Game, Set, Match - Secrets, Strategies & Tips For How To Bet On Tennis & Win
"with a low number of decisive factors affecting the outcome of many matches, betting on tennis can be profitable if you understand the players themselves, the types of tennis bets, and the basic betting principles....
how to bet, where to bet, and what strategies to use for success''
In the world of sports betting there are plenty of different ways to try and win money, but it's well known that the best opportunities involve those sports where there are only two outcomes.
Betting on tennis online is one that can give the best results.
With outcomes of matches often predictable with a good degree of certainty, if you use your head, pay attention to strategy, and use all the tools at your disposal you'll have chances of maximizing your return from any bets on tennis matches.
On this page we'll be looking at some expert ways to approach tennis from a betting perspective, with a valuable section on those strategies and tips that will help identify those wagers that may add a positive balance to your betting bank. We'll also cover such items as how to place a sure tennis bet.
We'll end up with a detailed, comprehensive guide that will help any fan identify the best way to bet on tennis and win consistently enough to make it a profitable long term proposition.
Before we get under way with our deep dive into the highs and lows of betting to win at tennis, it's obvious that if you don't place a bet then you can't win right?
And of course there are plenty of bookies, bookmakers or sportsbooks which will take your bets. You'll want the best - or at a minimum one that you can trust implicitly. Finding the best isn't always straightforward, and I'll cover the reasons for that below in the best bookies for tennis betting section.
We'll use this section to highlight the leading trusted bookies that accept tennis bets and offer a wide range of markets...and you don't get more leading or trustworthy than Bet 365 or 10Bet.
It's difficult to beat Bet365 or 10Bet for any type of sports betting, and tennis stands tall with every other type of sports that they cover.
When you bet with either bookie you get a wide variety of sports betting options, including options to play bingo, casino, or poker.
For new registrants they both offer a valuable sign up bonus, and follow that up with fairly regular free reload bonuses. For some great deals on tennis betting, Bet365 and 10Bet are the bookies to beat.
Click on the banner if you want to see the full range of what 10Bet specifically have to offer - Place a tennis bet and watch any game streamed live.
Where To Start Betting on tennis offers potentially lucrative opportunities for high value bets, especially in the area of match betting. There are good chances of finding and striking winning match bets or even a great value no lose arbitrage bet.
There may not be too many secrets - much has already been written on the best strategy to use in your search for profits - but there are some 'secrets' that are not widely known and deserve a place in the list of betting strategies which will help make a profit over time.
Of course you don't get the personal hands on involvement to quite the same level as in chancing to luck in casino games for example, but it's always great fun watching any sport where you have a bet running on the outcome.
If you’re interested in trying out tennis betting but have never tried it before you'll find it straightforward and easy, and if you've had previous exposure to sports betting and understand the principles and betting rules - and more importantly the players involved - then taking a step towards placing a bet on tennis matches is one you'll take in your stride.
The video below is a good place to start to understand how and where you can place a tennis bet to win. You'll find plenty more on Youtube's tennis betting channels.
Can You Win Money At Betting On Tennis?
In all types of sports betting there are either unknown potential chosen-selection related influences on the result, or there are a wide number of external influences. If you look at football for example, all 22 players on a pitch can have a bearing on the result. Each one on their own current level of form, or each one's performance possibly being affected by other factors which can easily remain hidden.
When you place a bet on tennis, these types of influences are reduced as far as possible. There are only two (or four) players. Only one player or team can win. There can be no draw, unless the match is voided for some reason.
The lower the number of choices you have in any bet, the more possibility you have to choose the winner - as long as you have made a sensible selection, of course. And if you're armed with useful knowledge about the players, their rankings, and their surface preferences, then tennis is a good sport to focus on. This is a particularly true in women's tennis betting.
In general though, if a player is in form and clearly stronger than his opponent there are reasonable probabilities that results will go the way they're expected to, plus there are clear ways to find those strong betting opportunities.
