How to Bet on Tennis: Read Our Complete 2020 Guide
This is a bet on tennis guide for the second most popular betting sport in the world after football. It is rare in that more bets are placed during matches than before matches begin. Tennis is suited to in-play betting due to fluctuations in the score and odds.
Top 7 Sites to Bet on Tennis: Current Offers and Bonuses:
The table below shows the best 7 sportsbooks for tennis betting and tennis odds and the current offers and bonuses for new and existing customers:
|Bookmaker||New Player Offer||Claim the Offer|
|bet365||Offers available to new customers|
|18+ T&Cs Apply|
|William Hill||Bet £10 Get £30 free bets|
New customers using Promo Code P30 only, min £10 stake, min odds ½, free bets paid as 2x £15 (30 days expiry), free bet/payment method/player/country restrictions apply. See full T&Cs
|Coral||Bet £5, Get £20 in free bets|
18+ New Online UK+IRE players. Paypal & some deposit & bet types excl. Min first £5 bet within 14 days of account reg at min odds 1/2 = 4 x £5 free bets. Free bets valid for 7 days, stake not returned. No cashout, restrictions +T&Cs apply
|Betfred||Get £30 in free bets + 30 free spins|
New UK & NI customers only. 18+. Sign up using promo code ‘SPORTS60’. Deposit & place first sports bet at a minimum of £10 in one bet transaction at evens (2.0) +. £30 paid in free bets within 48 hours of bet settlement, expires 7-days after issue. E-Wallet & Prepaid Card restrictions apply. Your first bet must be settled within 60 days of bet placement. SMS validation may be required. Game restrictions apply. Maximum 30 Free Spins on selected games. Free Spins expire after 7 days. Full T&Cs apply
|Betfair||Up to £100 in free bets|
New customer offer. Place 5 x £10 or more bets to receive £20 in free bets. Repeat up to 5 times to receive maximum £100 bonus. Min odds 1/2 (1.5). Exchange bets excluded. T&Cs apply
|Paddy Power||£20 risk-free bet & £5 same game multi|
New customers only. Place your FIRST bet on any Sportsbook market and if it loses we will refund your stake in CASH. Max refund is £20. Only deposits made using Cards or Paypal will qualify. £5 Same Game Multi free bet will be available to claim from the promotions hub after the qualifying bet has been settled. T&Cs apply.
|Ladbrokes||Bet £5 Get £20|
18+, New UK+IRE customers. Paypal and certain deposit types and bet types excluded. Min £5 bet within 14 days of account reg at min odds 1/2 = 4 x £5 free bets. Free bets valid for 4 days on sports, stake not returned, restrictions apply. T&Cs apply
Tennis Betting Odds Explained
As part this how to bet on tennis article, here is a look at tennis odds formats:
Ways of Expressing Odds: Fractional, Decimal and Moneyline
There are a number of odds formats which are mainly based on geography. The UK, the rest of Europe and the United States have a default expression of odds. Here are the three most common betting odds and the way that an implied probability of 50% is expressed:
- Decimal (UK): 1/1.
- Fractional (Europe): 2.00
- Moneyline (USA): +100
On any sportsbook, customers can change the default tennis betting odds format. There are also a number of Asian odds formats but these rarely appear on UK, Europe and US-facing sites.
How Tennis Betting Odds Work
To illustrate odds, let’s assume a men’s match in which the betting market in fractional odds is as follows:
- Roger Federer 1/2 (66.66% of the market)
- Rafael Nadal 6/4 (40.00% of the market).
The theoretical profit margin in this match is 6.66% but the bookmaker is not certain to make a profit because most bets at these tennis odds could be on one player. Here is how bookmakers settle bets in each format and both outcomes:
Fractional: £100 x 1 + (1 /2) = £150.
Decimal: £100 x 1.5 = £150.
Moneyline: £100 x -200 = £150.
Fractional: £100 x 1 + (6 /4) = £250.
Decimal: £100 x 2.5 = £250.
Moneyline: £100 x +150 = £250.
Tennis Betting Markets
Bookmakers issue odds in three types of market: pre-match, in-play and ante-post. Markets available for tournaments are on the following tours: ATP (men) and WTA(women), Challenger and International Tennis Federation (ITF). This how-to bet on tennis article now describes the main markets for tennis betting which fall within one or more of the tennis betting categories:
Betting on Matches
The match-winner market is the most popular in tennis betting. In regular tournaments, men and women play over the best of three sets. Men’s matches in the Grand Slam tournaments and Davis Cup are best of five sets.
In most cases, there is a definite outcome to a tennis match. However, on rare occasions a player retires because of injury bookmakers have specific rules.
Betting on Outright Tournament Winner
This is an ante-post market and involves predicting the winner of a tournament. Bets can be a win and each way and standard place terms apply. Bookmakers update this market after each match and bettors can back a player to win from before the tournament begins up to the final. The market becomes win only at the semi-final stage when there are only four potential winners.
Betting on Sets
When looking at a guide to bet on tennis, readers should consider set betting which is similar to game betting. The odds are for the total number of sets or a total number of games in a set or the match.
In a match, in a regular tournament, the potential outcomes are two or three sets. In a men’s Grand Slam event and the Davis Cup, the potential outcomes are three, four or five sets.
