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A Beginner’s Guide to Tennis Betting

Tennis is a truly thrilling sport to watch; it is fast paced and full of action from beginning to end. This makes it a fantastic sport to bet on and it presents fans with a huge number of betting opportunities. Here at Sports we offer a massive range of tennis betting markets. At first, they can seem a little overwhelming; however, in this guide you will find all the information you need to help you get started.  

Types of Tennis Bets 

As mentioned, there are many different tennis betting markets and it is important that you understand all of the different types of bets so that you can make the most of them. The markets allow you to bet on far more than just who will win a match or tournament, and give you the opportunity to build a flexible betting strategy that encompasses many different aspects of the sport. This means that things can get slightly complicated but there is no reason that you can’t keep it simple. Here is an explanation of the most basic types of bets to help you get started. 

Outright Winner  

This really is the most basic bet you can possibly place and as the name suggests, it is a bet on who the winner will be at the end of a tournament. It is of course the best place to start if you are new to tennis betting, as all you have to do is select the player that you think is going to win, and if they do, so will you. Before the start of a tournament, no matter how big or small it is, you will find odds on all of the players taking part under the “Outrights” section of the sportsbook.  

A great feature of this type of bet is that all of the players will nearly always have better odds than even money. This means that if you bet €1 you can potentially win more than €. Unsurprisingly, the better a player is expected to do, the shorter the odds will be on them. However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t make a profit by backing them.  

It also means that there can be some great opportunities if you think an underdog has a real chance of winning. A favourite may have odds of around 2/1 while an underdog can have odds as long as 25/1 or more. This means that if you backed the underdog and they won, you would make €25 profit for every €1 you bet! While these kind of results are rare, they have been known to happen.  

Remember, you can bet on multiple players. This means that you could back the favourite as well as a few other players and this way, give yourself the chance of covering all of your bets.  

Winner Full Time 

This type of bet is very similar to the Outright Winner bet, but instead of betting on the entire tournament, you are betting on the winner of a specific match. You can choose either of the players (or if you really want to, place one bet on each of them), and once again, the underdog may have some very generous odds available.  

Unlike the Outright Winner bets, the favourite in Winner Full Time bets will usually pay out less than even money. This means that you will be making less than €1 profit for every €1 that you bet. However, you can still make a profit. It is worth keeping an eye on the odds in the days and hours leading up to a match as they can change and you may be able to spot a fantastic opportunity.  

Handicap Games and Sets 

Handicap Games betting opens up a number of interesting betting possibilities. The bets come into their own if you want to bet on a player that you think will do better than expected but still lose. The idea is that the underdog player is given a handicap that then evens out the betting markets. Then, if the player does go on to do better than expected, they will be the winning bet.  

This can be a little confusing so it is worth looking at an example. When examining the markets you will see something like Player A -2.5 and Player B +2.5. This means that Player A is the favourite to win the match and that they will win by at least 2.5 games (and that Player B will lose by at least 2.5 games). Regardless of which player you bet on, as long as they do better than the market prediction, you will win the bet. The reason that the markets include half games is to avoid ties. In other words, if Player A wins by 3 games then a bet on Player A would win, if Player A wins by only two games or less (or losses the match), then bets on Player B would win.  

Imagine the above match was played over three sets with the scores 6-4, 3-6, 6-4. It is clear that Player A has won by 2 sets to 1. If you then look at the number of games won, Player A won 15 games and Player B won 14 games, i.e. Player A won just 1 more game than Player B did. This means that even though Player A won the match, those who had placed the Handicap Games bet on Player B would win as Player B did better than expected. Rather than losing by at least 2.5 games, they lost by just 1.  

Handicap Games is just one example of handicap betting. The same principle can also be applied to the number of sets and there is also 3-way handicap betting, which is the same, except that you can also bet on a tie in the number of games or sets won.  

Over/Under Sets and Games 

In the context of tennis, an over/under bet is a bet on how many sets a match will have. You do not need to pick a match winner, you are just betting on the duration of the match. For example, in a three-set format, you will have the option of betting over or under 2.5 sets.  

This means that you can bet that the match will be won in straight sets (under 2.5) or that it will require all three sets (over 2.5). These are very straightforward and take no time to get to grips with. It is worth noting that unlike over/under bets in some other sports, in tennis the odds will not be the same for both sides.  

Exact Score/Set 

If you want to try to be really accurate with your predictions then the Exact Score bets are perfect. As the name suggests, you can bet on what you think the exact score of a set will be. It is very hard to predict this accurately and that is why Exact Score bets often have very generous odds, giving you the chance to win large sums. It is not uncommon to see exact score markets offering odds as large at 36/1 or more (but they can also be as small as 3/1).  

Exact Set bets work in the same way. You simply need to predict how many sets each player will win. However, there are far fewer options than Exact Score betting, so don’t expect the odds to be quite so generous.  

Match Specials 

Match Specials, also known as Prop Bets, are fun markets that allow you to bet on whether specific events will occur during a match. The markets may vary from match to match but examples include Player To Win At Least One Set, Any Set To Finish To Nil, and Total Games Odd/Even.  

These markets can be very creative and an enjoyable way to back a different part of the game. The markets are very easy to use as most often you will be betting on Yes/No scenarios, such as whether there will be a tiebreak in a match or whether a player will win at least one set.  


These are the most common tennis betting markets and by using them carefully, you can be truly creative with your bets and cover a number of different scenarios. There is no such thing as a guaranteed bet but by combining different betting markets, you can create a very flexible betting strategy with reduced risk. Of course, this can then be reduced further with in-play betting. Imagine that you have backed Player A to win a match but it becomes obvious that Player B will in fact win. Using in-play betting you could then place a bet on Player B to win to recover some of your losses.  

As with any type of sports betting, be sure to carry out careful research before placing your bets. The better informed you are, the better you chances are of placing a successful bet. Tennis betting can be a huge amount of fun and you are sure to find that it is a great way to make the sport even more exciting.  

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