For these reasons, betting on tennis is one of the more likely types of betting to return a long term profit to the careful and knowledgeable bettor. You can win money, yes. But as we all know, you can lose it too. Always be cautious with gambling, check out the responsible gaming guide via the link in the top menu before risking any cash.
How To Win
Now we get to our main focus - how to win at tennis betting. There's plenty to consider, ranging from what types of bets you can make, how to approach making your betting selections, which events are best to bet on, and any strategies or tips that'll improve the chances of coming out ahead.
What Type Of Bets Can You Place On Tennis Matches & Tournaments?
There are a number of different options for placing a bet on any tennis event. As long as you shop around, you'll find various sportsbooks offering wagers on tennis in their odds, a wide choice of odds on offer, and multiple different types of bet to place.
This list is not exhaustive - there are just too many different types of tennis bets to cover individually - but you'll find these are the main ones you're most likely to see on offer.
Straight Win Betting - Match Winner
Choosing a player in match betting for a straight win or loss against an opponent is probably the most straightforward of them.
You just choose your player and make your bet before the match starts. If you're using an exchange - Betfair is the best example - you have the option of making the bet to win or laying the player to lose. Knowledge of player form and their preferred playing surfaces can lead to some great value opportunities.
Betting in-running is also an option. If you have a strong feeling, for example, that a player is going to fight back from an unpromising position, you could place an in-running bet at much higher odds than if you'd placed the bet at the start of the match. The sports-betting sites may have chalked up a player at evens before a game, they could lose the first set, and the in-running odds may have changed to 2-1, or even as high as 10-1 or better if it looks like your chosen selection is in a lot of trouble.
Of course, betting in this way does carry risks. But the rewards can be high. Knowing and understanding form and player characteristics plays a big part in whether you can pull off these types of bets successfully.
Some of the most popular bets in running are:
• Next Game Betting
• Next Set Betting
• Match Betting
The Advantages of Tennis Betting In-Running
Some players are habitual slow starters and can take time to warm up in their games. Their starting odds will have this factored in to an extent, but good value can sometimes be achieved by betting slow starters in running at higher odds than they were before the start.
If you're a good at determining how a match is going to pan out from the early attitude and performance of any player, then these types of bets can give you some great opportunities.
But be careful. Just as in any sport the outcome can change on one single incident, good shot, or bad decision. Something going wrong in this way - especially in tennis - can affect the mental state of a player and throw them into tilt. Often there can be no determining when that's going to happen.
All that said, interest in in-play betting in all sports is growing. It definitely adds something extra to the viewing experience, and clever selections can lead to some high odds bets being landed.
Correct Score Set Betting
Like a correct score bet you can place on a football match, this type is your prediction of what the score will be in numbers of sets. Obviously there are only a finite number of sets in a game, hence there are only a few potential outcomes. Because of this the odds on offer will be much lower than those in a correct score football bet. Most bookmakers will offer the option for accumulators in set betting.
Another option for tennis set betting is in predicting which player will rack up the first set, very similar to first player scorer bets in football. This can give some value in going against the favourite if they are prone to the occasional slow start in a match.
There are still more options to bet on total number of games or sets.
Betting On Tennis Tournaments - Outright Betting
Placing a tournament bet is an option too, either by trying to find the outright tournament winner or a player who might make a placed position in the top 3 or 4.
Clearly this is fairly difficult to call at the outset of a tournament where there might be dozens or even hundreds of starting players - but for anyone with good tennis knowledge this can throw up some possibilities to get fancy prices about someone you know is likely to do well.
Place betting (2nd or 3rd) will often pay a third of the win odds.
As in football betting, accumulator bets in tennis are popular. They're a good way of accumulating odds for highly fancied players to win matches, to make the end return a lot higher than placing individual match outcome wagers.
It's worth remembering - there's nearly always one that catches you out. Always one that doesn't end up the way it should have done. The one day you do hit a successful 10 match acca will be a day to remember for sure!
