Tennis Betting Explained: A Beginner's Guide

Understanding tennis betting

As with virtually all sports, Tennis provides ample opportunity for placing some well-considered sports bets. Such is the nature of the game as a spectacle of rapidly fluctuating fortunes; Tennis offers more chances to make money than most other sports.

The first thing to note about Tennis is the number of different events that you can place bets on. Things to bet on include but aren't restricted to: match winner, score in sets, number of sets to be played in the match, if there is to be a tie-break or not, and total number of games won by a player. The list just goes on! The way in which you make money depends on what things you choose to bet on and also what type of bet you place. The landscape for tennis betting has shifted hugely in recent times.

Fixed Odds Betting

In the past you might decide to place a simple £100 bet on a straightforward outcome such as Andy Murray to win his first round match at Wimbledon against an ageing outsider such as Lleyton Hewitt. Before the match begins that particular outcome will have fixed odds, depending on how likely he is to win. Given that you'd expect Murray to win easily, the odds might be 3/10, meaning that from the £100 bet you'd make £30 profit (and receive your stake back). This bet is an example of getting little reward for little risk. Obviously if you bet on another event such as Murray to win Wimbledon, then you would expect bigger odds and hence more profit. It's up to you to balance risk and reward depending on how much you are willing to lose and how much you want to win! For extra help though, we have some excellent tennis betting strategies ready for you. 

In-play Betting

Virtually all online bookmakers nowadays allow you to "bet in play". This means you can bet on one of the events mentioned earlier whilst the game is occurring! Now, why would you want to consider betting like this? Well, it's handy if you are able to identify micro-trends within a match. Using our example above let's say Hewitt has just come close to breaking Murray's serve, and has just held his own easily. This moment would be a good time to make an in-play bet for Hewitt to break Murray's next service game. Spot the trends!


For me however the real money is in trading. Trading is available with certain bookmakers and is not too dissimilar to how you would buy and trade stocks in the real world. To use our example again let's say you placed £100 on Murray to win in three straight sets. Before the match you'd be given fixed odds for this occurring, let's say 2/1. This would net you a return of £300 in total (£200 profit and £100 stake returned).

Now, let's say Murray wins the first two sets. Your bet looks like coming in. At this stage you may decide to want to 'lay' your bet so as to guarantee profit should Murray lose the third set. Depending on what proportion of your bet you decide to lay (or 'sell') you can ensure that you make a profit regardless of the final score in sets. Obviously it means you wouldn't win so much if Murray does come home in 3 sets, but you give yourself peace of mind for the rest of the match with guaranteed profit either way. 

Tennis is a game of rapidly changing fortunes. Be clever with your stake and there is easy money to be made.


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January 2021