Pool: How do you play it and how do you bet on it

Pool, despite the fact that it is seriously inferior in popularity to snooker nowadays, is consistently the second most popular type of loose billiards. For those who have recently become interested in betting on this sport, we will talk about the main things that should not be overlooked.


Pool types: eight, nine and straight

The most common type of pool is 9-ball, which dominates the attention of pool fans in Britain, the United States, Japan, Australia and Asia. There are also major tournaments in the eight and straight type. Let's consider the basic rules and differences between these three disciplines.

In 8-ball pool, the task of the game is to score all the balls of one group (there are seven balls on each side - either seven striped or seven solids-), and then to complete the game with pocketing of the number eight black ball at the end. Striped or solid coloured balls are assigned to players according to which ball is pocketed first after the break. If the first ball of the game sunk is solid, then the player who made that shot must sink all of the solids before going after the eight ball. If on the break the player sinks both a stripe and a solid, then he can choose which side to pursue. They will choose based on the position of all balls after the break and which side offers easier shots. 

In 8-ball at the beginning of the game, there are simultaneously 16 balls on the table (including the cue ball), however, in 9-ball there are six fewer. The balls on the table are a straight numerical set from one to nine. The game is more dynamic compared to 8-ball, the goal is to sink the balls in numerical order, from the first to the ninth number. The largest number of professional tournaments are held in this type of pool.

Straight is the oldest type of pool that was once the dominating style of play among professionals. However, over time, due to the sluggish gameplay, the straight has surrendered its leading position to 9-ball. As in 8-ball, there are 16 balls on the table at the start. Each ball is worth one point, and the game lasts until a player reaches the tournament's set number of points. The game is played in a series of blows, the maximum series length in the history of the straight ball is 281 points in a row.

Types of bets on Pool

To the end. These are odds on choosing a player – whether one player or the other will secure victory. There's no such thing as a draw in a pool.

For a head start. If there are two professionals of a different class, the lines for the outcome will probably not be even, or it will be presented in a stripped-down version. But you can bet on the odds by, for example, putting a handicap -2.5 on the favourite, you predict that he will beat the opponent with an advantage of at least three games.

Total. Here you can bet on how many games will be played in a particular match – if it will be more or less than the bookmaker's set number. At the World Nine Championship, depending on the stage, they play until they win 9, 11 or 13 games, which corresponds to the maximum totals in 17, 21 and 25 games. The analysis in this case, as well as in betting on a handicap, is carried out on the basis of whether or not there will be an even competition in the match.

On the results of the tournament. A popular line when you can try to guess the future winner of the entire tournament. In addition to the odds-on absolute success, which is quite difficult to predict due to a large number of participants, the bookmaker often offers quotes on participants reaching a certain stage of the competition.

Prediction strategy: How to bet on Pool

To get a basic view of the level of players in the pool, check out the WPA rating. Before giving advice there, let us clarify like all similar ratings in other sports, it does not accurately reflect the real picture but can be useful in the early stages of familiarity with pool. For example, a billiards player from the bottom of the ranking has a very small chance of defeating the leaders of the higher class.

Before betting on the tournament carefully examine the format, venue and bracket of the tournament. Some players when making bets wisely choose several pool players from the forecast to win the tournament, and in this case, the analysis of the bracket will help a lot because the bet will not make sense if the favourites are all on one side.

The place has a special significance when betting on Asian billiards players. In recent years, Filipinos, Taiwanese and Chinese have increasingly taken the lead in the pool, and at home with the support of their countries, they play a particularly exciting game.

Choosing a billiards player for the bet, it is necessary to evaluate his past form and results. It is necessary to understand that some professionals with big names are overrated in the line, and you should be on your guard if the famous billiardist is not in the best frame of mind. It is also better to refrain from betting on a participant with an inconsistent playing style – as it is difficult to guess in what condition he will come to the tournament.

Try to find the latest news of the world of the pool, read the analytics and follow the pages of billiardists in social networks. Information on the Internet is not in abundance, as in the case of snooker, but to gain an advantage over the line it is necessary - bookmakers form a line on pool mainly on the results of personal meetings, so any lead you can find could be decisive.

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