I've championed handicap bets on soccer matches as one of the best ways to win at soccer betting. Handicap betting in tennis games is a lesser known form, and whereas the handicap in football effectively rules out the possibility of a draw affecting your bet, the handicap in tennis is focused in predicting games or set superiority.
Often seen as a market based on the total number of games, these bets are expressed as one of two options - over a set number of games or under that number.
An example might be: Federer vs Nadal Under 30.5 Games 8/11 Over 30.5 Games 4/5
Clearly this gives you a chance to bet on a match and enjoy watching whoever wins - a very close match will probably go over the expressed total, an unexpectedly easy one may see a player winning quicker with less number of games played in total.
Odds trading is the practice of striking a bet a certain odds, and then laying it off when and if those odds change. The ultimate intention is to make a profit however the event goes. It's not easy, but certainly you can make it pay by taking odds early enough before a game starts to give options if the odds then change later, or even betting in running during a match to increase or reduce losses depending on how it's going.
If you're thinking about getting into trading you'll want some good software, and Bet Angel may be the one to look at first.
Bet Angel Tennis Trader is a unique trading tool which helps you see where the odds are heading and how much risk you might be exposed to if you place a bet. It works in real time and can assist in handling the volatility you'll see in heavily traded tennis matches.
How & Where To Place A Bet On Tennis
How to find and place bets on tennis is easy. Just as with any form of sports betting there are dozens of popular, long running, and trusted betting operators. You'll find them listed on the bookies and sportsbooks page.
I'll recommend you take a look at either Bet365 for fixed odds betting, or Betfair for exchange bets where you can often get greater odds, especially on any long odds fancies. Betbright are also worth noting.
On the betting exchanges it's fairly straightforward and you're either backing someone to win or laying them to lose at a specified odds value, either as overall event/tournament winners or losers or in individual head to head matches.
One of the great benefits to betting exchanges is that you can back a player at the start of an event at a high price, and as he gets through rounds (assuming he does) you have the chance to offset your bet by laying him at lower odds to lose. It's called greening out and is a way of guaranteeing a profitable bet win or lose.
For anyone who wants to know how to win at tennis betting, knowing how to bet on exchanges is going to be a valuable skill.
Trading Odds On Exchanges
Using an exchange to trade odds is a well known way of getting a chance to place a bet that can't lose. With this method you're looking to make a bet at odds you think are higher than they'll be at the start of or during a match, and then placing a bet for the alternative result to end up with a win whatever the result.
Arbitrage bets are true bets which can't lose. You'll be taking advantage of discrepancies in odds across different bookies such that you can make wagers on each potential outcome of a match so that you make a profit however the result goes.
It's not easy, but the opportunities do exist. Almost certainly you'll need to subscribe to a service or use specialist software to identify them.
Fixed odds are even easier, with players listed at the standard ranges of odds you'll see in most sporting events. They'll either be expressed as fractions or as decimals. Means the same thing and as long as you have very basic maths understanding then it's very easy to follow.
Choosing A Betting Event
Choosing tennis events to place a bet on is easy too. Clearly the major tournaments get the most attention, with considerable sums of money bet overall.
Of course, competition in these is higher making it more difficult to name a winner, although in tennis you do tend to find that the well known players with strong emotional and technical strength stay at the top of the tree for longer.
It's not surprising to see the same names doing well for a number of years.
Some of the major tennis championship events you want to be watching out for include:
• The Australian Open
• The French Open
• The US Open
If you're a tennis fan you will be able to name dozens more, and you don't need to limit your bets to one of the big tournaments. In fact you'll find some great value by looking at betting in the lower prize events.
The tournament I prefer focusing on is the French Open. This often throws up some strong opportunities, certainly Roland Garros betting is something you'll want to examine closely in your search for tennis profits.
But don't rule out the lesser events. They'll all offer great value betting opportunities from time to time, and as is always the case if you know your players, form, and surface preferences, you will be able to find wagers that give strong possibilities of making some cash.
