If you are just starting out as a punter and looking to bet on tennis, this is a good place to begin; we present the ultimate guide on which are the best tennis betting markets or the types of tennis betting and which one could be the best for you.
Tennis is quite a popular sport around the world, and with this popularity comes into play betting on the sport. Even though tennis is far less complicated to bet on compared to other sports, it still requires a few pointers for novices and first-timers just to understand how to bet or what to bet on. If you are looking to start betting on tennis, we would love to help you out with some information and tips that will make it easier for you.
To start off we will take a look at the mainstream tennis betting markets.
Tennis Betting Markets
One might ask, what is the need to pick and choose tennis betting markets. Well, to put it simply, various bookmakers have a variety of markets and it would be very easy to get distracted by those that actually could work for you from those which look jazzy but make no sense from a point of view of trying to win some money out of them.
There are over a dozen types of tennis bets that you can set on any major tennis tournaments. This variety of betting options make it the second most popular sport among punters but it also means amateur and beginner punters need to leaf through a lot before deciding on which markets to choose from.
The thing to also note here is there are non-stop tennis tournaments where one can enjoy betting but it’s also good to choose from between them. But more on that in a later piece.
If you are a beginner and looking forward to types of bets you can set on tennis, below are the types of tennis betting markets you can select to bet on.
Outright Betting (Tournament Winner)
The most common and probably the easiest betting type is outright one. Without going deeper in the tournament and each match, you need to select one player you think is strongest and has the highest chance to win the tournament.
Selection from a number of players is not an easy task and needs an evaluation of each player strength and weaknesses before opting for one player.
In outright betting, you bet on the outright winner of the tournament. Bookmakers offer odds on the players to win the tournament. You simply pick who you think will go onto lift the trophy which can be a bit tricky given that a player has to win around about seven victories to lift a title.
Another form of betting under this condition is betting each way on a player. The bookmakers will offer different terms of each-way betting. When you bet on a player each-way, you are basically backing the player on two fronts; to win the tournament or to finish as the runner-up (in this hypothetical case), depending on the terms of the each-way bet.
Should your player win the tournament, you win both bets since your player reached the finals before winning it. However, if your player loses in the final, you lose the first bet of tournament winner, but you win the second bet since your player made the finals.
If you plan on betting on the tournament winner, it is recommended that you place your bets before the action starts. Once the action starts, the odds you get might not be attractive enough, especially on dominant players.
In this type, you have to choose a winner for a particular match. Here there are only two players and you have to choose one out of two players which quite easy and the winner normally can be anticipated easily.
If you are beginner, this type of tennis betting is best for you. Most of the beginners start from match betting before moving to complex types of betting.
Since there are no draws in tennis, unlike a sport like football (soccer) or Test match cricket, it makes matters simpler. However, if you are betting on a match that has a heavy favourite, you will likely not get very good odds for betting on that tennis player.
This means you will either have to bet a significant sum on the favourite, or take a bigger chance on the underdog to make a worthy profit. This is usually the case during the early rounds of tennis tournaments when lower-ranked players face higher-ranked players. The art here to find the right value even in such cases where one player is a heavy favourite.
This is a little tricky but has the rich rewards if you win the bet. In this type, you have to predict the right score of victory in the final set and also on the margin of victory in sets. For example, in the best-of-five matches, you can bet that Roger Federer will defeat its opponent with the margin of 3-1 or 3-2 and so on.
Under this, you bet on the score in sets of a match. For instance, betting on Player A to win 3 sets and Player B to win 1 set. Should Player A win in four sets, you win the bet. Many bookmakers also offer you the option of betting on each set individually. You can bet on a player to win the first, second, third, fourth or fifth set.
This is recommended when you are experienced enough and well aware of the strengths and weakness of each player.
It is an interesting and trickier type of tennis betting. Here, you have to predict the performance of a particular player. Basically, you are betting on a player to perform according to expectation or better. If your player performed according to expectations, you will win the bet.
Understanding the tennis handicap mechanism is important. Higher ranked players are allotted negative points while the lower ranked player is allotted the positive handicap points. For example, when Roger Federer plays against Pablo Cuevas, it will be handed -4 handicap means you think Federer can win 4 games more than the Pablo.
Now, if the Federer performed according to expectations or even better, you will win the bet otherwise it will be considered a failure.
You can opt for handicap betting for sets or for games in a match. It is a betting condition where one player is given a handicap of a certain number of games or sets over the player he is facing. If you are betting on games handicap, one player will be given a handicap of a number of games over the other player.
Let’s take an example.
