Betting Guides

Beginners Guide to Tennis Betting

Tennis, with its global tournaments, myriad of players, and year-round schedule, offers a unique and dynamic betting scene unlike any other sport.

From the sun-soaked courts of the Australian Open to the historic grass of Wimbledon, each match and tournament brings its own set of opportunities and challenges for punters.

In this guide, we’ll cover the basics of tennis betting, including understanding the odds, familiarising yourself with the different types of tennis bets. Whether you’re planning to place your first bet or looking to refine your betting tactics, this guide aims to provide valuable insights that will enhance your tennis betting journey.

How do Tennis Odds Work

Tennis odds are numerical representations of the probability of certain outcomes within a tennis match or tournament. These odds not only inform bettors of potential winnings for each bet but also indicate the favourites and underdogs in any given matchup. For example, odds of 2/1 indicate a potential profit of £2 for every £1 staked. You also get your stake returned if you win, so a £1 bet would return a total of £3.

Essentially, the lower the odds, the higher the probability of the outcome occurring, making the bet less risky but also offering lower returns. Conversely, higher odds suggest a lower probability of the outcome, representing a riskier bet with the potential for higher rewards.

Main Tennis Betting Markets

Tennis offers a wealth of betting markets that cater to a range of preferences. Here’s a look at some of the most popular tennis betting markets:

Match Winner

The most straightforward type of bet where you simply bet on the winner of a specific match.

Handicap Betting

Similar to game handicaps, this involves a player starting with a hypothetical advantage or disadvantage in sets.

Set Betting

Also known as Correct Score betting this market involves predicting the exact score in sets. For example, predicting a player to win a match 2-0 in a best-of-three sets format.

First Set Winner

Predicting the winner of the first set. Similar markets are available for other sets. These markets are particularly popular for live betting.

Total Aces

You can also place bets on the total number of aces (serves not returned by the opponent) in a match, for either the match as a whole or individual players. Furthermore, you can wager on which player will achieve the highest number of aces. This type of bet requires understanding of each player’s serving ability and their history of serving aces in past matches.

Total Games

Betting on the total number of games played in a match. This is a 2-way Over / Under market where you have to predict whether the total games will be higher or lower than a specified number set by the bookmaker.

Futures Betting

Futures markets are available for major tournaments well in advance of the event start. Bettors can wager on the outright winner of the tournament, which often provides higher odds but also comes with more risk as many factors can influence the outcome.

In-Play Betting

In-play or live betting allows punters to place bets on matches as they are happening. Odds fluctuate rapidly based on the live action, offering a dynamic and engaging betting experience. This market is favoured by those who have a strong understanding of the game and can make quick decisions based on live play.

Tiebreak in Match

Betting on whether there will be a tiebreak played in the match.

Player to Win a Set

Betting on whether a specific player will win at least one set during the match.

Tennis Betting Strategies

Next we’ll share some tips on developing a betting strategy that can help you make informed decisions, maximise your chances of winning, and, most importantly, enjoy the process.

Match-up Analysis

To optimise your tennis betting strategy, delve into the match specifics by examining each player’s playing style, strengths, weaknesses, and track record. Acknowledge that certain players have a competitive edge over others based on their style of play or may face difficulties on particular surfaces.

A notable example is a player with a formidable serve who may excel on quicker courts but find it challenging to maintain that dominance on clay courts. Grasping these nuances allows for a strategic approach to betting, enhancing your ability to forecast match results, set outcomes, and engage with various side bets more effectively.

Focus on Surface Specialists

Tennis players often have a preferred surface that complements their playing style — grass, clay, or hard court. By betting on players who excel on a particular surface, you can increase your chances of winning. For instance, a player known for their prowess on clay courts might be a safer bet at tournaments like the French Open.

In-Play Betting on Breaks of Serve

Tennis matches can swing dramatically with just a single break of serve. Paying attention to in-play betting and placing bets when a strong returner faces a weaker server could be profitable. The key here is to watch the match live and make quick decisions based on the momentum and performance on the day.

Bet Sensibly

When employing these strategies, always remember to manage your bankroll wisely and never bet more than you can afford to lose. Also, keep in mind that while these strategies can improve your chances, there’s no surefire way to guarantee a win due to the unpredictable nature of sports

Tennis Betting FAQs

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How do I start betting on tennis?

To start betting on tennis, choose a reputable online bookmaker that offers a wide range of tennis betting markets. Create an account, make a deposit, and then navigate to the tennis section to browse upcoming matches and betting options.

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What are the most common types of tennis bets?

The most common types of tennis bets include match betting (picking the winner of a match), set betting (predicting the exact score in sets), handicap betting (betting with a spread), and over/under on game totals.

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Can I bet on tennis matches while they are in progress?

Yes, most bookies offer in-play or live betting, which allows you to place bets on matches as they are happening. Odds will change in real time based on the action on the court.

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What does betting on the handicap mean in tennis?

Handicap betting in tennis involves giving one player a virtual advantage or disadvantage. For example, if a player has a -2.5 game handicap, they need to win by at least 3 games for a bet on them to pay out.

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How important are player rankings in tennis betting?

While player rankings can give a general idea of a player's ability, they don't always predict match outcomes accurately. It's also important to consider current form, head-to-head records, and surface preferences.

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Are there bets that focus on specific events within a match?

Yes, there are other tennis bets that focus on specific events within a match, such as the number of aces, whether there will be a tiebreak, and the total number of games played.

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What strategies can beginners use to improve their tennis betting?

Beginners should start by focusing on matches and tournaments they are familiar with. Analysing players’ performances on different surfaces, recent form, and head-to-head matchups can also provide valuable insights for making informed bets.