There are very few sports that are bigger than tennis when it comes to online betting. In fact, there are a huge number of professional bettors situated all over the world who specialise in tennis and tennis alone.
One of the main reasons why it’s so popular with punters is that there are so many matches on which to bet. It’s a game that is played for all 12 months of the years and there are often multiple tournaments that take place each week. As you can imagine, the number of matches really starts to add up across all of these events and this makes for a huge market to bet on.
The match betting market is the most popular. For this you are betting on the winner of the match. For betting purposes, the winner is deemed the player that progresses to the next round, should a player withdraw prior or during the match.
Tennis betting rules
There are some important betting rules to take into account when betting on tennis, especially when it comes to unforeseen circumstances.
Each bookmaker will have a stance that they take on matches that aren’t concluded in their entirety, and it will be one of these below:
- Ball served – This is where the bookies will honour all bets after just 1 ball has been served. So, if a player retires in the first game of the first set for example, the player that progresses to the next round will be deemed the winner.
- 1st set complete – This is where the bookmaker will need the 1st set to be complete before paying out. So, if a player gets injured before that first set is finished, then all bets will be void and your stake returned.
- 2nd set complete – Same as above, but the bookmaker needs 2 sets to be complete instead of 1.
- Match completed – Some bookies will need to whole match to be complete before paying out on this market. If either player retires, the bet is void.
As you can see, the rules can range a lot in terms of what gets paid out and what doesn’t. It’s really important that you check with your bookmaker as to their process before placing a wager as it could be critical to your bet and even how you go about placing you bets.
There are tons of betting systems and strategies that can be applied to tennis betting, but some are better than others. These are just a few that we think you should be applying to your bets in order to select the outright winner.
One of the easiest and most obvious places to start is that of the surface that the match is being played on. The surface plays a huge role in how a certain match is going to go depending on the weather and who is facing off against who.
Each surface has it’s own characteristics:
- Clay – slower, often suited to long rallies. Players need to be fit and agile.
- Grass – rarest of the three, plays very fast, but has low bounce and not many rallies.
- Hard – in between clay and grass for speed, can have long rallies.
As you can see, each surface is going to suit certain players better than others. You need to be looking at players that are best suited to the surface in order to work out which of the two players has the best chance.
A great example of this is two of the all-time greats in that of Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer. Nadal has won an incredible 12 majors at the French Open, all of which are on clay, but he has only won 2 on the grass of Wimbledon. Federer on the other hand has won 8 times at Wimbledon on the grass, but only once on the clay in France.
So, if they were playing on the grass then you would have to pick Federer for the win and if they were playing on clay you would have to go with Nadal.
If you are betting on matches with two relative unknowns, try and find out where they were brought up and then the types of courts they played on when they were younger. It’s likely that these types of courts will still be their favourites even today, so bear that in mind when choosing bets on this market.
Playing styles for in play betting
One of the ways that a lot of professional bettors make money is by betting on winners in play. They like to see how a game starts and the style of each player within that game to judge whether it highlights any value there might be in the market.
Pressure situations are key in this, but for you to take advantage you need to be aware of how a given player will react in each scenario. For example, if you know that a player is great at coming from behind to close out matches, then you can wait for them to fall behind, watch the odds rise as they do so, and then back them at a good price before they start their comeback.
The flipside is that some players aren’t able to handle the big occasions. You often hear phrases like “he won, but he was far from his best today” in tennis, and that’s because certain players just know how the get the job done even when they aren’t playing well.
These are great people to back in the early round matches but be wary as the tournament progresses as the player will need to improve before they face players that are in better form and who will capitalise on any mistakes made.
Just to give you a common idea of a playing style that is great for betting: Kei Nishikori has a really strong rate of closing out games when going into final set deciders. He’s often able to find another gear and almost wear his opponent out. As a bettor, getting on someone like Nishikori when he’s tied going into the final set of a match would likely be a sound investment.
Oppose fan favourites
This is common in any sport and is particularly valid when betting on players that are based in the same country as the bookmaker that is laying the bet. Lots of people bet with their heart over their head, so the money that comes in is mainly for a fan favourites over the strongest player.
A great example of this has been the likes of Andy Murray and probably more Tim Henman in recent years at Wimbledon. It took a while for Murray to eventually win at Wimbledon, but there were many years leading up to this where he went close and would be priced really short in matches that he probably wasn’t favourite for.
Henman at Wimbledon was the same. He was the nostalgic pick from the crowd and then the bookmaker adjusts their prices based on how much money starts to come in for that player. If we were all being really honest, Henman was never quite good enough to go all the way and his record in other majors highlighted this as much as anything else.
To wrap up, make sure you aren’t just betting on fan favourites and make more informed picks on your own.
Back potential over form
There is no doubt that form plays a role in tennis, but we think that it’s an area that too many people give too much weight. There are so many variables in tennis that taking how a player performed one week on grass and comparing that to their performance the next week on clay in a country on the other side of the world is not going to work out long term.
You are much better suited to back the players that have the potential to beat anyone on their day. There have been plenty of them and two that stick out in the modern-day era are that of Tomas Berdych and Kei Nishikori.
There are plenty of others, but it’s this type of player that you want to be looking at regardless of who they are playing as they are going to be very difficult to beat on their day. We would much rather take on these types of players in the match betting market then trying to string form together for someone who’s had a few decent results on the trot.
A good tip is to create a stable of players who can win anywhere and on any surface. You can really start to learn these players’ strengths and weaknesses and then match them up each time they play. Work through a process of how much of an advantage they have over their opponent (if any) and then price them up. Compare that with the bookmaker’s price and take the one that offers the most value, or take multiple bets from multiple players.