Learn how to bet on tennis – OpenOdds Guide

Last updated & tested: 2020-03-24

Tennis is a true world game, popular all across the globe, from Australia to the UK, and from Chile to Japan. There is a massive range of professional tournaments, centred on the four major Grand Slam events, which are staged in Melbourne, Paris, London and New York across the year. If you want to know how to bet on tennis successfully, it pays to be as well-informed about the game as possible.

Here, we will take a closer look at some of the basics of tennis betting, and give you some tips on how to place winning bets.

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How to bet on tennis: The Essentials

Tennis is at heart a simple game. Two players (or four, in the case of doubles) hit a ball over a net, looking to make the ball bounce within the court, and beat their opponent. This, in part, explains its wide popularity.

Of course, the game is a little more complex than that basic description implies, but the sport is simple to understand, and therefore offers a good range of betting options. At the most basic level, punters can place a tennis bet on the outcome of a match. Fans of tennis betting can also bet on the outcome of entire tournaments, or even where a player will finish the season in the world rankings table.

Punters can also use betting apps to place in-play bets on tennis matches which are happening live. Tennis lends itself to live betting, due to the nature of the sport. Mastering live betting can be a good way of getting to know how to bet on tennis and win.

Tennis betting strategies: the basics you need to know

Serena Williams tennis

Tennis lends itself to betting. At its most basic, it is a two-horse race that requires the punter to make a simple choice between which of two players will win a match. But from that simple basis, there are many ways to bet on the sport. Like cricket, the type of surface on which a match is being played can be crucial, with different players specialising on hard courts, clay surfaces, or grass. A long season also plays its part, with players having to be resilient to stave off injury and fatigue at different times of the year.

Tournaments are the main focus of the tennis season, with almost all matches being played as a part of a tournament. Most tennis betting strategies are focused on tournaments too. Punters can bet on the individual matches within tournaments, or on the player who will be the overall winner of the event. Women’s tennis enjoys similar prominence to the men’s game, and provides just as many tempting markets for punters. Anyone writing a full-length tennis betting guide would therefore need to cover quite a lot of ground.

But it is easy to get started with tennis wagering for anyone with a good grounding in sports betting. If you go to the tennis page of any major online bookie, then you will see that the odds follow a simple format, with punters given the option to bet on one or the other player in a match to win. This type of betting is a great way to get started with the type of betting tennis offers.

Betting on individual tennis matches

Betting on the winner of a tennis match is more than just a case of checking out the betting odds. As well as the odds, you need to take into account the surface that the match is being played on. Some players, such as Rafael Nadal, excel on clay, whereas others may favour grass. Grass surfaces give serve and volley players an advantage, whereas clay, with its slower and higher bounce, tends to favour baseline players who like to rally. Knowing how to bet on tennis successfully is therefore a case of weighing up odds, before taking into account the surface and the specialist skills of the players. The occasion also needs to be taken into account, with many players having the psychology to cope with playing in key games, such as Roger Federer, and others being more inclined to ‘choke’ when the pressure is really on.

Another way of betting on individual tennis matches is to use the handicap. This works in a similar way to handicap betting on other sports, such as football and rugby league. One player is given a positive or negative number of games or sets within a match, and punters can bet on whether the player will manage to beat the handicap or not. For example, Andy Murray might be given a +2 handicap in a match against Stan Wawrinka. If Murray wins the match by three games to two, then anyone who bets on Wawrinka with the handicap has still won their bet.

Other types of tennis betting

Johanna Konta tennis

Anyone who wants to know how to bet on tennis should be aware of the other types of market which can be offered on individual matches. Punters can also bet on the number of sets that they believe each player might win in the match. There are usually markets available on how many games will be won by each player in the match too, and whether the total of games won will be odd or even. Punters can also bet on which player will win the first set.

Live betting also offers punters plenty of opportunity to test their tennis betting strategies. The kind of live bet tennis offers can take the form of who will win the next point, and what the score will be in the next game, or how many points will be played in total in a game.

