alike.
Early in the 20th century, tabletop sports flourished in Europe and Asia. In 1926, the International Table Tennis Tournament was held in Berlin, Germany. This year also saw the establishment of the International Table Tennis Federation. This eventually led to the first World Cup tables and wrote a new chapter in the history of the early table tennis movement, laying the foundation for future World Championships. From 1926 to 1939, world table tennis championships were held once a year. From the 47th World Table tournament in 2003, the International Table Tennis Tournament individual and group competitions have run separately.
Table tennis first became an Olympic sport at the 1988 Summer Olympic Games, and people have enjoyed the sport on television, as well as in sports halls, ever since! Every fan of table tennis bets that it will only continue to grow in stature as a sport on the international stage.
Table tennis: the bare essentials
You probably know what table tennis looks like and roughly how it works, but you may not know the structure of a table tennis match – vital info if you want to get into table tennis betting!
There are seven games in each singles table tennis match. The winner of a match is the first player to get to 11 or above with a lead over their opponent of at least two points. Team matches are a bit more complicated, but essentially consist of the members of each team facing off in singles matches until one team has won a “best of five” singles match against the other team.
Types of table tennis bets
There are several different types of bets that you might want to place on a table tennis match. Understanding the different types of bets is just as important as understanding the sport itself if you want to make any money gambling on table tennis! Here is a rundown of some of the types of bets available at the sites linked to above which you might want to check out.
- Betting on match winner
This is exactly what it says on the tin: you predict who you think is going to win the match. Matches in table tennis tend not to last very long, so this is a fun one to bet on as you watch a game. In this case, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on who might be on form at the moment – not just who has the better ranking or the better reputation overall. If someone is on a bad streak and they’re up against a dark horse, this might be a good chance to bet on the “underdog” and win some decent money!
- Betting on game winner
This is much like betting on a match winner. A game is made up of seven matches, so betting on a game winner is a little bit less volatile than betting on a match winner. This is because a great player might have an unlucky match and lose unexpectedly, but over the course of a whole game they are likely to be able to make up for it and still come out on top. If you have great confidence that one of the teams or individuals in a game are stronger than their opponent at the moment, you might see betting on the game winner as a safer bet than the other types of bet available. Again, it is worth basing this on current form – the more you can inform yourself on how people have been playing very recently, the more likely you are to make a clever bet and come out on top!
Note that betting on game winner is something that you can often do live, during the course of a game (with changing odds), so if you are watching a game and get a strong feeling about what the outcome will be, there will probably be time for you to act on that feeling!
- Betting on point winner
This is for those who like their betting to be live and really intense! A single point in a match of table tennis can be scored in just a few seconds (and sometimes even less!) – this kind of betting allows you to bet on who will score the next point. This kind of betting depends, to a large extent, on luck and gambler’s intuition. If you see some good odds and have a good feeling about something, this can be a very quick way to taste if your hunch was on the right track, and possibly make a super quick mint from it too!
- Betting on point races
Betting on point races is a bit like betting on a match – if a match were settled by just three, five, seven, or nine points, instead of the standard 11! For instance, suppose you think that one player is going to start a match strong but that the other player has a good chance of coming back and winning overall. You might bet on the first player to win the race to five points, but the other player to win the match. This can be a bit of a wildcard bet – try it for fun, but if you want to win any money from it, it really helps to have excellent knowledge of the playing styles and form of the players involved in the match you are betting on!
- Betting on total points scored
This is like the roulette of table tennis betting. You can bet on the total number of points scored over all matches in a game – this will take a lot of luck, but if you feel lucky you can probably find pretty great odds! Alternatively you can bet on properties of the total number of points in a game, such as whether it will be odd or even. This is a kind of betting which may be fun for someone who doesn’t want to put the time into research and would like to place a small bet to add some excitement while watching the table tennis. There’s nothing wrong with that every now and then, but don’t stake your house on this one!
Ready to explore these types of betting in a more practical way? Click one of the links above to go to a website where you can bet on table tennis games, matches, points, and more! Otherwise, read on for some more tips on betting on this great sport.
Tips for making your decisions when betting on table tennis
- Get to know the big players
Table tennis is a growing sport, but it is still quite small on the global stage. That means that the major tournaments tend to see the same players again and again, year on year. This provides a great opportunity to really develop your expertise in the sport with minimal effort. It is not just a case of looking at spreadsheets of who wins which matches – it is worth watching the tournaments and seeing how players play. Some players will make a big push at the beginning and then ease off, whereas others will put in a consistent effort throughout a game. This kind of information can be absolutely crucial when making certain types of bet, such as point races, especially if you want to bet live during the game!
- Consider betting on European players
Since table tennis is dominated by China (who won all four gold medals available for table tennis at the 2012 Olympics), it can be easy to discount players from elsewhere. However, there are a handful of great European players, who will often be seen unfairly as underdogs when up against Chinese competition. If you’ve studied the game well enough to think a European player has a good shot against a Chinese opponent, you might be able to get especially good odds on this kind of bet!
- Pay attention to the odds
This sounds obvious, but it’s worth keeping an eye on the odds on different betting sites (for example, those linked to above!) to spot a good opportunity for a bet. Since table tennis is quite a small betting market, there are sometimes opportunities to spot betting trends based on enthusiasm for a particular popular player. A player getting a wave of bets due to publicity, rather than actual likelihood of winning, can push the odds up in favour of the more thoughtful gambler. Since there are relatively few people betting on table tennis, these effects can be observed much more often than they would be in a more popular sport such as football or traditional tennis.
- The outlook of table tennis as a game going forwards
It’s a safe bet table tennis will continue to rule the indoor arenas at important tournaments such as the Olympics, and the game is only growing in popularity among children, and even people in their 90s! Now is a perfect time to get into this sport which is often overlooked, despite its international appeal and Olympic stature, putting it on the world stage as a great game alongside other sports such as football and traditional tennis. This great sport with a proud history has an exciting future, too.
The upcoming Olympics would be a great opportunity to get into the sport and learn the stars of the game and how it works. And who knows, in a sport like this without a huge group of fanatics analysing the game, it might be a good time to make some table tennis bets on the websites linked to above, and maybe buy your own table with the winnings that you take home from those flutters!