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Betting Advice

How to bet on Tennis: The BetConnect Betting Guide


Fancy a bet on the tennis but not sure where to start? Here’s everything you need to know about how to bet on tennis and BetConnect’s unique offering.

How did tennis start?

Tennis developed from a game played in the early medieval period by Italian monks in courtyards, and later popularised across Europe. Initially played with bare hands and then leather gloves, rackets were developed in due course and a number of different versions of the sport followed.

Of those, squash, badminton and table tennis are still well-known. You may be less familiar with racquetball, in which a small hard ball travels at eye-watering speeds. You might also have heard of the mysterious world of real tennis, beloved of Henry VIII. Pelota and trinquete are both still popular in the Basque country.

The history of tennis betting

The history of tennis betting has been poorly chronicled. Informal wagering has existed for centuries but it’s not known at what point betting shops with televised feeds of the tournaments started allowing bets to be legally struck.

In terms of on-site betting, William Hill opened a betting tent at Wimbledon in 1975. They failed to return the next year after being charged a higher fee and given a less prominent location. There’s no record of any rival firm doing something similar.

More recently, concerns have developed over players being bribed to deliberately lose a game. This is particularly true of low-key challenger events that sit below the flagship main ATP and WTA tours. Tennis can be an expensive occupation, especially when players have to travel long-haul for poor prize money. The temptation of skullduggery has, on occasion, been too much to resist.

Additionally, a practice known as courtsiding has reared its ugly head. Courtsiding is a betting technique whereby spectators attempt to relay vital point updates to syndicates before the umpire has officially updated the scoreboard.

Thankfully these unwelcome aspects to tennis betting are not an issue at BetConnect, largely because we eliminate both in-running markets and many of the low-key challenger events.

How to bet on Tennis: What can I bet on?

We offer bets on singles and doubles draws at the Grand Slams, all WTA and ATP tournaments and some of the major qualifying tournaments.

All bets must be placed before the scheduled start time and a range of markets are available. This section of our tennis betting guide looks at these in more detail.

tennis betting guide

Tennis Betting Markets Explained

Match Result

The most obvious bet and the easiest one to explain. A match result bet simply involves picking the winner. Different factors are considered before lumping on a selection as the odds will rarely be attractive in these markets.

Which player will act best bearing in mind the surface, weather conditions, and recent form? Also do not forget that all-important, but sometimes overlooked aspect, head-to-head records.

Game Handicap

Game handicap is a fairly new innovation to tennis betting though commonplace in sports betting as a whole. The player who the match market views as the underdog is given a handicap to make the contest more even.

Let’s use this example: Rafael Nadal has a +3.5 handicap against Novak Djokovic. The match is won by Djokovic 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 but your bet on Nadal wins because if we add up all the games, Djokovic has 16 to Nadal’s 14. We then add 3.5 to Nadal’s score, which takes him past his rival.

A great time to get stuck into this market is when you think the two players are hard to split although one is given a reasonably generous handicap.

Total Games

Here there is a fixed ‘line’ of the total games the market expects there to be in the match. Bet either side of the line at odds of around 10/11 if you think the line is above or below where you’d expect it to be.

A good trick in a market like this is to calculate in your mind how the match is going to play out. If the market line conforms roughly to your belief, avoid betting. If it’s quite far from your estimate, this is a good time to place the bet.

Generally speaking, the closer a match is the more total games will be played. Look out for men’s matches on fast courts where both players are big servers. These will often have several sets going to tiebreaks and are good matches to pick for bets on the high side of the line.

First Set Winner

This is a fairly unusual bet and it will generally replicate the match market. However you may have collected some data that shows you exactly how effective a particular player is early in a match. If so, you may have an edge that gives you a chance of reaping a profit.

Tennis Betting Explained: Ready to hit winners?

So that pretty much sums up everything you need to know about how to bet on tennis with BetConnect. So why not sign up for an account today? BetConnect is the only exchange that lets you back selections at bookie odds with no restrictions, and lay the selections of other account-holders commission-free. Not sure how it works? Read this simple guide.


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