Strategies & Tips for Making Winning Tennis Bets
Picking a winner in any type of of sports betting is not particularly easy. There is only so much information available, and any bets you do place are going to be subject to influences that you may know nothing about.
This is especially true of any sport where the performance of a person or animal is affected by its physiological state. Unless you have inside information, you may not know if a player has been or is feeling unwell for example, or if there has been some change in an un-fancied opponent for some unknown reason.
There are risks with tennis betting over which you have no control, including such things as the potential of injuries or players going on tilt through poor performances, shots, or umpire decisions. With tournaments stretching out over a number of days there is strong potential for one or more of these occurring, making it difficult to forecast top three finishes let alone getting the winners.
The plus side is that deep knowledge of player skill, background, and form can get you some great opportunities too. To make money from wagers on tennis this is the strategy you should focus on. It's all about knowledge.
And on top of the knowledge about the players themselves, there are a number of other side strategies which may pay to follow, and a handful of tips which may help your tennis betting be profitable:
• Recognise that the bookies are often right.
Always remember that the odds compilers may have strong sources of information and make their living from doing that well. They don't often get it wildly wrong.
• Understand why the odds are what they are.
If your fancy in a match bet is trading significantly higher than the odds you expected you have two ways of looking at it - either the odds compilers know something, or you know something they don't.
• Find the bets where the odds are higher than they should be. Perhaps you've spotted a sequence or pattern in the way a player has played in the past. Perhaps he or she has those ideal conditions this time around. Those are the times when it may be worth a maximum bet.
• Shop around early for best odds.
If you fancy a player to do well (or poorly) it's always worth looking at what odds are available as early as possible. Sometimes markets can move, and you could see what would have been a good value bet disappear.
• Don't be scared of betting on underdogs.
In a match bet, don't let the fact that your selection is the underdog worry you. Underdogs do win, and if you can identify those which have a good chance you may have more long term success betting them than going for heavy favourites.
These will do all the donkey work for you, using algorithms developed by analysing thousands of historic results to give predictions on the most likely outcome of any game. Normally represented in percentage chance format, these tips services can save considerable time and highlight some great opportunities.
• Follow successful tipsters.
Tennis tipsters are two-a-penny, but there are some good ones and range from those working for the sports sections of major news websites to individual site owners and a whole collection in between. They're too numerous to mention, but a Google search on tennis betting tips will list out dozens worth investigating.
• Make sure that any bet you do place is made with a bookie that offers a 'bet void if player retires from injury' rule.
You don't want to let the last leg of an accumulator with 4 winners already on the board to go down because your last pick twists an ankle!
• In the total number of games in match markets, pay attention to the historical percentage of both players both winning service games and winning return games. If you spot a match where there is a bigger percentage for winning service games with a high percentage on losing return games there is a bigger potential for the match to run to a lot of games (ie it might be close fought).
This might lead to some good opportunities in the 'over certain number of games' markets. If a player also figures highly in percentages of first service in and first service points won, this can be an additional pointer.
• In general, avoid betting on heavy odds on shots.
It's tempting sometimes to try and rack up your returns with an accumulator across 5 or more win forecasts where there appears to be a heavy supremacy in favor of one player. But odds on shots do lose...and the returns from the number of winners you'll get won't outweigh what you'll lose when one goes down.
• Consider all markets before arriving at a betting selection.
Sometimes there may be evidence that a player will NOT win but could steal a set. In this case it could pay to look at the match score market, perhaps there will be good enough odds on a 2-1 win to make a bet viable. If the odds work out, you could even look at a bet to win a certain amount on 2-1, and to cover it to return your overall stake on 2-0.
• Run backtests.
Back-testing is a process with which you can test how well a particular strategic approach worked in the past. You may have a theory that players starting within an odds range tend to win or lose more often than the normal average, for example. Running a back-test will let you prove the theory without risking money to find out.
