William Hill have returned this year with an altered version of Chase The Ace.
You receive a bonus for every ace your player serves (regardless of whether they win – this is key) but you don’t know how much your bonus is until you place a bet.
Once you place your bet, you press the yellow ‘Play Chase The Ace‘ button, and a wheel spins letting you know how much bonus you will receive.
The promotion is available on every men’s and women’s singles match at the Australian Open. The minimum (and my recommended) bet is $25. The promotion excludes New South Wales, South Australia and Western Australia.
You can receive a range of bonuses from $0.50 to $10 bonus per ace. The terms say you have an 86% chance of $0.50 per ace, which then regresses to a 5% / 5% / 3% / 1% chance of $1 / $2 / $5 / $10 bonus per ace. Long-term, you’ll receive $0.83 bonus per ace based on those percentages.
In terms of the best play, you obviously want good ace hitters. Men’s matches are better than women’s because men serve more aces per point and men play 5 sets at majors, hence a better chance at more aces. These are the two most important factors.
In terms of price, you want your player to win, but long-term there is no advantage to short or long prices because the bonus does not depend on winning.
You ideally want even matches, because they’re more likely to be 5 set matches, and more sets = more aces = more bonus. That said, even matches are just a preference on this promotion. They are not a requirement for a bet.
In terms of good players to bet, last year’s ace record for the men is below. It’s a tad limited because it just includes the Top 45 ranked by number of aces, but it’s fine for our purposes.
John Isner and Ivo Karlovic were the two best ace servers last year with 23.2 and 20.9 aces per match respectively. Because most matches during the year are three-set matches and grand slams are five-set matches, I’ve conservatively multiplied the aces per match by 1.25 to produce a more accurate estimate of aces per match in a grand slam (this is the Expected Aces column).
Essentially, the higher in the list, the better the bet. It might become a challenge deciding on a bet later in the tournament, once some of the big ace hitters are knocked out.