Tennis Betting Guide 2024

Published: 1st October 2019
Author: Joe Kizlauskas
Last Updated: 9th September 2021

Learning how to bet on tennis is simple once you figure out the basics. This tennis betting guide will teach you everything you need to know about how to make informed bets on this fast-paced sport  – and which on our list of tennis betting sites is the best when it comes to tennis betting.

A Beginner’s Guide To Tennis Betting

This tennis guide will help you make informed decisions with or without tennis betting tips.  If you have the knowledge, then you have the ability to make more of your own calculated choices. There’s a lot more to the action than just hitting a ball back and forth. Learn the rules of a match to get the full experience.

Additionally, to maximize your potential payout,  it’s not just about what free bets and offers are on offer… you will need to learn the odds and bet types. You can’t expect successful bets if you don’t understand the tennis betting rules. 

The Rules Of Tennis

A tennis court can have three different surface types – clay court, hard court and grass court, all of which can make the gameplay out very differently. For example, a tennis game on the hardcourt will be a much more punishing game for each tennis player. What this means is that you should always pay attention to the surface type as it will affect the performances of tennis players in individual matches. To start the game of tennis, the first player serves the ball diagonally to their opponent’s service box. The opponent then hits it back, and play continues until one player fails to return the ball.

Points are awarded when:

  • The ball bounces in the service area, and the opponent doesn’t return it
  • The ball bounces twice inside the boundaries
  • The racket or ball hits the net
  • The ball is hit out of the boundaries
  • A player fails to serve the ball correctly twice in a row

Something that separates tennis scores from other sports like baseball is that each point is equivalent to more than one. 

  • 0 points= Love
  • 1st point= 15
  • 2nd point= 30
  • 3rd point= 40
  • 4th point= Game point

If the score is 40-40, that is called  ‘deuce,’ and the next player to score gains the advantage. The server with the advantage is called ‘ad in,’ and if the receiver has the advantage, it is called ‘ad out.’


A game is played in tennis until one player scores at least four points and beats their opponent by two. If a player wins six games in total,  clear by two games, they win the set. 

The tournament rules determine the number of sets played. A typical match involves the best of three or five sets. Similar to games, sets must be won by two clear games to win the match.

If players find themselves in a tie (6-6), then a tiebreaker game must solve it. In this game, the former point system is eschewed, and single points keep score. The first player to seven that leads by two points wins the tiebreak and the set. Whoever leads in the score in sets is the winner of the match. 

Understanding Tennis Odds

If you’re learning about tennis betting online, you must understand the odds. Odds are set based on the predictions of the bookies. There are three ways that tennis odds are presented, depending on which of our best online tennis betting sites you are using. 


Used mainly throughout the southern hemisphere and mainland Europe, decimal odds represent the potential payout for each dollar wagered. Calculating the payout is almost effortless. 

Stake X Decimal Odds = Payout

So, if you wager £10 on Venus Williams to win and the odds are 4.0, your equation would look like this:

10 X 4.0 = 40

The brilliant advantage of this type of odds is that your stake is already within the payout. There’s no need for a new equation to add the stake into the payout. So, you bet £10, you return with £40 – £30 of which is the profit.


Commonly used in North America, Moneyline uses positive or negative signs to depict the odds of winning. Calculating the payout is simple. A negative number is the amount of money you must wager to win £100. In contrast, a positive number is how much you might win if you bet £100.

If you successfully bet £10 on Djokovic to win at -240, this would be your equation:

10 / 2.4 = 4.17

So, if your wager is successful, you would walk away with  £14.17 – you win back your stake (£10), plus £4.17.


Bookies in the U.K. and Ireland usually use these odds, and sometimes decimal odds. The first number multiplied by your stake is the potential payout, depicted as fractions.

Betting £10 on Johanna Konta at 4/1 odds will give you this equation:

4 X 10 = 40

A successful bet would see a return of your stake, plus £40 – so you would walk away with £50.

Now that you understand how to read tennis betting odds, you’re ready to head over to the next step!

