How To Bet On Tennis and Win Online
Tennis is one of the individual sports where two players and a ball are present on the court and compete against each other. The nature of the game makes it ideal for placing wagers because hundreds of players compete in multiple events nearly every week for 11 months. Although no sport can compete with the worldwide popularity of soccer, you would be surprised to know that tennis keeps ranking as one of the most bet-on sports in the world. If you are a fan but do not know how to bet on tennis, stay with me until this article’s end to learn all the nuts and bolts of placing successful wagers on tennis events.
In this article:
🔎 Basics of Tennis
🔎 Rules of tennis betting
🔎 Types of Tennis Betting and betting tips
🔎 How to read Tennis odds
Basics of Playing Tennis; Rules and Scoring
As I have said, tennis is one of the individual sports. Two players compete against each other, known as a single match, or a pair of players play against each other, known as a double match. The game’s goal is to hit the ball so that it passes over the net onto the opponent’s court and hits it in a way that they cannot receive it. In other words, you should try to receive the ball from your opponent but hit it in a way that your opponent cannot receive. To win a game, you need to earn enough points. To win a set, you should win enough games, and in the end, you must win enough sets to be announced the match winner.
To start the game, each player or team spin their tennis racquet to choose one of the following:
1️⃣ The side of the court
2️⃣ To serve or receive
3️⃣ Defer their choice to the opponent. However, the opponent does not have the choice to defer back.
The winner chooses one of the above options and the opponent remains with the other options.
Tennis Scoring System
The tennis scoring system differs from most sports. For this reason, it is better to quickly review how players win a game before we go into the details of tennis betting.
There are two different scoring systems in tennis games. The first is applicable in normal matches and the second is used for the four Grand Slam Tournaments:
Wimbledon played on a grass surface, French Open played on clay, and the US and the Australian Open played on a hard surface.
Let us begin with the scoring system that is used in most tennis games and normal matches.
As shown in the picture below, points make up a game, games make up a set, and sets make up a match.
For points, there are 0(LOVE), 15, 30, and 40. The key to remember is that points are always counted from the server’s point of view (the player serving). To win a game, a player should win at least 4 points(40). For example, if player 1 is on 40-30, 40-15, or 40-0 and wins one more point, they win the game. There is another point called Advantage. This is when the scores tied at 40-40, known as Deuce. When there is Deuce(40-40) and the server, say player1, wins one point, then the score will be A-40 and if they win another point, they win the game. If not, points reset to Deuce(40-40) until one player wins two consecutive points.
Another term you will hear while watching and betting on tennis is “breakpoint”. This is when the player who is not serving, say player 2, is one point away from winning it, breaking the serve game of the opponent.
A player should win by at least 2 games to win a game. There are 6 games to be won in a tennis match. So, player 1 should win by 6-0, 6-1, 6-2, 6-3, or 6-4. If there is a tie at 5-5, players 1 and 2 should compete for another 2 games, and whoever wins the two games and makes the sets 7-5 wins the set. Now, there is another scenario where both players win 6 games in a set making the score 6-6. In this case, a tiebreak will be introduced to the set to close it quicker than the usual game-scoring method. In the tiebreak, the first player winning 7 points wins the tiebreak, and that will be the set’s result. If players 1 and 2 win 6 points in the tiebreak, they continue until one player wins two consecutive points.
You may hear them say a match is played for the best of 3 sets. This phrase means the player who is first to win two sets wins the match, so there can be a maximum of 3 sets. To make it easier to understand, you can refer to these matches as “played for two won sets”. For example, when player 1 wins the first set and player 2 wins the second, either one who wins the third wins the match.
Now, let me briefly explain the scoring system used in Grand Slam Tournaments.
Grand Slam Men’s single and double matches differ in two ways from other tennis matches.
1️⃣ Matches are played for the best of 5 sets or simply 3 won sets. So, there will be a maximum of 5 sets in a match.
2️⃣ For some time, if the score is 6-6 in set number 5, there will be no tiebreak. However, a player only wins that set and the entire match if they win by 2 games.
