Tennis is one of the most popular sports to bet on across most countries as it is popular and played almost everywhere.
It is a very simple sport to bet on, and whilst some bet types are slightly more difficult to understand, if you have a grasp of the rules of tennis, you should be fine.
Types of Tennis Bets Explained
You are betting on who wins the match and qualifies for the next round in a tournament. This will be a 2-way market, either player A or player B will win.
On top of guessing who will win, you are guessing the correct score in terms of sets as well. Most matches are played as best of 3 sets, so you can either bet on your player to win 2 – 0 or 2 – 1. However, some men’s tennis tournaments, including the 4 majors, are played best of 5 sets so you can bet on your player to win 3 – 0, 3 – 1, or 3 – 2.
The player who will win a tournament after all other players have been knocked out, can often back this bet each way, which will see you get a winning bet if your player reaches the final and loses. You will be paid a % of the odds you took, such as 1/3 of the odds if they lose the final. As there are often 32 or 64 players in a tournament at the start, you can get some nice wins betting on this market.
Over/Under Total Games
You are betting on how many games there will be in the match with this one as opposed to who will win. With a set being the first to 6 games, or 7 if the score gets to 5 – 5, there can be a lot of games played especially if the match goes to a deciding set. For example, if you bet over 22.5 games and a player wins 6 – 2, 4 – 6, 6 – 0 then your bet will be a winner as there were 24 games in total.
Next Game Winner
Often popular in running bet, you are betting on which player will win a specific game. Whereas the player that is serving will be a hot favorite to win a game, if you bet on a player to be broken and lose their service, you can get good odds at times.
Current Set Winner
Which player will win a specific set?
Other In-Play Bets
Some bookmakers will offer a larger range of in-play bets than others which could include who will win the next point, whether a set will go to a tiebreak, the correct score in a set, how many points a player will win in a specific game, and more. If you like betting in play, it is worth shopping around to see which of your favorite sites offer the biggest range of bets.
Tennis Betting Rules
Like any sporting event, tennis matches can get interrupted, sometimes temporarily like a rain shower, or others permanently such as an injury to a player forcing them to retire.
Whilst rules do vary from bookmaker to bookmaker, the most likely scenarios and the outcome with the majority of bookmakers are shown below.
In the case of a player retiring and the match not being finished, most bookmakers will refund all bets that haven’t been settled. This will inevitably please some bettors more than others but is judged to be fair to all parties. It can be frustrating if you have a bet on a player to win and they are a set and a break up when their opponent retires, but as the match hasn’t finished, it is inevitable that bets won’t be paid out as a winner. It can be a blessing in disguise should you have a bet on the losing player though as you will get your money back and the chance to go again.
With markets such as over/under total games, where the number of games has already exceeded the total, markets would usually be paid out at the time. If a player retires towards the end of the match, some of these markets will have been settled by the time the match is abandoned.
In most cases, should the match be resumed within 24 hours, the bets will carry over and continue when the match resumes. Some bookmakers have a longer time for example 48 hours for a match to be completed, so it is worth checking if an open bet you have is affected by the weather.
It is also worth checking to see if a match is in progress as some bookmakers will keep the odds of a match on-site in the in-play section even when there may be a rain delay. If you want to bet on a match that is taking place in real-time, checking the individual match should show if there is a delay or not going on.
The Player Pulling Out Before The Match Starts
If a player pulls out before their match begins, nearly all bookmakers will void any bets and funds will be returned to your betting account.
If you bet on the winner of a specific tournament but that player does not take part for any reason, you can expect to get a refund. If however, your player does start the tournament but then pulls out, it will be treated as a losing bet as the player did take part.
Tips & Strategy For Betting On Tennis
Look At The Form
Like any type of sports betting, the form is key. It is worth checking how each player has done in the few previous games coming into a match such as how they fared head-to-head in the past, how well they tend to do at that specific tournament and if either player is suspected of having an injury.
Another important aspect of tennis is the surface as some players fare better on grass or hard courts than others. The surface does make a big difference to the bounce and speed and is there very important when considering how well a player is likely to do.
Just as some players do better on different surfaces, some cope with windy or hot conditions better than others. If a tournament is being played outdoors then taking into account the weather is another important factor when betting.
Head to head
Some players just seem to be able to get the better of others every time they play even if they may have a lower ranking. There could be a number of reasons for this such as having a game that plays to their opponent’s strengths, sharing a coach, or having a current coach that worked with the opponent in the past. Either way, look for things such as this when deciding what player to back.
Manage your bankroll
As with any form of betting, bankroll management is key so ensure you bet within your means at all times. If you start getting worried about the money you are gambling, walk away and get help – betting should be a fun pastime that can sometimes get a nice win.
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There are tennis tournaments almost all year round but the 4 main ones that players try and aim for are:
1. Australian Open played in January each year in Melbourne
2. French Open played in May/June each year at Roland Garros in Paris
3. Wimbledon played in June/July each year at Wimbledon in London
4. US Open is played in August/September each year in New York.
There are also team tournaments such as the Davis Cup, and ATP Cup played at the end of each season with the top 8 players and the Olympics which are considered important tournaments too.
Is betting on tennis profitable?
It can be if you know what you are doing but is worth bearing in mind when you are betting on a specific match, there are only 2 options and therefore the odds won’t be great for each game, if you want a bigger win then consider looking at the winner of a tournament which can give bigger odds, especially if you avoid the favorites.
Who are the best tennis players to follow at this time?
In 2023, the top ranked tennis players are Novak Djokovic, Daniil Medvedev, and Rafael Nadal in the men’s rankings. In the female rankings, Iga Swiatek holds the number one spot, followed by Aryna Sabalenka at number two, and Ons Jabeur at three.
What is the simplest type of tennis bet?
The simplest type of tennis bet is a straight “to win” wager. As the name suggests, a “to win” wager simply entails a betting enthusiast place a wager on who they think would win the match. If they got it right, they win the money.
What are the most popular types of bets on tennis?
The most popular bet is the “match” bet, or “to win” bet, where bettors place wagers on which player would win the match. However, a match bet is not the only type of tennis bet. You can also look into the following bet types:
• Set Score Bet
• Over/Under (O/U) Bets
• Tournament Winner Bets
• Current Set Winner
What is a Set Score Bet?
A set score bet involves punters betting on how the match will turn out in terms of sets. Most tennis matches are played in three sets. So a set score bet would involve betting on which player will win how many sets. A sort of related bet would be the current set winner bet. In the current set winner bet, punters place a wager on who is going to win an ongoing set in a tennis match.
Can I bet on tennis online?
Absolutely. Tennis is one of the most popular sports to place bets on. While not nearly as big as soccer, football, basketball, or cricket, the game has garnered quite a bit of popularity, with new fans getting into it annually. Hence, most sportsbooks will absolutely cover the biggest tennis tournaments, and some high-profile tennis matches. You may even find bookies that cover some lesser-known, local tourneys, though this is notably much harder to do.
Is Tennis a good sport to wager one for beginners?
Yes. In fact, tennis might be your best option if you’ve never put down a bet before. When compared to other sports, tennis is relatively cheap to wager on, so it is the perfect choice for anyone looking to start betting.
What do I need to know before I start betting?
The most important thing to know is how to manage your bankroll when betting on tennis. Finance management is the key to making a profit from sports betting, so ask around for a few tips on how to properly handle your betting cash.
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