Can you bet on sumo wrestling isn’t a question we often get asked, but yes you can bet on a variety of sumo wrestling tournaments throughout the year. But while betting on sumo wrestling is very popular in Japan, which is why many Japanese betting sites offer odds for sumo wrestling, it’s much harder to find betting for sumo wrestling with bookmakers in Europe and America.
A Brief History Of Sumo Wrestling
Japanese history suggests that sumo wrestling dates back to 23B.C. when Nomi no Sukune defeated Taima no Kuehaya in a match that had been requested by the then emperor Suinin. Much later in 642, the Empress Kogyoku entertained important visitors by putting on Sumo matches, after which the popularity of sumo continued to grow.
While the original sumo matches were often a fight to the death, the rules that were incorporated in the Heian period were a precursor of those used in modern-day sumo wrestling.
The Rules Of Sumo Wrestling
The rules of sumo wrestling are easy, with one wrestler simply needs to force his opponent out of the ring or onto the floor to win the match. But while how to win is easy to understand, tactics are more interesting than you might think.
While you might think that a wrestling match between two big heavy fellows is simply a test of strength, there are a variety of techniques that wrestlers use to beat their opponents.
Sumo wrestlers are required to wear their long hair up in a chonmage (knot), while all wear a mawashi which is a heavyweight loin cloth that’s designed to withstand lots of grappling. Wrestlers can use the mawashi to manoeuvre their opponents out of the ring or to the floor, or they can push or throw them.
There are some moves that are not allowed in sumo wrestling, including hair pulling, striking the ears, attacking the groin, punching, and choking.
Popular Sumo Wrestling Tournaments
Betting on sumo wrestling is normally limited to matches between only the best sumo wrestlers, and there are a variety of top tournaments each year.
The Hatsu Basho takes place in January, while big spring tournaments include the Haru Basho (march) and the Natsu Basho (May). The Nagoya Basho takes place in July, with the Aki Basho (September) and the Fukuoka Basho (November) completing the program.
Where To Bet On Sumo Wrestling
Betting sites in Japan offer the most betting on sumo wrestling, but it’s hard to know whether it is legal to join them from other countries around the world. But there are some betting sites that operate in a variety of different counties around the world where you can bet on sumo wrestling. These include 1xBet, Marathon Bet, and Netbet.
Whether these sites will continue to offer betting on sumo wrestling may depend on the demand for it, while more bookmakers will surely start betting on sumo wrestling if it becomes popular on other continents.
Popular Sumo Wrestling Bets
There are two main ways to bet on sumo wrestling. You can bet on the winner of individual matches or you can bet on which wrestler will win a tournament.
If you want to bet on individual matches, then betting in matches between two evenly matched wrestlers will normally look something like wrestler- A 10/11 and (1.91) wrestler-B 10/11 (1.91). If you bet £10 on either wrestler to win, you will £9.10 + your stake back for a total return of £19.10.
But not all sumo wrestling matches will be viewed as an equal contest by bookmakers. For example, where one wrestler is deemed to have a much better chance of winning than his opponent, the bout may be priced up as wrestler- A 1/5 and (1.20) wrestler-B 7/2 (4.50).
If you place a £10 bet on wrestler-A in this instance, you could win just £2 + get your £10 stake back for a total return of £12. However, if you bet on wrestler-B, you could win £35 + get your £10 stake back for a total return of £45.
If you want even bigger odds for sumo wrestling, then look at the tournament outright markets. You’ll be betting on a player to win the tournaments, meaning he must win several matches to win your bet. But the rewards for picking such a winner can be very rewarding.
How Do I Pick Sumo Wrestling Winners?
If you’re betting on sumo wrestling, it’s a good idea to understand the ranking system. The top-rated wrestlers are called Yokozuna. These wrestlers have achieved excellence in power, skill, and dignity, and less than 100 wrestlers have achieved this ranking in the last four centuries.
Ozeki is achieved by wrestlers that win 33 or more bouts in three tournaments. However, wrestlers must maintain an excellent record to keep this ranking. Sekiwaki is just below Ozeki and is awarded to wrestlers that have won 30 bouts in 3 tournaments. Komusubi is a rank for wrestlers that have won more bouts than they have lost.