Betting Strategies
21.08.2023, 06:03
20.05.2024, 12:49

Rack 'em Up: Betting Strategies for American Pool Enthusiasts.

American pool is a type of pocket billiards. The game attracts fans and betting enthusiasts due to its dynamic gameplay, complex tactical decisions, and relative predictability.

There are over 10 types of American pools, with 8-ball, 9-ball, and straight pools being the most popular. Professional tournaments in this sport are held under the auspices of the World Pool and Billiard Association (WPA) and are recognised by WPA-affiliated organisations.

Knowing how to bet on the American pool, one can place winning wagers on competitions.

Billiard players from Spain, Germany, Poland, Russia, Australia, Canada, the USA, Finland, and the Philippines show the best results in professional tournaments.

Rules of American Pool

Competitions in any variant of the American pool are held on tables measuring 1.27 x 2.54 meters and 74.3-78.74 cm in height. Players strike balls using cues. The white cue ball is used to aim and strike the other balls.

The goal of each participant is to be the first to pocket the required number of balls. Draws are not a possible outcome in billiard matches. The game is played until a certain number of games (frames) are won, depending on the variant of the discipline and the competition format.

The main differences between the popular variants of American billiards are:

  • 8-ball: Players pocket either all striped or solid-coloured balls. The last ball to be pocketed is the black ball. The game involves 15 object balls: 7 striped, 7 solid colours, and one black ball.
  • 9-ball: Players must pocket the balls in strict numerical order, with the ball numbered nine being the last to be potted.
  • Straight pool: Players accumulate a set number of points determined by the competition's rules. The game involves 15 object balls, and 1 point is awarded for each ball pocketed.
  • Tournaments are conducted with the involvement of a referee, who acknowledges successful pots, determines fouls, and ensures players adhere to the rules.


To determine the order of play, participants perform a lag. The player whose cue ball rebounds from the cushion over the greater distance gets the right to strike first.

During a game, participants take turns striking. After a successful pocket, the player strikes again.

Fouls or violations are possible in the game, as a result of which the opponent gets the opportunity to place the cue ball in any convenient position and take a shot. Violations include touching the ball with any body part, potting the cue ball, or obstructing the opponent during their turn.

A billiard player can end the match prematurely – by informing the referee and the opponent about the decision or unscrewing their cue during the opponent's turn, signalling an intention to concede.

How to Predict the Outcome

American billiards is a predictable sport, with surprises occurring infrequently.

When placing a winning bet on American pool, betting enthusiasts consider:

  • The skill level of the players – their position in the WPA international ranking.
  • Recent tournament results of the participants.
  • Head-to-head outcomes between competitors.
  • The venue of the competition – players often perform better in home tournaments.

Additional factors to consider when analysing include the average number of violations and the players' composure. Watching videos of past competitions is beneficial in determining how a player behaves in challenging situations.

Statistical and analytical information on the American pool can be found on the World Pool and Billiard Association – WPA website.

How to Place Bets on American Pool

Players should consider the specifics of betting on the American pool to place winning wagers on the discipline.


  • A high position of an athlete in the WPA ranking doesn't make the participant an absolute favourite of the match, but if there's a significant difference in skill level, the chances of the weaker opponent winning are almost nil.
  • If a player missed the last tournament, placing a bet on them is risky since it's impossible to assess the billiard player's form accurately.
  • Fouls in the pool occur frequently and can influence the match outcome; it's essential to consider opponents' foul statistics.
  • Athletes from the Philippines, China, and Taiwan often deliver impressive results, especially in their home tournaments.
  • Betting offices tend to overestimate the chances of players with high positions in the WPA ranking and offer undervalued odds for these players.
  • Bookmakers set odds for participants primarily based on head-to-head results and WPA ranking positions; a detailed analysis can help find value odds.

Types of Bets in American Pool

The betting options for American pool matches include offerings for essential markets:

  • Outcome – Victory for the first or second billiards player.
  • Handicap – Victory for a participant considering an advantage or a frame deficit.
  • Total – The total number of frames played in the match, depending on the nature of the contest in the game.

Additional betting options for bookmakers include long-term results:

  • Tournament winner.
  • A participant is advancing to a specified stage of the competition.