The longest tennis match in history lasted for more than 8 hours and two days at 2010 Wimbledon. John Isner beats Nicolas Mahut with a score of 70-68 after playing 183 games in total. Since then, 3 of the Grand Slams created limits to the 5th set:
✅ Wimbledon: a tiebreak is played at 12-12
✅ French Open: no tiebreak cap
✅ US Open and Australian Open: a tiebreak is played at 6-6
This is pretty much what you should know about the rules and scoring in tennis. Now, let’s jump right into the markets!
Rules of Tennis Betting: How To Bet On Tennis?
Although tennis cannot touch the worldwide popularity of soccer, it is pretty popular among bettors worldwide. One reason is that the calendar for tennis matches is set up so that there are matches nearly every day for 11 months of the year. Another reason is the publicly available data and metrics offered by the sport’s governing bodies which can help bettors place more accurate bets. There are plenty of betting options available in tennis. Below you will find everything you need to learn about betting odds and markets on tennis.
Tennis Moneyline Betting
Moneyline is the most basic form of sports betting, where you pick the winner and back it. The favorite is designated by a negative number, while the underdog is designated by a positive sign. Look at the example below:
As shown in the table, Federer is the underdog. This means he has a lower chance of winning the game, and if you want to bet on him, you should risk $100 to win $145, and your net winning will be $245 if he gets lucky! On the other hand, Novak has a higher chance of winning, making him less risky to back. So, you should place $165 to win $100, and your net winning will be $265. In general, the favorite is less risky to bet. Still, it offers lower payouts, while the underdog is riskier to wager on but offers more juicy payouts.
As the name suggests, you pick a winner before or during a tennis event. In tennis, you can place future bets up until the quarterfinals. For example, if you are a Nadal fan, you can place a future bet on him winning the pre-tournament for winning the title at the French Open.
Tennis Spread Betting
Spread betting or handicapping is when two players have uneven chances of winning, and bookmakers give a distinct advantage to one player and a disadvantage to the other to even out the line. In fact, handicapping focuses more on players’ performance than the final result. Like point spread in football, basketball, and other sports, bookmakers set handicaps on tennis sets and games to even the playing field.
In a negative handicap, the bookmaker gives the stronger player a disadvantage in a few games. For example, consider the above match between Novak and Federer. The bookmaker gives a -2.5 handicap to Novak. At the end of the match, this number will be subtracted from Novak’s total games won, and the result determines the outcome of the bet. On the other hand, Federer would be given a +3.5 handicap. The same scenario is applied, except the number will be added to Federer’s final score, and the result determines the outcome of the bet.
Tennis Set Spread Bets
As the name suggests, in tennis set spread betting, you wager on the number of sets a player would win during a match. Look at the example below:
|Player||Set Spread Odds|
In this example, if you think Novak would win in two straight sets, back him. But if you think Federer can win at least one set, you place your wager on him.
Tennis Game Spread Bets
In this market, you wager on the game instead of sets. In other words, you should predict the player will win by how many games and bet on that. In this type of tennis bet, one player must win by more than the margin offered by the bookmaker, while the other player should stay within the margin. For instance, look at the example below:
|Player||Game Spread Odds|
In this example, Novak is set at -4.5, which means he should win five more games than Federer to cover the spread and for you to win your bet on him. On the other hand, if Federer wins the match or loses by four or less than four games, he covers the spread, and bettors who wagered on him can cash out.
Tennis Total Bets
Total or over/under is another tennis betting market. This market does not involve picking the winner of the match. Instead, bettors should predict the length of the match in terms of the number of games played. Look at the following example to better understand the concept:
|Player||Total Games||Over/Under Odds|
|Novak Djokovic||Over 38.5||-125|
|Roger Federer||Under 38.5||+105|
In this example, if you think Novak and Federer will play more than 39 games, you bet on the over and place $125 to win $100. On the other hand, if you think they combine to play 38 games or fewer, you bet on under and place $100 to win $105.
Remember that all tennis matches are either best of three or best of five sets. You can also place an over/under tennis bet on the number of sets played. Set over/under bets are always set at 2.5.
