Tennis is one of the most widespread sports in the world with an estimated 1,2 billion players around the world. For sports bettors tennis betting is very popular and especially for live betting due to the unique scoring system used for tennis. In this tennis betting guide, we will guide you through how to bet on tennis, some betting strategies, the rules of the game and history.
The Best Tennis Betting Sites
How to Bet on Tennis
Betting on tennis is one of the most fun things you can do as a sports bettor. The unique scoring system makes this sports especially great for live betting. The odds move faster than for almost any other sports and tennis savvy gamblers can make find good ways to make a decent dividend within a matter of minutes.
For betting on tennis most of the bets will be placed on ATP tour events, Challenger events, and the four Grand Slams. The ATP Tour and the Grand Slam events (Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon, and US Open) are where you find the elite players including superstars like Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, and Novak Djokovic. Even though Challenger events do not offer the same star power there is a huge amount of betting going on.
So how do you bet?
The most common bet to make on tennis is to back an outright winner. This is a standard 2-way bet where you either back player X to win or Player Y to win.
Let’s take a look at an example:
Players: Novak Djokovic vs Nick Kyrgios
Surface: Hard Court
Sets: Best of 3
Being the best player in the world Djokovic will be the favorite to win this matchup and the odds would look something like:
1: Novak Djokovic – 1.50 to win
2: Nick Kyrgios – 2.50 to win
Betting on the spread is another very popular way of betting on tennis. Betting on the spread means that the betting sites are balancing the odds between uneven teams.
Adding the spread gives the favorite a handicap which means that winning the match will not be enough for your bet to be a win, the favorite now has to win by a margin. The same goes for the underdog who is now gaining an advantage meaning that if he wins the match or loses within the spread margin you win if you back the underdog.
Using the same example the spread bet options would be something in line with:
-3.5 games Novak Djokovic – odds 1.95
+3,5 games Nick Kyrgios – odds 1.95
If betting on Djokovic. Novak has to win the match and he was to win with at least 3.5 games.
Win example: Novak Djokovic vs Nick Kyrgios 6-4, 6-4 = +4 games
Loss example: Novak Djokovic vs Nick Kyrgios 7-6, 6-4 = +3 games
The opposite outcome on the examples above if you back Kyrgios at +3.5
Over Under betting is also another popular form of betting on tennis. Over under betting is usually made on total games and total sets.
Continuing with the example above with Djokovic and Kyrgios over under bets on that game could look like:
Over +20.5 games 1.95
Over -20.5 games 1.95
What is interesting with over under betting is that you are not betting on a player to win or lose. You are betting on the totals for the match. On the example above a bet on the over would be winning if the total amount of games is over 20.5 and lose if under 20.5.
Loss example: Novak Djokovic vs Nick Kyrgios 6-4, 6-4 = 20 games
Win example: Novak Djokovic vs Nick Kyrgios 7-6, 6-4 = 23 games
Tennis Betting Strategies
Now when you know the basics on how to bet on tennis it’s time to dig into some betting strategies that will help you become a winning player when betting on tennis.
Know the players and the tournaments you are betting on.
This is by far the most important piece of advice when betting on tennis. Some players tend to perform very well in specific tournaments and the week after underperform vigorously. The mental aspect of tennis is massive and you need to understand how small details play a huge part in the outcome of a match.
One of the best examples of how a player can achieve great results in one tournament and then fail completely is Victor Estrella Burgos from the Dominican Republic. He won a total of 3 ATP titles in his professional career and guess what, he did it winning the Equador Open 3 consecutive years from 2015 to 2017.
Know the head to head stats
Again the mental aspect plays a massive part in this sport and what could look like a better player on paper might be facing a player that has all the tools to disarm the strengths of the opponent player.
Example: Ivo Karlovic, who is considered to be the best server of all times, faces an opponent with a weak return game. Karlovic will be almost unbreakable in this of matchup which means that a lot of the games are likely to end up in a tiebreaker. What does this tell us? Karlovic will have a good chance of winning this match even though he faces a stronger opponent and the over bet might be lucrative as the game will most likely end up with a high total of games.
Bet pre-game and in-game
Only placing pre-game bets on tennis is never the best strategy. Combining pre-game with live betting is ideal. Live betting requires an eye for detail and this is why knowing your players is so important.
