Tennis Betting Markets Explained

Below we have explained some of the most common tennis betting markets - and how they work.

  • Match Winner

  • Total Games/ Total Sets

  • Set Betting - scores

  • Handicaps

  • Tournament 'Outright Winner' bets 

Using a match between Andy Murray and Rafael Nadal as an example...  

Match Winner markets 

Example: Match Winner

Andy Murray (2/1) v Rafael Nadal (2/5) 

Bet Guide: This is the most common tennis bet, on one player to beat another.  

Need to know info:

Different bookies have different rules for Match Winner bets 

Different bookies operate different rules for how they pay out on Match Winner bets if a match is NOT completed (for example, if one player retires injured).   

Some bookies pay out on the winner as the player who goes through to the next round, as long as 'one ball' was hit in the match. Some bookies pay out on the winner if 'one set' has been completed, and void bets if less than one set has been played. And some bookies void all Match Winner bets if the match is not completed. 

Your Ones to Watch service will usually recommend Match Winner bets with bookmakers who use the 'bet void' rule. That way you will always get your money back on Match Winner bets if either player retires. This also works in your favour for multiples bets such as Doubles, Trebles and Accumulators - if a player retires injured or a match is not completed, instead of making your whole bet a loser, that match will simply be voided and drop out of your multiple bet, with the odds adjusted accordingly. 

Find out more about Tennis Betting Rules here 

Set Betting markets 

Example: Set Betting

Murray to win 2-0 (5/1) Nadal to win 2-0 (Evens)
Murray to win 2-1 (4/1) Nadal to win 2-1 (3/1)

Bet Guide: This market lets you bet on the exact outcome of the match, in sets.  

Set Betting markets can be a good way to boost your profits when backing a favourite. For example Nadal might be odds on at 2/5 (1.40) to beat Andy Murray, but for a straight sets 3-0 win, you'll get the bigger price of 9/4 (3.25).  

On the other hand, some players might have a habit of playing out close matches, and the odds for the 3-1 and 3-2 score can provide some decent payouts.  

How to bet on Tennis - Need to know info: 

Men's Grand Slam tournaments (such as Wimbledon) have 'best of 5 set' matches. So for those the bet options cover all the possible outcomes, 3-0, 3-1, 3-2 to either player. 

All women's events have 'best of 3 sets' matches (2-0 or 2-1 to either player).

Match Totals markets 

Example: Total Games 

Under 31.5 Games (5/6) Over 31.5 Games (10/11)

Bet Guide: Under/ Over bets give you the chance to cash-in on a match, regardless of which player wins. 

The most common Under/ Over bet is Total Games. This is simply a bet on the total number of games played in the match.  

For example, if Rafael Nadal beat Andy Murray 6-3, 6-1, 7-6 the total number of games would be 29. In that case, bets on Under 31.5 Games would win. 

Other Under/ Over markets include Total Sets, and for some matches, Total Aces and Total Double Faults, etc.

Handicap markets 

For example: Games Handicap 

Andy Murray +3.5 (4/5) Rafael Nadal -3.5 (Evens) 

Bet Guide: Handicap bets mean you are betting on one player to beat another, with a particular handicap applied.  

The bookies' handicap levels out the match, so both players can be backed at similar odds. 

Games Handicap is the most common handicap market. The outcome of the bet is decided by applying the handicaps to the actual result of the match.  

These markets are great for boosting your profits on a favourite expected to win well - or for cashing-in on a fancied outsider or 'underdog' in the betting without actually needing that player to win the match.   

For example, if Nadal beats Murray 7-6, 6-4: 

Murray total games won (6 + 4) = 10. 
Nadal total games won (7 + 6) = 13. 

Bets on Murray +3.5 Games Handicap win, as with the handicap applied, Murray's score (10 + 3.5 = 13.5) sbeats Nadal's 13 games.

  • Bookies also offer Sets Handicap markets which work in the same way, but using the number of sets won by each player instead of the number of games. 

Outright Winner markets 

For example: Tournament Winner/ Outright Winner

R.Federer 3/1
R.Nadal 7/2
N.Djokovic 9/2
A.Murray 7/1
A.Zverev 12/1
S.Wawrinka 16/1
G.Dimitrov 16/1
J.M.Del Potro 22/1
N.Kyrgios 25/1
M.Raonic 25/1

(Each Way terms: 1/2 odds for 1,2 places) 

Bet Guide: Betting on a player to win a tournament. This is sometimes referred to as Outright Winner betting. Bookies offer these markets for all tournaments.  

Betting 'Each Way' means you place two bets, one on the player to win the tournament and one on them to finish in the top 2 places (to reach the final).

Need to know info:

Different bookies have different rules for Outright Winner bets 

When it comes to tournament Outright Winner bets, the best option is to go with bookies that operate a 'Non-Runner No Bet' policy - voiding bets if a player pulls out of a tournament before taking any part in it.

View a list of bookies with this rule and find out more here.

Doubles, Trebles and Accumulators

Multiples bets such as Doubles, Trebles and Accumulators are a great way to boost your profits, by backing several bets to all win. 

For example, a £25 single bet on Rafael Nadal to beat Andy Murray at odds of 2/5 returns just £10 profit... 

But a Treble on three players to all win at similar prices pays out around 2/1 - and your £25 stake gives you £50 profit. 

And it's not just Match Winner bets. All of the markets mentioned above can be combined in various multiple bets with the bookies. 

For example, two 5/6 Match Handicap bets pays out as a Double at over 2/1.  Three 10/11 Total Games bets pays out as a Treble at almost 6/1.

Note: All of the above markets will be available via bookmakers' websites and over the phone. You may have to ask for them if you're betting over the counter.

If you need any further help, use the Contact Us form to send us an email.