Tennis Live Bets
Line or in-play betting adds to the thrill of sports betting. In this market, you can place your bets while the match is being played. Although watching the game and betting in real-time is fun, live betting may be difficult for newbies. Because lines keep updating in response to the game changes, you should monitor every change, analyze, and make decisions in the blink of an eye. For example, you have to monitor the players’ pre-match physical condition, weather, players’ body language, live stats, and pre-match predictions. So, make sure to do your homework before placing live tennis bets.
Tennis propositional or prop bets include wagers on something happening or not happening during a game. In other words, prop bets are independent of the game’s outcome. Although prop bets are considered exotic in tennis, and not offered by all sportsbooks, especially for normal tennis events, top online bookmakers offer tennis props. Prop bets are particularly popular during Grand Slam Tournaments, like Wimbledon. Some of the most common tennis prop bets are:
🧐 Who will win the first set?
🧐 Will be a tiebreak in the match?
🧐 Player X will be eliminated in the Y round
🧐 Total games played in a match
🧐 Wich player will last longer in the tournament?
How To Bet On Tennis And Win: Pro Tips
Although I explained all the nuts and bolts of betting on tennis, below are some basic and advanced betting tips to help you place wiser tennis bets:
🧐 Keep an eye on the player’s current form. Use recent stat from previous matches and monitor how players are doing. If the player you want to bet on is losing early tournaments and is struggling in the matches, avoid them.
🧐 Surface of the court is essential. Because some players are clay tennis players who cannot play well on grass and hard courts. However, some players are pros at playing on all three surfaces. So, make sure to check on what surface the current tournament or match is being played on and find the players who perform the best on the surface.
📊 Check the matchup history and research the head-to-head history of the players.
⚠Remember, players will treat grand slams very differently than the smaller events. For instance, you cannot compare Wimbledon with an ATP 1000 Masters event. The atmosphere of the events differs dramatically. So, make sure to consider every difference while handicapping tennis tournaments.
✅ Bet sober and don’t go on tilt! Just like playing poker and other games, you need to be focused. So don’t let your emotions take over, and never bet under the influence.
💰 Manage your bankroll, and don’t bet over what you can’t afford.
⚠ Start slow and be patient, especially if you are a newcomer. In general, gambling is all about committing to a process, being patient, and being thoughtful. The main reason many people participate in sports gambling is to have fun. Still, if you don’t follow discipline, you will lose all your money and make a bad memory.
❌ Although I have said there are tennis matches and tournaments nearly every day for 11 months of the year, you should not wager on every single tennis match. Be reasonable!
❌ Instead of looking at the players’ ranks, focus on recent performance and stats. Because the ranking system, at its very best, will tell you what happened a year or two years ago. So, it is not of any help. Don’t look at the player ranking; focus on the performance.
📈 Use statistics and trends to decide your bet. Statistics like winners, unforced errors, first serve %, first serve points won, and % of return games won give you an objective overview of each player. In addition, if you can recognize trends early, you can quicklyidentify value bets and beat the bookmakers.
Where To Bet On Tennis?
There are plenty of online sportsbooks offering tennis betting markets. However, not all of them are trusted, legit, or US-friendly. In the table below, you can find the top sportsbooks to bet on tennis. They offer competitive tennis odds, excellent customer service, various safe banking methods, and several sports to bet on. More important than all, they are licensed and regulated, and you can place your money without concern.
|Online Sportsbook||Welcome Bonus||US Players||Crypto-Friendly|
|Betonline||50% up to $1,000||Yes||Yes|
|Fan Duel||Up to $1,000||Yes||Yes|
|Bovada||Up to $3,750||Yes||Yes|
|888 Sports||€30 in Free Bets + €10 Casino Bonus||Yes||No|
To Sum It Up
Tennis betting might be trickier than other sports. But once you understand the basics and don’t stop learning, you’ll see it is fun and profitable. So, make sure to review what you have learned in this article, practice, and bet wisely. Do not sign up with any random sportsbook you come across; make sure the platform is legit and offers 24/7 customer support. Betting on tennis is supposed to be fun, so don’t ruin it by signing up with rigged sites.
Latest Blog Posts
Join me to introduce you to the fascinating world of betting. From casino reviews to game tutorials and interesting content about sportsbooks