• Stats are your friend, so use them.
For a record of previous player performances, you can go to the ATP or WTA websites and click on match stats. The trick is to not only take note of results, but overall how a player performs in certain conditions.
As a rule, some players can tend to hold their peak form over three tournaments or maybe a set number of weeks. So looking at match results and then how they performed afterwards can unveil some useful patterns. Who did they beat? Who did they lose to? In what circumstances?
• Make a note of players you can predict, ignore those you can't.
You'll be able to spot patterns in some tennis players games that appear regularly enough to allow a reasonably well informed bet at some point. However others will surprise you time and time again displaying no pattern, winning or losing when totally unexpected. Clearly there's an opportunity there provided win odds outweigh the risk, but in general it's probably better to avoid those types of players.
• Place a bet when the time is right.
It can pay to watch players in the early rounds of a tournament, and only place a bet when (and if) they reach a certain point. Patterns and player knowledge come heavily into play here.
• Pay attention to the draw in tournaments.
Let's say you're coming up to a tournament where you expect 2 or 3 players to do well. You're going to be betting them at win odds in a number of matches.
In this case, take a look at the draw before the tournament starts. Look at their potential route to the final - it could be that taking the odds on an outright win (or each way to reach the final at half the odds) could give you a much better potential return than backing them in individual matches. Plus you may get a good chance to lay off your bet if they get to the latter stages.
• Understand motivation levels.
Tennis players play in specific tournaments for different reasons. Some may play just to gain fitness for a subsequent event, some may be in to win, some may be just playing to gain (or not lose) ranking points.
Knowing which one is motivating any player you intend to bet can put you on to a good betting proposition - or let you avoid a bad or questionable one.
• Be careful in lesser known tournaments.
As the example before, a strongly rated player may be using a lesser importance tournament just for reaching peak fitness. If you add to this that some unseeded players or upcoming potentially top competitors may be more hungry for success, it's easy to see that results could go the opposite way to that expected.
• Practice caution betting on correct score set markets
Just like in soccer matches where there are some tasty odds for predicting correct match scores, you'll see some great odds for betting correct scores in sets in a tennis match.
It's obvious why those types of odds are available right? They're very hard to predict, and take you firmly into the realms of gambling based on guesswork.
There may be situations where it's a good thing to do, but the advice is to approach with caution and limit the size of your bets. If you are going to bet on a correct score, make sure you know how many sets will actually be played. Remember that in Grand Slams it's first to 3 (for men) and first to 2 (ladies), whereas in other tournaments it may be different.
Factors Affecting Player Performance
We talked earlier about some of the factors that will (or might) influence a players performance. They're numerous, so let's review a few of the more likely:
Using The Draw In Tournament Betting
Watching the draw can be a good way of identifying a value bet, though the bookmakers have the same info you do.
An example might be that two heavily fancied players in a tournament may be drawn so that they'll meet each other before the final. That might make the third or fourth favourites good value to reach the latter stages.
Knowing their potential route of progression through the draw can have an impact on performance, though most high quality players wouldn't allow themselves to be impacted and treat every game as it comes.
Take Note Of The Surface
The most important factor to consider with tennis betting is surface form - though recent form can also play a big part. Many tennis players have a marked preference for play on a specific surface, and many can go through periods where they're not at the top of their game. Hard, grass, clay or carpet surfaces are all played on, but it's worth noting that different types of hard court exist as well.
One of the simplest tennis betting strategies to follow is to bet against a player with a poor record on any particular surface when he's playing someone with a good record on that surface.
Watch for specific skills from a player on a specific surface, such as fast serves and great slices. These are both valuable on the faster surfaces like grass or carpet, whereas players with long swings and strong grips are better suited to clay.
There is a database available which is a valuable aid to any tennis betting decision. You can get a trial download of this at oncourt.info, and it provides tournament statistics for the last ten years with every different search filter you'll ever need.
