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Pool was considered to be a pub game for many years and although it was popular, it struggled to get the classification of a professional sport played by professional players. It has achieved this in recent years though and in the last decade it has also grown in popularity, rivaling the viewing figures of snooker and becoming a very popular sport to gamble on.

The beauty of pool is that pretty much everyone can watch it and understand what’s going in. It is far from easy to pickup and master, but its simple rules mean that anyone can watch, enjoy and bet on a game without having had an experience with it. One of the best ways to bet on pool is to use BetFair, who offer more markets on all major and minor pool games, from the World 8-Ball Championship, to the huge tournaments run in Vegas and games played on a domestic level.

There are different variations of pool, including 8-ball and 9-ball, including slight differences for European and American rules, but they often go hand in hand and professional pool players have been known to play in all of them. As a spectator, 8-ball improbably the most widely available and accessible, but all of them offer a number of betting markets, and it is those markets that this article will focus on.

Outrights

The BetFair betting exchange has by far the best odds of any sports book or exchange, and the way to get the most out of these odds is to back your chosen player or team before the tournament begins. Remember that pool is a game that is pretty much wide open, and one in which it is not unusual for outsiders to win. That means that teams and players that go on to win big tournaments can be priced as high as 10/1 or 20/1 before the tournament begins.

You should always do your research beforehand and you should never make the amateur move of betting on someone just because they are the favorite, assuming that if they are such a short price then they must be the best. That isn’t always the case, especially for a game that relies on the skills, ability and even the mood of a single player on a single day. Everyone has their off-days, and whilst a player in a football, soccer or hockey match can always be substituted if he has a bad day, in a game like pool a bad day will equal a big defeat.

To ensure you are covered, you should spread your bets. Don’t just bet on one winner, stick your money on two or three, knowing that if they all have good odds then if any of them win you’re in for a good profit. You can also place money on the “place” market, which will payout if they make it to the final and lose. If you use the BetFair sports book, you can also do this by choosing your bet and then clicking on the “each way” option.

There are also bets that will allow you to bet on certain players running deep in the tournament. This is a great opportunity to bet on the dark horses, those outsiders that few people rate highly but that surprise everyone by making it to the quarter or semi finals.

Knockouts

As well as putting your bet on who will win the tournament and who will do well, you can put your money on the stars of the competition to get knocked out early on. In fact, in many of the bigger and more popular pool tournaments, the ones that attract more lays on the BetFair betting exchange, you can place on your money on how far all of the shorter priced players will go. Will they make it all the way to the final like many are predicting, or will they get knocked out in the first round by a promising youngster who is about to set the world of pool alight?

There is a lot of money to be made in this market. Short priced players drop out early all of the time, and if you can predict this early enough, then you will be in for a very nice payday.

Totals

There are usually many “totals” markets in other sports, but there are only a few in pool. The main one of these is the total number of games that any given player or team (sometimes pool is played by teams of two players) will win. This is a tricky bet to get right, but one that can return very nice odds. There are also bets that allow you to bet on how many balls will be potted during the course of one or more games, but again, this is a very difficult bet to get right.

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