An example of this is the King of Clay, Rafael Nadal. He is basically unstoppable on most clay courts around the world but on some clay courts on some days he can look a bit uncomfortable. Madrid Open is one of those tournaments where Nadal becomes human. He has 5 titles in this 1000 ATP event but compared to the other two ATP 1000 Clay court events Monte Carlo and Rome, Madrid is his worst clay-court tournament of the year. One of the reasons is that the courts in Madrid are a bit faster than in Rome and Monte Carlo but the tournament is in Spain which is Nadals home soil.
From a live betting perspective, you should use this information to find good odds value. Nadal being down a break will make the odds on Nadal go up but as we all know he is very likely to come out on top anyway. The advice is simple, use the odds movement in your favor to find a good return on your bets.
The Best Tennis Betting Site
Most betting sites offer many markets for tennis betting. The most important aspect is not the pre game markets and odds, it’s the tennis live betting options. Bet365 has a massive advantages when it comes to offer live betting on tennis as they are also the brand with the largest tennis live streaming schedule. This makes bet365 the best choice for betting on tennis in India.
Tennis Rules and Scoring
Tennis is played with a racquet and tennis balls on a court which is 8,23 meters wide for single play and 10,97 meters wide for doubles play. The court measures 23,78 in total length with each side of the court being 11,89 meters long. In the center of the court, there is a net which stands at 107 centimeters.
The basic rules of the game are that players should hit the ball with your racquet over the net and inside the opponent’s court. If you hit the ball into the net or outside the opponent’s court you lose the point.
While the game of play is pretty straight forward and easy to grasp it is the scoring system that makes tennis unique and exciting.
To summarize the scoring structure in a few words a traditional game of tennis is played best of 3 sets. A set is won when a player has reached first to 6 games (or 7 in case there is a tiebreak). Each game is won once a player has won 4 points (or more in case of a Deuce).
The point scoring system is unlike all other sports.
- 1 point in tennis is 15
- 2 points are 30
- 3 points are 40
And once you reach 4 points with a winning margin of 2 you win a game.
Going back to the Djokovic vs Kyrgios example. First game – Djokovic serves:
- 1st point Djokovic wins: 15 – 0
- 2nd point Djokovic wins: 30 – 0
- 3rd point Kyrgios wins: 30 – 15
- 4th point Kyrgios wins: 30 – 30
- 5th point Djokovic wins: 40 – 30
- 6th point Djokovic wins and wins the game to 30
If both players reach 40-40 it is called Deuce. The first player to win two consecutive points from Deuce will win the game. There is no limit to how a long can go on.
To win a set you need to reach 6 games and have a win margin of at least 2 games. If not the game continues up to 6 games each where a tiebreak will be played.
The tiebreak scoring system is probably the most logical where one point is also calculated as one point. First to 7 points with a winning margin of at least two points wins the tiebreak. The tiebreak goes on all the way until someone has a two-point margin.
A best of 3 sets match is won when someone has first won 2 sets.
Real Tennis with racquets was first played in the 16th century in the UK. In the early days tennis was played on grass courts which is one of the reasons why The Wimbledon, the only Grand Slam tournament played on grass, is considered as the most prestigious tournament in the world.
Until 1968 tennis was more of a gentlemen sport with little price money and few professionals. The Grand Slam tournaments did not allow professionals to compete in the majors until 1968 which is referred to as the start of the Open Era of Tennis. The Open Era made it possible to make a living from tennis with increase commercial interest.
With bigger prize money and more commercial interest the sport rose from being a sport for the upperclass only to a more widespread audience and performers. Tennis is today one of the largest sports in the world and is being played in every corner of the world.
Tennis in India
Tennis is one of the most popular sports in India and is the most successful country in Asia in terms of most Grand Slam wins and 3 runner up finishes in Davis Cup. India tennis has enjoyed massive success in the tennis doubles with a total of 30 grand slam wins, 18 mixed grand slam wins, 9 men’s doubles and 23 women’s doubles.
The biggest Indian tennis star is Leander Paes who is an extremely talented tennis player born in 1973. He holds one ATP single title and 54 doubles titles including 8 grand slam wins, making him on the best best doubles players of all time.