Grass courts serve up the fastest tennis action. Anyone who has watched Wimbledon matches will have noticed that serving is very important, as is the ability to follow up with volleys. Grass courts give an advantage to serve-and-volley experts and always have. It might be surprising to learn that Wimbledon is the only Grand Slam Tennis Event that gets played out on grass.
Clay is the surface used in the French Open. It makes for a much slower match than grass, so it's easy to see how one surface might favour a certain type of player.
Hard Courts are the venues for both the Australian Open and the US Open Grand slam events. They generally even out the playing styles, neither favouring those fast or slower surface experts.
Current Player Form - Following In Form Players
The next most important tennis betting strategy to use is to be aware of is the current form of players. Being aware of form is useful in ant type of betting and will increase your chances of making a winning bet.
Players who are consistently in the top 20 over a long period can often be relied upon to beat lesser opponents in the rankings. Key examples to watch out for are those players who always win a high percentage of first round matches. The trick is to back players who only ever lose to others ranked above them.
There are a number of other influential factors to consider when determining a bet. Weather, altitude, and motivation are all possible indicators of a result. Motivation in particular is worth considering - if there's no real incentive to do well this can seriously affect how a player approaches a match.
Also take note if it's a players first match back from injury, they rarely win in these circumstances. Plus watch out for a player using a lesser tournament as a stepping stone to a later season bigger target. The old adage 'if they've done it before, they can do it again' often holds true here. Just because a player loses one tournament doesn't mean they can win the next, or the one three months ahead.
The bottom line of all this though is that picking winning bets on tennis is down to a handful of requirements:
• A very strong knowledge of events and players
• The different types of bets and where to get the best odds
• Up to date information - there are plenty of sources to get this either online or in written publications
• A reasonable amount of luck
More Info & Valuable Resources
One of the great ways to get information on any product or service is to search the many article websites. These are used by experts in their fields to post articles online - some good and some not so good - which cover just about everything you're likely to want to know.
Here's a good selection of article directories and dedicated tennis betting websites with quick links to the specific betting sections within them.
• Independent tennis website TennisBetSite.com is the perfect place to keep up to date with live scores, final results, and upcoming matches and tournaments.
• SBRForum.com has a number of well written and useful pages to help with your tennis betting selections, including articles, news, and player guides.
• TennisBetting365.com is an interesting prediction site that contains a database which intends to predict the outcomes of matches, including the most likely winner and the number of points/games/sets that might be played. I haven't had a chance yet to try it out myself but will report back here when I do. At the very least it should lead to some high probability winning tennis bets.
• Delicious.com is a popular website sharing site. Here are some of the tennis betting sites that have been shared by members.
Pros & Cons
Betting is all about making a profit, and you'll always have better prospects of achieving this when there are the lowest number of possible outcomes in an event. So from a betting perspective, tennis fits the bill perfectly.
Aside from this, the great thing about having some money on the outcome of a game, as with any form of sports betting, is in the additional enjoyment it brings to watching live events.
Just watching your favourite player is often enough for an avid fan, but imagine having a few dollars, pounds, or euros on the outcome too. That definitely adds a new dimension to any game you'll be watching.
Add to this the range of different bets you can make, and it's not hard to see the positives.
From a negative perspective, tennis is one sport where - if you stick to straight single win bets - you're not going to be looking at big wins unless you bet big too. With that comes the normal risks associated with gambling, so make sure you read the responsible gambling page before getting involved.
As with any type of sportsbetting, knowledge and a little bit of luck are key to making a profit over time.
If you do believe that placing a bet on tennis events will make you some money, please remember the golden rules of betting to reduce the chances of getting caught out. Only bet with money you can afford to lose, and make sure you use all of the resources available to increase your winning chances.
For avid fans - especially those that enjoy watching televised tennis events - betting on any sport can add an extra something to the viewing experience. Combining a bet with an event you are going to watch is a good way to approach tennis betting for sure.