Odds for tennis matches are often given in the decimal format, but UK punters may also see fractional odds used. American tennis fans should also research how to bet on tennis over and under, due to the way odds are presented at American bookies. Odds are usually also given on the overall winners of tournaments, which can be another interesting market.

How to find the best bookmaker for tennis betting

When learning how to bet on tennis, it is vital to pick the right bookmaker. The easiest way to test whether or not a bookie is serious about tennis is to check out the range of markets on offer. A good bookmaker will have plenty of markets on all the current events taking place. Also pay attention to which tournaments are being covered. Although most bookies will have markets available for the big ATP and WTA Tour events, a really good tennis bookie will also cover the ATP Challenger Tour and the ITF Futures Tour.

The range of in-play markets on offer for matches is another good test of a bookmaker, if you are looking to take advantage of some tennis betting tips. A good bookie will have a good range of options for live betting. If a bookmaker is not as serious about tennis, then the range will be smaller.  It is also a good idea to have accounts with more than one bookmaker, if you are serious about formulating some winning betting strategies. That way, you can see if better value odds are on offer at different bookmakers, and more easily take advantage of them.

Possible options for tennis betting bookies

Good tennis bookies provide punters with a good range of markets, for both individual matches and for overall tournament bets, and have plenty of live betting options available. If you are looking for the best online bookmakers for tennis betting, then here are three good options that this tennis betting guide recommends.

Best bookmakers for tennis betting

Bookmaker Our
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199 / 100100Fantastic £50 welcome bonusT&Cs apply, 18+Bethard bonus
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594 / 10030Matched bet of up to £30T&Cs apply, 18+Coral bonus
18+. UK+IRE only. Paypal & some deposit & bet types excl. Min first bet £10 a odds 1/2 or more. Tote and Pool excluded. Must be placed within 14 days of account reg. £30 credited as 3 x £10 free bets. Not valid with CashOut. Free bet valid for 7 days. Free bet stake not returned. 18+ T&Cs Apply."
692 / 10030Bet £10 get £30 free!T&Cs apply, 18+William-Hill bonus
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New Customers only. Up to £100 in Bet Credits. Sign up, deposit £5 or more to your account and bet365 will match your qualifying deposit in Bet Credits when you place qualifying bets to the same value and they are settled. Min odds/bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. T&Cs, time limits & exclusions apply.
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William Hill: The established all-rounder

William Hill is one of Britain’s biggest bookmakers, and this can be seen in the range of sports markets that it offers to punters. The tennis page at William Hill’s website is well stocked with tennis markets, and there is always a good range of live markets too. Many more obscure tournaments are covered, while there is also always plenty of attention paid to the very biggest tournaments, such as at Wimbledon, Roland-Garros and Flushing Meadows. Additionally, William Hill provides excellent customer service, and its welcome bonus to new customers, consisting of £30 in free bets, is also good value. Anyone looking for betting tips for tennis can also use the tip advisor page on the company’s website, which offers up to date betting advice from real punters. There is also live streaming of some tennis tournaments available at William Hill, another demonstration of just how complete the service on offer to tennis punters is at this bookie.

Betway: Simple to use, great range of markets

This tennis betting guide also feels that Betway offers a good, all-round service for tennis punters. The site is simple to use, and it is very easy to find the tennis markets which are on offer. You can claim a £30 welcome betting bonus. Without payment, though, you will not be able to claim this free bet bonus, so you do need to deposit funds in your account before you can use any free bets. There are plenty of live, in-play markets available too. There is also a news blog at the Betway website, which can be a good source of betting tips for tennis punters.
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Tennis punters can win big

This tennis betting guide has hopefully provided you with some basic ideas about what wagering on the sport entails. At its heart, tennis betting is very simple, and punters who have a good all-round knowledge of the sport should be able to turn their insight into winning bets relatively easily. Once you have mastered the basics, it is fairly easy to move onto more complex forms of tennis betting such as how to bet on tennis spread markets. Tennis is a simple game, but there is an intriguing and ever more complex range of markets on offer for the adventurous punter.

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