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how to bet on tennis

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Most Brits think that tennis only exists for two week per year – the Wimbledon fortnight! However, most UK-based tennis fans are well aware that tennis is a global, all-year-round game. If you’re a tennis expert, then why not put your knowledge to use and learn how to bet on tennis?

This page will teach you how to bet on tennis online, with examples on how to bet on tennis matches, alternative to ‘select the winner’ bets such as how to bet on tennis over/under, and how to bet on tennis live so you can an extra layer of thrill to any tennis match that you happen to be watching.

How to Bet on Tennis: Understanding the Basics

Tennis, along with golf, is probably the most popular non-team sport played in the UK and other corners of the world. It is also a rarity in that there is almost equal interest in men’s and women’s play. There are a huge amount of global tennis competitions as pro tennis players seek to rise through the ranks and earn their living.

The top four global competitions are the tennis majors – the annual tournaments in the UK, US, Australia and France. Beyond that there are ‘tours’ that take place all over the world, with the two leading ones being organised by the ATP (mens) and WTA (womens). Beyond that, there are also tournaments for seniors, schoolboys/girls and amateurs. The annual tennis calendar is so full that it’s unthinkable that there not a tennis match to bet on, any day of the year!

You can of course place outright bets through betting sites in the UK – wagers on players to win specific tournaments. When betting on a tennis match, the usual practice is to bet on one player (or doubles pair) to win, but there are plenty of other bets too, as follows:

  • Match Handicap – players are given an artificial handicap, with the winner worked out by the number of overall games won once the handicap has been applied.
  • Total Games 2-Way – a bet on the number of games played, over or under a specified amount (usually 32.5).
  • Set Betting – a bet on the winner and the final score in sets.
  • Match Results & Both Players to Win a Set – bet on the winning player with the losing player winning at least one set
  • First Set Winner – bet on the winner of the first set. Can also apply to other sets.
  • First Set Total Games – the number of games in the first set, over/under a specific total. Can also apply to other sets.
  • First Set Score – the score in the first set. Can also apply to other sets.
  • Match Result and Total Games – pick the winner and the over/under total of games.
  • Player Props – bet on a player to achieve something, such as winning a set, winning from behind, winning in straight sets, etc.

The above is really just the tip of a bowl of strawberries and cream when it comes to betting on tennis. You will, however, find that the more high profile a match, the more betting options that there will be to bet upon.

How to Place a Bet Online

So, how to bet on tennis online is the question. It’s a question we are going to answer with an example of a tennis bet at the popular UK betting site, bet365. We are going to bet on the UK’s Andy Murray winning his first match at the 2023 Wimbledon tournament. First, we find the match among bet365’s tennis options, as follows:

tennis betting 1

Ryan Peniston is 7.00 to win while Murray is only 1.10. The ’69>’ refers to all the other bets that are available on this match. We are going to back Murray to win, so we click on the ‘1.10’ odds to transfer that bet to our betslip, which you can see below.

tennis betting 2

We’re pretty confident of a Murray win, so we have set our stake to £5, which will return £5.50 if the Scot is successful. To complete the placement of our wager we just need to click the ‘place bet’ button. Don’t forget that if calculating returns from your bets leaves you confused, we can offer a range of handy bet calculators.

Although there are countless types of bets in tennis, placing any kind of bet is basically the same – click on the odds to add the bet to your bet slip, then select your stake. If you want to place any kind of multiple such as a double or treble, then add your selections and then set your stake.

Live Tennis Betting

Tennis is one sport that is ideally suited to live betting, or betting in-play. If you are watching a game, then you might be persuaded to bet on a player or outcome depending upon the the current situation. For example, a leading player may be visibly wilting, or a player who was behind is now becoming the dominant force in the match.

There are plenty of options for you should you wish to bet on tennis live, such as the winner of the next set, the next player to break serve or the next player to double fault. Why not take a look at the betting options at a UK online bookmaker for a live game, and then see how your expert tennis knowledge may help you turn a profit once you’ve learned how to bet on tennis live.

Finding Value in Tennis Betting Odds

Finding value when you’re learning how to bet on tennis online is the key to your success. Value betting represents the true probability of an outcome against the odds given.

Say that Novac Djokovic is 5/6 to win a tennis match. That’s a 6 out of 11 chance of winning, or 54.5 percent (with decimal odds you just divide one by the odds, so 1 / 1.833 = 54.5 percent). The key aspect here is whether you think that Djokovic has a less than 54.5 percent chance of winning, in which case you would bet on his opponent.

How to Bet on Tennis and Win: Our 6 Tennis Betting Tips

There is never any key secret of how to bet on tennis and win, because once you've understood how to bet on tennis online, there is never any cast-iron method of guaranteeing winning. However, we have asked around our betting experts, and they have come up with the following tips that, if followed, have the best chance of increasing your chances of learning how to bet on tennis and win ... with a bit of luck!