Betting on Tennis Match Handicaps
A handicap is a start given to the underdog when there is a strong favourite. The match-winner tennis odds are too low to attract many bets. Bookmakers issue a total games handicap to generate betting interest on both options.
They express the handicap in half games to eliminate the tie and void bets. Tennis handicaps are two-way markets and are subject to tennis tips.
Betting on Tennis Under/Overs
This is a market for the total number of games. Some bookmakers quite odds for a number of bands of games. However, most quote odds for the total being over or under a specified number.
The quote is also in half games so there are a definite outcome and no potential for a tie. There is a similar but less popular market for over or under a quoted number of sets.
Other Tennis Bets
This guide to how to bet on tennis identifies the following other tennis bets:
- Match correct score in sets.
- Set correct score in sets.
- Game score in points.
- Asian handicaps.
- A number of breaks.
- First and second set betting.
- Race to a specified number of points
Tennis tips are available for some of these markets.
Major Tennis Tournament to Bet On
As part of this how-to bet on tennis article, here is a guide to the four annual Grand Slam tournaments which all take place outdoors:
- Country: Australia
- Dates: January and February
- Surface: Hardcourts
- Location: Melbourne Park
- 2020 Men’s Singles Champion: Novak Djokovic of Serbia
- 2020 Women’s Singles Champion: Sofia Kenin of the United States
- Country: France
- Dates: May and June
- Surface: Clay
- Location: Roland Garros Stadium
- 2019 Men’s Singles Champion: Rafael Nadal of Spain
- 2019 Women’s Singles Champion: Ashleigh Barty of Australia
- Country: United Kingdom
- Dates: July and July
- Surface: Grass
- Location: All England Tennis Club
- 2019 Men’s Singles Champion: Novak Djokovic of Serbia
- 2019 Women’s Singles Champion: Simona Halep of Romania
- Country: United States
- Dates: August and September
- Surface: Hardcourts
- Location: Billie Jean National Tennis Center
- 2019 Men’s Singles Champion: Rafael Nadal of Spain
- 2019 Women’s Singles Champion: Bianca Andreescu of Canada
Betting on Tennis – Strategies and Tips
An important part of this guide for how to bet on tennis is the factors to consider when placing a tennis bet. Bookmakers offer tennis betting on tournaments for most of the year. Betting on tennis can be lucrative or costly so here are the most important tennis betting factors:
How well a player is performing at the start of a tournament and results at the venue in other years.
The physical condition of a player before and during a tournament or championship.
Past results on each of the surfaces for tournaments: indoor hardcourts, outdoor hardcourts, clay, grass and indoors carpet.
The level of commitment a player has to win matches or the tournament.
Linked to the tournament location, courts and surface.
Players suitability to hot, cold, still or windy conditions.
Left or right-handers
Players suitability to the dominant playing hand of an opponent.
Past results between two players and the surfaces
There are many experts who consider these options when creating tennis betting tips. Bookmakers also look at these factors when compiling odds.
Tennis Live Streaming
Some bookmakers provide live streaming of matches which increases the amount of tennis betting. Customers must have an active account with some funds to qualify for this service. Live streaming complements in-play tennis betting whereby tennis odds are updated as a match develops.
Cash-out betting is part of this guide to how to bet on tennis. Bettors can close an active bet before it expires to guarantee a profit or limit the loss.
How We Selected Our Bookmakers for Tennis Betting
Tennis bettors can select from many online sportsbooks that provide a tennis service. Tennis is the second most popular betting sport in the world. Customers can place bets on matches using desktop computers and mobile devices.
There are a number of requirements for a positive tennis betting experience. Bettors can compare these features across betting sites. This how-to bet on tennis article identifies the following key elements:
The best tennis betting sites offer a range of pre-match, in-play and ante-post betting markets across a range of tournaments. There is a pyramid of tournaments and most sportsbooks feature tennis betting odds for the top three levels. Other potential betting events are the Davis Cup, Fed Cup, Tour Finals and the summer Olympic Games.
Bookmakers compile odds with a built-in theoretical margin. The variances between bookmakers may be small but are significant for high-staking customers. A recreational bettor may not notice the difference.
However, professionals who are betting to a small margin will. The value in the odds is an important consideration when choosing a tennis betting bookmaker.
The most popular tennis league is the ATP Tour, which is the premier tour for the men’s professional game. The best bookmakers display the two-way match winner market with a link to additional betting options of which there can be up to 30. These markets appear under the headings of match, handicaps, totals, correct score, games and sets.
Live streaming improves the tennis betting experience. The streams are in real-time and the odds are updated as a match develops. Live coverage of any sport increases betting and more so with tennis.
There are constant changes in the score and betting odds. The pictures are good and there is a clear commentary. Live streaming is a good service for those looking at how to bet on tennis.
Bet on Tennis FAQ
Here are the answers to some of the most common questions on the subject of tennis betting:
How do you bet on tennis live?
Bookmakers provide an in-play betting interface for tennis live betting.
What does 22.5 mean in tennis?
It is the quote from the bookmaker for the anticipated total number of games in a match and bettors can bet on over or under that total.
What is total set in tennis?
Tennis matches are played over sets and bettors can bet on the total set number.
How many sets are played in tennis?
Tennis matches are played over the bet of three of five sets.