It can get more complicated when you start using features such as Bet Builder, where odds are combined for a better return. Fortunately, you can often find a tennis betting calculator or standard bet calculator that will help you work out your potential return.

The Main Rules Of Tennis Betting

Tennis betting rules are generally straightforward. Each bookmaker sets the rules, so they may vary slightly, but not much. When using multiple tennis betting sites to place wagers on tennis predictions, however, you’ll see that the bookies must operate with the same general rules. 

There are so many variables that can happen with a tennis match that you just can’t predict. For example, what happens if a player is forced to forfeit a match? The following terms are the standard tennis betting rules that all top bookies use when placing wagers on events. Here are different outcomes depending on what rule the bookmaker applies.

Ball Served

If a bookmaker applies this rule, then only one service is required for bets to stand.

1 Set Completed

If this rule is applied, bets will stand only if one set is completed before a player forfeits.

2 Sets Completed

Should this rule be applied, bets succeed if the players complete at least two sets. 

Match Completed

This is the rule that ensures that the entire match must finish for bets to stand.


If you’ve bet an over/under on a forfeited match, it might stand if the wager was successful. Say, for example, you wager that the total amount of games played will be over 15; if the match ends because a player retires at 5-4, 7-6, most bookmakers will consider that a successful bet.

Other tennis betting rules include considerations for postponed matches. These rules typically state that if the match is rescheduled within a specific time frame, the bets will stand. Although if there is a change of venue, the ruling might change.

A walkover occurs when a player advances through the tournament because their opponent pulls out of the match. In that instance, all bets are void since the match never happened.


If you bet on a future match  (ante-post) and a player withdraws, you typically lose out on your stake.

In-play Betting

Live betting tennis typically requires a completed match for bets to stand. The exceptions to this rule are game and set totals. The bets stand if the players complete the game or the set.

Different Types Of Tennis Betting Markets

There are plenty of options when it comes to placing bets on tennis. You could place outright wagers on the winner of a match, or more specific bets like the correct score.

Outright Bet

-A wager on the winner of the tournament.

Match Bet

-A bet based on the winner of the match.

Handicap Bet

-Also known as ‘betting the spread,’ this bet evens the playing field between opponents.


-A bet on how many games or sets will be played before the winner is declared (i.e. over/under 25 games).

Correct Score

-A bet placed on the final score of the game. Pays out only if the game is the exact score as the bet.

Set Winner

-A wager on the player to win a specific set.

In-play Betting

-Bets placed on a match while it’s in progress.

Tennis In-Play Betting & Live Streaming

Tennis is one of the most popular sports for punters around the world. In the U.K. In fact, it’s second only to football. A popular way to place wagers is through in-play betting

Punters can wager from the comfort of their home with live-streamed tennis matches – they get to watch the action as it happens. A significant advantage of live betting tennis is that the odds shift as the match progresses – and if you are live streaming it, you can see exactly what is happening and make your choices and bets accordingly. 

During a match, the conditions that affect a player’s performance may change the odds. Differences such as injuries or a shift in the weather may cause the odds to lean more towards the other player.

How Does Tennis Handicap Betting Work?

Before starting a match, the bookies might give a player a handicap to even the odds between opponents. A handicap changes the number of points calculated for the purposes of the bet. 

The sportsbooks represent the handicap by either a positive (+) or a negative (-) sign. A player with +3 must finish the match within three games of their opponent to consider that bet successful.

Put simply, Player A may win the match by 6-4, 6-3, 6-4, (for a game total of 18-11), but if Player B has a handicap of +7.5, wagers on Player B would payout. 

Tennis Betting Strategies

You should consider using a basic tennis betting strategy when placing wagers during online sports betting. Strategies such as value betting can help maximize your potential return and enjoy periods of successful tennis betting.

Value Betting

These bets are wagers that you think have a better probability of winning versus the odds presented by the sportsbook. First, we need to decide if the player’s chance of winning is more significant than the odds offered based on their previous form. Take into account things like the head to head total versus their opponent, the court’s surface, and both player’s ranking.