Working Strategies for Betting on American Pool

There are no specialised betting strategies for the American pool in bookmaking establishments.

Discipline enthusiasts conduct a detailed pre-match analysis in which they take into account the following:

  • Players' positions in the WPA ranking.
  • Recent performance results.
  • Head-to-head confrontations.
  • The motivation and psychology of opponents.
  • The venue of the tournament.

For more in-depth information, it's beneficial to:

  • Browse players' social media profiles to gain insights into their recent activities, mindset, and potential injuries or disruptions.
  • Read analytical articles for a broader perspective on players and upcoming matches.
  • Visit forums where enthusiasts and experts discuss predictions, player conditions, and other influencing factors.

Incorporating these sources of information into one's analysis can enhance the accuracy of predictions and improve the odds of placing a winning bet.

Pros and Cons

Pros of Betting on American Pool

  • Predictability: Due to the nature of the sport, if you are familiar with the players and their recent form, there's a certain degree of predictability, especially when top-ranked players face many lower-ranked opponents.
  • Lesser-Known Sport: Since the American pool is not as widely followed as sports like football or basketball, bookmakers might not invest as much in perfecting the odds. This can lead to opportunities for informed punters.
  • Head-to-Head Records: In many individual sports, past encounters between two players can significantly indicate how a match might unfold, offering a strategic angle for bettors.
  • Rich Data Availability: Due to the sport's structure, a lot of statistical data is available (like player rankings, recent form, foul rates, etc.), which can aid in making informed decisions.
  • Live Betting: American pool games can change rapidly. If you're watching live, you can catch shifts in momentum or see when a player is "in the zone," which can benefit in-play betting.

Cons of Betting on American Pool

  • Lack of Information: Mainstream media coverage for the pool needs to be improved. You might only have access to valuable information that affects game outcomes, like minor injuries or personal issues of a player, if you're dedicated to following the sport.
  • Upsets: Like in all sports, upsets can and do happen. Even if all statistics point toward a specific outcome, there's always the unpredictability of the human element.
  • Fewer Betting Opportunities: Compared to more popular sports, fewer events in the American pool might exist.
  • Limited Betting Markets: There might be fewer diverse betting markets for the American pool than for more mainstream sports.
  • Player Consistency: Players can sometimes be inconsistent in their performance, especially in less significant tournaments, making it hard to predict outcomes based purely on recent form.
  • External Factors: The condition of the table, balls, or even cues can sometimes change the dynamics of a game. These variables are often hard to account for when placing a bet.
  • As with all types of betting, it's crucial to conduct thorough research, manage your bankroll wisely, and bet responsibly.


What is the WPA ranking, and why is it significant in betting on the American pool?

The WPA (World Pool-Billiard Association) ranking is the official system for professional pool players worldwide. It's crucial in betting because it reflects a player's performance and consistency over a specified period. High-ranked players are often considered favourites in matches.

How does "handicap betting" or "spread betting" work in the pool?

Handicap betting in the pool involves giving one player a hypothetical advantage or disadvantage. For example, if Player A has a handicap of -2.5 games against Player B, he must win the match by more than 2.5 games for a bet on Player A to win.

Can I bet on American pool live during a match?

Many bookmakers offer live, in-play betting for American pool matches. This allows punters to bet based on the ongoing action and shifts in momentum.

What factors should I consider when betting on an American pool?

Consider the player's WPA ranking, recent form, head-to-head matchups against their opponent, any known injuries, the venue of the match, and any other external factors that might influence performance.

Are there specific tournaments that offer better betting opportunities in the American pool?

Major tournaments, such as those sanctioned by the WPA, often attract the top players and receive more media coverage. These events might offer better-informed betting opportunities due to the availability of data and insights.

What does "total frames over/under" betting mean in the pool?

This is a bet on the cumulative number of frames/games played in a match. If the over/under is set at 15.5, punters can bet on whether the match will end in over 15.5 or under 15.5 frames.

How can I find reliable statistics and insights for American pool betting?

The official WPA website is a trusted source for player rankings and tournament results. Additionally, dedicated pool forums, players' social media profiles, and specialised sports analytics sites can offer insights for bettors.


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