When major North American sports shut down in 2020, the popularity of “fringe” sports betting took off. Gamblers who wanted action on something that could produce an immediate return turned to … table tennis. Yes, table tennis.
Its popularity as a recreational sport, plus availability as a spectator sport when there was little else to watch, helped drive surprising betting. The result was millions in handle at legal sportsbooks. Maybe even more surprising, table tennis betting continued to drive action even after every major sport came back.
That means that big-time table tennis matches, events, leagues, and top players are all available to bet on now. Below, learn how to bet on table tennis in Canada and follow this suddenly growing sport from here at home.
How to bet on table tennis
Players meet in head-to-head matches in the biggest pro table tennis leagues and competitions in the world. For the most part, you can bet on these matches the same way you bet on any game in other popular sports.
However, table tennis matches are fast paced. Each takes just 15-20 minutes, and there are dozens held on any given game day. That means more to bet on, with instant results. In most pro table tennis leagues and competitions, the winner of a match is the first player to win three games.
Games are played to 11 points, and players must win by at least two points. This often leads to extra points. The serve changes hands every two points throughout.
Betting starts with match moneylines where you simply pick winners and book bets at the currently posted moneyline odds. There is also spread betting, but with so few games, you’re either betting at fixed 1.5 or 2.5 point spreads.
You can also bet on how many games it will take for a player to win a match or an over/under bet on the total number of games in a match. More advanced bets include the exact number of games, an over/under on the total number of points, who will win the first point or second point of a game and live betting.
Live table tennis betting extends through extra points, plus next game and next point betting.
Live table tennis betting
Like we just outlined above, live table tennis betting may be available in your province. It’s really up to the province and the body that regulates sports betting within it.
Live table tennis betting basically means betting on matches currently underway at odds that change with the action. It includes next game and next point betting, plus standard sports betting lines at ever-changing odds.
The thing is, the sportsbook odds can and will change so fast that a sportsbook app is the ideal way to keep up. You can’t really get bets down fast enough at a traditional retail sportsbook.
Where to find table tennis results and news
Table tennis lives and breathes online. That means you’ll find all the results, scores, news and information on the internet.
You probably won’t find it on TSN, Sportsnet, or any other traditional sports TV channel. They just won’t cover something so niche. But sportsbooks themselves are a good resource for all of it.
Plus, through certain European and Asian sports websites, and websites dedicated to the biggest pro table tennis leagues and competitions in the world, you should find everything you need for betting. Here are a couple of table tennis resources you can start with:
Sportsbook rules for table tennis
Sportsbooks will publish rules for how they settle table tennis bets. Read them, and you won’t be surprised by any situation that comes up. For the most part, the following general table tennis betting rules will be included:
- All bets are void if a match doesn’t start or isn’t completed
- All bets are void if a player is disqualified or a walkover is awarded
- All bets are void if the players in the match change before it starts
Is table tennis easier to bet on than other sports?
We wouldn’t say there’s much difference in difficulty. But you have to know where to look for knowledge. Ultimately, sports betting is a war of information. Sportsbooks base their lines on it, and you try to gather up enough of it so you can identify where they might have missed some factor.
The fact that table tennis information isn’t as widely available in Canada as that pertaining to hockey, basketball, football and baseball means table tennis betting may be more difficult than other sports. But rest assured, the info is out there for the initiated.
For what it’s worth, we’re not talking about some fictional sport with volumes of rules and bylaws here. Table tennis is a popular recreational sport around the world. It’s easily understood. Plus, the fast-paced nature of the game makes betting fun and exciting.
With games lasting 15-20 minutes and dozens held on match days, table tennis may just be the Keno of sports betting.
Top table tennis leagues to bet
World Table Tennis Championships
Held in odd-numbered years since 1957 with five events including:
- Men’s singles
- Women’s singles
- Men’s doubles
- Women’s double
- Mixed doubles
Olympic Table Tennis
Table tennis is a staple Olympic event and features 120+ players across five events:
- Men’s singles
- Women’s singles
- Men’s team
- Women’s team
- Mixed doubles
Moscow Liga Pro Men
This seemingly unsanctioned Russian pro table tennis league boasts a year-round season, featuring 40 constantly active pros. A word of caution: it’s plagued by integrity questions, and betting on it has been banned in certain jurisdictions.
Setka Cup Men
Once again, this unsanctioned Ukrainian Professional table tennis league is also hampered by integrity questions. You’ll have to check whether your jurisdiction has banned betting on it.
TT Cup Men
It’s the same story for this Ukrainian league.
Top international and Canadian table tennis stars
Canada has three table tennis players who qualified to play in the most recent Olympic games. They are:
- Mo Zhang
- Eugene Wang
- Jeremy Hazin
These players made the Olympics via individual qualifying events held in Kitchener, Ontario in March 2020.
The International Table Tennis Federation ranks the top table tennis players in the world. The top three men’s singles players as of 2021 are all from China:
- Fan Zhendong
- Xu Xin
- Ma Long
The No. 1 and 3 women’s singles players are from China, and the No. 2 hails from Japan:
- Chen Meng (China)
- Mima Ito (Japan)
- Sun Yingsha (China)
Rankings change all the time, of course, so check your table tennis resource for current rankings.
Best tips for betting on table tennis
While researching table tennis can be a little demanding (due to the niche information), knowing the leagues and the players involved will always be the best path to winning.
Other than that, follow these basic table tennis betting strategies and tips to avoid disaster:
- Bet small, as there are always many matches. Spread your money around. Plus, small bets usually mean you’re never betting more than you can afford to lose.
- Shop for lines, as the price may be better elsewhere. Getting the best price on your bet won’t help you win, but you’ll win more money when you do and might even risk less.
- Chase your losses live. While chasing losses is usually a bad idea when you’re gambling, live table tennis betting may afford you the opportunity to make up for some obvious pre-match betting mistakes. When the writing’s on the wall, you could take advantage of it.
How do you know table tennis matches are fair and not fixed?
Match-fixing, integrity issues, and corruption allegations have plagued table tennis since betting exploded. Nothing has been proven, although several U.S. states and other jurisdictions have banned betting on Ukrainian and Russian table tennis leagues in the meantime.
The best way to ensure you’re betting on a fair match is to stick to matches sanctioned by major governing bodies. Here are a few reliable examples:
- International Table Tennis Federation
- Asian Table Tennis Federation
- European Table Tennis Federation
- Latin American Table Tennis Federation
- Northern American Table Tennis Federation
- Oceania Table Tennis Federation
Then, there’s the International Olympic Committee, of course. You can bet on those questionable Russian and Ukrainian leagues if your province allows it; just be aware of the allegations, bet small and keep an eye out for anything untoward.
How to start table tennis betting in Canada
All you really need is a funded account with a legal and licensed Canadian sportsbook. Recommended operators include such sportsbooks as DraftKings Canada, FanDuel Sportsbook CA, BetMGM CA and Caesars Sportsbook in Canada. Using one of these online sportsbooks or sports betting apps is easy. Just do this to get started table tennis betting online:
- Click the link from here through to the sportsbook’s website where you can create an account or download the app.
- Claim any bonus cash or free bets the sportsbook offers using the information you find right here.
- Make a deposit using any of the available deposit methods.
- Browse through the table tennis betting markets to see what’s available. Then, click on a bet you like, and fill out the instantly created bet slip to place that wager.