For example, say the bookie is giving odds of 6/5, and you think the probability of the player winning is 60%. Factor those numbers into the following equation, and if you get a sum higher than zero, you have a value bet.

(To switch from fractional odds to decimal, divide the first number by the second and add 1)

Value = Probability X Decimal Odds – 1

Value = 0.60 X 2.2 -1

Value = 1.2

Bet On Totals

For beginners just figuring out their tennis betting strategy, it might be wise to bet on totals instead of winners. With these wagers, the match-winner doesn’t affect the number of games or sets played. The disadvantage is that these bets don’t pay out as well, but the advantage is that it will give you the experience and confidence to make those bigger bets.

Using these betting expert tennis tips will help you get one step closer to becoming a wagering pro!

Accumulator Betting

Accumulator betting is particularly popular with tennis betting punters as it gives them interest over the course of a day of play or even the entire weekend. Take the match winner market, for example. You could back five or six players to win their games and club them together in an accumulator. That not only gives you a day of enjoyment, it also hands players a chance to win big for small stakes. To get an accumulator bet paid out as a winner all selections must do as predicted. If all win except one, the bet would be a loser, a case of close but not quite close enough. A popular strategy is an acca with the favourites – as favourites more often than not win, and you get more of a return if they do.

Cash Out Betting

On the subject of accumulator betting, many online bookmakers offer a cash-out option on tennis accas and this gives you more chance of securing a profit, which is a great strategy if your last one is looking a little shaky. Cash-out applies to singles too, but it works best with accumulators. Let’s look at a tennis acca as an example of how cash out can work in your favour.

Let’s say you have backed a tennis accumulator with six selections, all from the day’s action at Wimbledon and all taking players to win their matches. You are confident of getting all six home and, when placing the bet, you’ll notice a cash-out value has already been applied, usually matching your initial stake. As each selection comes in as a winner, that cash out value rises. The amount offered is a reflection of how likely the traders think it is of your bet is settled as a winner. If you have three winners and three matches still to play, you could cash out for a profit.

Things really get interesting later in the day. If your bet slip shows you have correctly predicted five results from six matches and are now going into the final leg, traders will begin to worry. They’ll offer you decent cash out value, it won’t be as much as the final amount you were promised, as all six haven’t won yet, but it will be an amount of money significantly bigger than your original stake.

You now have a gamble within a gamble. Should you stick to your guns and let the bet ride, hoping the sixth and final match goes to plan and lands you a winner, or will you cash out for a good-sized profit. If you decide to cash out before the sixth match is finished it then doesn’t matter what happens in that contest. If your player wins or loses it has no effect on your total. When cashing out a bet you are choosing to end the bet there and then, collecting the money and settling up.

If your sixth player was to lose you would have the money in your pocket regardless, if they win, you’ll have only the amount offered when you cashed out. It can see backers paid for a losing bet or save the traders money, giving you less than the bet would’ve paid if you had let it run. Cash-out betting has changed the gambling industry forever and it’s doubtful the game will ever be the same.

Betting on the Grand Slams

Four Grand Slam tournaments take place each year and come in the form of the Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and the US Open. Each proves a big hit with both dedicated and casual followers of the sport and they also draw in large support from sports bettors.

Bookmakers offer extended coverage on the four big events of the season and more ways to bet usually means more ways to win. The prices in the outright market are also bigger than you’d find most weeks and that appeals to those after a small stakes interest.

When it comes to betting on major tennis events, you will find that all the top sports betting sites offer great coverage of the events, plenty of tennis-based betting markets and all the statistics you could ever imagine. The best way to win money on tennis is by first making sure you know all the relevant information about the tennis tournaments and the individual matches that will take place.

Let’s take a closer look at each of the Grand Slams in a bit more detail…

Australian Open

The Australian Open is the first Grand Slam of the year and takes place at Melbourne Park on the hard surface in January. It’s an early treat for sports fans in a month that’s usually quite following the madness of the festive season and it also gives players the chance to lay down a marker for the year ahead.

