This study aimed to compare the technical and tactical aspects between winning and losing teams in close (i.e., 1-3 goals of difference) and unbalanced (i.e., > 3 goals of difference) elite women's water polo games. A notational analysis was performed on 45 games to evaluate: occurrence of action, mean duration, action outcome, origin and execution of shot, offensive and defensive role and arrangement ofEven, Counterattack, Power-play, and Transition situations. Independent 2-sided t-tests were applied to show differences (p < 0.05) between teams. Regarding close games, effects emerged for action outcome (Counterattack: lost possessions; Power-play: goals, no goal shots), origin (Even: zone 1, zone 4; Counterattack: zone 1, zone 5) and execution (Even: off-the-water shots; Counterattack: shots after > than 2 fakes; Power-play: drive shots) of shots, Offensive Even arrangements (6vs6/5vs5; 2vs2/1vs1) and role. Regarding unbalanced games, differences emerged for the occurrence of action (Even; Counterattack), duration (Even; Power-play), action outcome (Even: goals, penalties; Counterattack: goals, no goal shots, penalties; Power-play: goals, no goal shots;Transition: lost possessions), origin (Even: zone 2, zone 4; Counterattack: zone 5) and execution (Even: free throws, drive shots; Counterattack: drive shots,shots after > 2 fakes; Power-play: drive shots,shots after 1 fake) of shots; Offensive Even arrangements (2vs2/1vs1) and role; and Defensive Even arrangements (pressing, zone 1-2, zone M, zone 2-3-4). Differences between close and unbalanced games underline that water polo performance should be analyzed in relation to specific margins of victory. Therefore, water polo coaches and physical trainers can plan a sound training sessions according to the most important aspects of close (opponent's exclusion, centre forward play, Power-play actions) and unbalanced (defensive skills) games.