  1. Analyse Tennis Matches And Competitors

    Naturally, the more you understand about tennis, tennis tournaments and matches and the tennis players themselves, the more likely you are to bet on tennis and win, and you are certainly more likely to win than someone who takes a much more half-hearted approach.
  2. Look For The Best Odds

    Most of the top UK bookmakers will offer competitive odds, and the better odds you find, the higher returns your successful tennis bets will generate. Consider alternatives, such as learning how to bet on tennis live, using a betting exchange such as Betfair or learning (with care!) how to bet on tennis spread markets as sports spread betting sites like Spreadex.
  3. Tennis Betting Bankroll Management

    It will always pay you to look after your betting money. Set aside a tennis betting budget and stick to it, and once it has gone, consider it gone! Never chase your losses (even experts who really know how to bet on tennis online experience losing streaks) or ‘borrow’ money from elsewhere to fund your tennis betting.
  4. Making Rational Decisions

    Successful bettors always bet with their heads, and never their hearts. If you are into your tennis, then you probably have players who you like better than others. Don’t bet on them just because you like them! Stick to analysis instead.
  5. Creating A Tennis Betting System

    You may find that you are better at some kinds of tennis betting that others. For example, you may be an expert at predicting set scores or once you’ve learned how to how to bet on tennis over/under you seem to possess the Midas touch. Try different systems on paper before you commit to putting your tennis betting system into operation.
  6. Surface

    Tennis is a little unique as the sport is played on different surfaces, all of which affect the spin, bounce and speed of the ball. The main ones are grass, hard (covered asphalt or concrete) and clay. Some players, such as Rafael Nadal on clay, excel on specific surfaces which you need to take into consideration. Also consider the differences between open and closed courts.

Mistakes to Avoid When Betting on Tennis Online in the UK

Even if you think you’ve become an expert when it comes to learning how to bet on tennis online, there are still some double-faults that you need to avoid. Here are some mistakes that even seasoned tennis betting experts are prone to:

Ignoring player form and surface suitability

Tennis is a dynamic sport, and player form can fluctuate significantly. It is essential to analyse recent performance, fitness levels and how players perform on specific court surfaces before placing a bet. Neglecting these factors can lead to poor decision-making.

Overlooking head-to-head records

Head-to-head records between players can provide valuable insights into their match-ups. It is crucial to consider historical performance and how players have fared against each other in the past, especially in terms of playing style and court conditions.

Chasing losses

Betting can be a roller-coaster ride, and it is common for bettors to try to recoup their losses by increasing their wagers. However, this can lead to impulsive and irrational decision-making, resulting in more significant losses. It is important to stick to a predetermined budget and avoid chasing losses.

Not exploring various betting markets

As we’ve shown you, tennis offers a wide range of betting markets beyond just the match-winner. Exploring markets like set betting, total games, or handicap betting can provide alternative opportunities to find value and increase potential returns.

Failing to shop for the best odds

Different online bookmakers offer varying odds for tennis matches. Failing to compare odds across multiple platforms can result in missed opportunities for higher potential payouts. Taking the time to shop around for the best odds can significantly impact long-term profitability

Where to Bet on Tennis in the UK

Now that you have learned how to bet on tennis online in the UK, and how to bet on tennis live, you’ll want to learn where to bet on tennis! Fortunately, we can help you out there. All of the leading tennis betting sites will have a high number of markets and features, but not all bookies are the same.  Our experts give a recommendation.

With this sport, that is none other than BetUK, not just because of the extensive tennis betting options but the depth in which they cover the ATP and WTA main and Challenger Tours. Their Acca Club accepts wagers from this sport as eligible and counting towards the weekly requirements. Other bookies we can recommend for tennis include 10bet, Grosvenor Sports and QuinnBet.

Wrapping Up

Now that you have understood a little more about how to bet on tennis, you should be soon calling ‘game, set and match’ over all your tennis betting endeavours. Is tennis easy to bet on? Sure it is! But learning how to bet on tennis and win takes a little more time and effort, and understanding how the sport works and how tennis betting works as a whole.

The best way to bet on tennis is to analyse the players, taking a look at the head-to-head records of match-ups, recent form and past results on the surface the players will be playing on. This is how to bet on tennis, and we wish you all the best … just remember to gamble responsibly.

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Peter Addison
Peter Addison
Peter Addison

Peter joined the BettingSites.co.uk team in 2023, having previously worked for many high-profile gambling-related sites such as RightCasino, JustSlots, WhichBingo and Gambling.com. An experienced head when it comes to all aspects of iGaming, Peter is a fanatic fan of sport, including football and US sports such as baseball and American football. He is also a multi-published fiction writer, although sadly, not a wealthy one.

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