Novak Djokovic won the men’s title in 2019 and was joined by female champion Naomi Osaka. Conditions are tough, it’s a surface that favours fast players and those who can handle the heat.

French Open

The French Open is played from late May to early June at Roland Garros and takes place on the clay surface. It’s the only Grand Slam played on clay and is a competition that has been dominated by Roger Federer in recent years. The Spaniard plays his best tennis on clay and has enjoyed some memorable outings in France.

The 2019 tournament was won by Rafael Nadal once again and he was crowned the men’s champion, with Ashleigh Barty taking success in the women’s game. Nadal is showing no signs of slowing up and can often be found as the pre-tournament betting favourite but when he does retire it’s sure to blow the market wide open.


The most famous of the Grand Slams, Wimbledon is known and loved the world over. Played on grass courts at the iconic London venue in June and July, it’s a tournament that sees sports fans from all walks of life rub shoulders. Royalty, celebrities, die-hard tennis enthusiasts, they all turn out to enjoy the show.

Andy Murray made history by winning Wimbledon, but he missed out in 2019, a year won by Novak Djokovic following a marathon five-hour battle in the final. That was one of the best finals in living memory and will take some beating. The women’s trophy was handed to Simona Halep. Wimbledon tennis betting is amongst the most popular in the industry.

US Open

The US Open is the final Grand Slam of the year and gets going in August with the final often played in the early exchanges of September. It’s held at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York and is disputed on the hard courts, similar to the Australian Open.

It’s another tournament that has been dominated by Novak Djokovic in recent years and he seems to rise to the occasion in front of a bumper audience in NYC. The play is fast and furious, as is the betting as punters aim to land a Grand Slam winner before the season is over.

The Best Betting Sites for Tennis

Tennis is a popular sport for punters, so it’s easy to find a list of bookmakers that have tennis. The challenge comes with finding the best online tennis betting sites that fit your needs. Look for bonuses and promotions, like accumulator insurance or free bets. 

Check out  Bet365, 888Sport or William Hill to get the most out of live streaming tennis online, they also offer great odds and also features such as cash out, partial cash out, build your own bet, edit bet and more. 


Many major bookmakers like to mark the arrival of a Grand Slam or major tennis tournament by offering a promotion. These change often to ensure they are fresh, new, relevant to players and compete in the market. The best way to get an up-to-date check on what offers are being made on tennis is to check the promotions tab of your favourite online bookmaker. There you will find all sports deals available to both new and existing customers.

The majority of promotions you come across will require deposits in order to claim. One other thing you can always count on finding when dealing with promotions are wagering requirements. You can check what deposit and the wagering requirements are attached to promotions by reading the respective terms and conditions. Terms and conditions will stipulate various other requirements, including time limits, minimum stake amounts, deposit codes/bonus codes/promo codes and capped bonus winnings.

We can get an idea of what to expect by looking back at some of the more popular promos from the past. Firms like to give enhanced odds on certain players, boosting their original price to one that is more appealing. For example, Novak Djokovic might be even money to win the US Open and a bookie might boost that to 2/1.

There are other ways to entice you into a bet. There’s enhanced places each-way which makes taking a chance on a big price outsider easier to do. There’s money back on losing bets if the favourite goes on to be crowned champion. You’ll even find major bookies giving boosts on your accumulator winnings. The more selections in your bet the more cash will be added to your final tally. It’s not only worth finding out which site is offering the best odds, but you should also always check if there are any promos available that could increase your chances of landing a winner. Tennis betting is enjoyable, the modern schedule is fast and furious and bookmakers now make it easier to land a winning bet.

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About Joe Kizlauskas

Joe is a seasoned iGaming copywriter and speaker who has been in the business since 2015. He's written more words on all elements of iGaming than he likes to remember, and he's contributed material to a number of well-known brands. Joe may be seen playing 5 a side, at the gym or playing games on his Playstation when he is not writing.