Suppose you are betting on a match between Novak Djokovic and Kei Nishikori, and Nishikori is given a games handicap of +5.5 games, with the following odds:
Kei Nishikori (+5.5): 8/11
Novak Djokovic (-5.5): 21/20
So now considering the handicap for Nishikori and the odds given, you can choose to bet on either player. If you bet on Djokovic, he will not only need to beat Nishikori, but win more than 5.5 games than Nishikori in the match. So should Djokovic win the match 6-4, 6-1, he has won seven games more than Nishikori and hence you win the bet.
On the other hand, if you bet on Nishikori, if he manages to win enough games and is within five games of Djokovic’s total games, then you win the bet.
To get a clearer picture, suppose Djokovic wins the match 6-4, 6-4. In this case, DJokovic has won 12 games to Nishikori’s eight, which means Nishikori is within the given handicap games of 5.5 and hence the bet on Nishikori wins.
The same conditions are also applied to set handicap betting.
This type of betting is recommended for experienced tennis bettors.
Tennis Over and Under Betting
This condition of betting is on the set and game totals in a match. Suppose you are betting on a singles match, you have to choose whether the match will end over or under 3.5 sets or a certain number of games (let’s say 30.5 in this case).
Should you bet on a match between Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka, you have to choose if the match will end over or under 3.5 sets. Let us consider Federer wins 6-4, 6-2, 4-6, 6-2, which means he required four sets to win the match which is over 3.5 sets, hence you lose the bet if you bet on under 3.5 sets.
Now in the same match, let’s look at games total. Say you bet on over 30.5 games total. With Federer winning 22 games and Wawrinka winning 14 games, the total number of games played were 36 games. Since the match went over 30.5 games, you win the bet.
So in basic terms, if you bet on the favourite, that player (Federer in this case) overcome the handicap given to his opponent. If he does, you win the bet.
The beauty of tennis betting is unlimited options to bet even during the match. You can bet on who will win the next point in a game, next game, whether or not the game will go to deuce, in-game score, next break to serve, total games in the set, correct games score in set 1 and so on.
In this type of betting you can bet on individual games and sets. The odds in this condition are constantly changing, even with every point and hence you need to be vigilant while betting in this.
Other than these you can also wager on other bets offered by bookmakers like betting on a player to win his/her half of the draw or betting on the margin of victories and more.
We can probably dedicate a 5000-worder article about tennis accumulators and that might not be enough to explain its beauty and fun – as it turns out we have one here that talks of tennis accumulators! – but this is not technically a market, nor is it something we would recommend to someone just starting out. If you are still interested in reading more about what is a tennis acca, as it is also called, click here.
Which Tennis Market is Best for You?
Now that you have understood the basic types of tennis betting markets, it’s important to note that all types of tennis betting have particular advantages and risks. If you are beginners, choosing options that have little risks like match betting.
As your experience grow chose trickier betting options like during the match betting options and handicap betting to earn more.
Personally what we recommend is to avoid the In-Match Betting Markets, for starters, when you are only trying to understand how things work. We would suggest to start with match betting market in order to understand how things progress and then take those steps forward towards the other, slightly funkier markets.
Which are the Best Tennis Tournaments to bet on?
The beauty of betting in tennis is there is never a dearth of a tennis tournaments in the world, and the off-season is barely a month or so long.
Starting from January, both ATP and WTA organise a plethora of tournaments. ATP tennis for men consists of ATP 250, ATP 500 and ATP 1000 Masters competitions other than Grand Slam tennis and the season-ending, ATP Finals while women’s tennis has the WTA International, WTA Premier, WTA Premier 5, WTA Premier Mandatory and the season-ending WTA Elite and WTA Finals.
You can find the ATP and WTA tennis schedule here.
Other than this, bookmakers also offer markets and odds for the lower-level tournaments like the Challengers and Futures in men’s tennis and the WTA $125k series and ITF Women’s Circuit in women’s tennis, so if you are looking to go really deep into understanding and analysing tennis betting, some of these lower-level tournaments are good to watch.
Now that you have understood the basics, what we recommend is for you to sign up with any one of these three bookmakers to try and understand how tennis betting works.
- Bet365 (click here to sign up with bet365)
- Unibet (click here to sign up with Unibet)
- Betway (click here to sign up with 888Sport)
Signing with either of them gets you a signing bonus or promotion offer depending on which bookmaker you are signing on to and which geography you belong to.
Once you think you are ready to move on to the next step, here’re a few tennis betting strategies you can look to use – this article on tennis betting strategies describes the aforementioned tactics in detail and can help you a tad more to go about your business.
Read more on the premium tennis betting tips here.