Tennis is the world’s most popular racket sport, and betting on Tennis has really exploded in the last decade or so with the increasing popularity of online betting and particularly live streaming.
Lots of people now bet on tennis with quite a bit of cash floating about in the industry, indeed the 2018 Australian Open final saw over £75 million of matched bets on the Betfair exchange alone.
Tennis is a great game for both professional and amateur betting because the major variable is just the player. This makes predicating an outcome simply a matter of who you think is going to win rather than who has the best equipment or team.
Like with most sports there are some online bookies who are better to wager your bet with than others, and here we discuss some of the best tennis bookmakers, how to bet on tennis, and what types of bets and offers you can expect in the sport.
Best Online Bookmakers for Tennis Betting
Tennis is now offered by every online bookie worth their salt, but don’t just automatically bet with the first bookie you come to.
Did you know you can live stream most tennis games? Get excellent statistics and tennis news services? Access excellent tennis offers and promotions?
Here at OnlineBetting we show you the bookmakers that offer tennis bettors the best service. For the latest tennis offers, see our sister site latestbettingoffers.co.uk.
Fantastic Market Selection
BetVictor are such a professional bookie they always end up there or about for the big sports and tennis is no exception. There is no live steaming available with BetVictor, if there were they may be my top tennis bookie, but the quality of the rest of the tennis features goes a long way to making up for this.
Range of markets on offer is superb and the odds available are some of the most competitive you will find. The sleek and stylish in play service is noticeable with tennis particularly and it is such a pleasure to use. BetVictor are one of the best providers of virtual sports and although not entirely relevant their tennis virtual features are really fun and realistic with bespoke virtual features for the Grand Slams.
Offers are not the strong point of BetVictor but actually with tennis they sometimes become quite competitive. Around big grand slam events get ‘bet boosts’ giving you even better odds on top of their already great prices. There are regular accumulator offers for most tennis too.
Betting on tennis with the mobile app is worth a mention too, I love the BetVictor mobile app and the tennis betting is awesome on there. Payouts are fairly decent at 100k for all tennis offered, although not the highest overall they have the clearest payout structure. Get a very generous introductory bonus for sign up too.
Excellent Tennis Odds and Features
William Hill don’t double fault when it comes to betting on tennis. Hill’s provide a great depth of market, regular streaming, great in play feature with news and results services and most importantly great odds on tennis. This bookie are one of the best at giving odds early on upcoming markets too.
The William Hill TV streaming service is one of my favourites and works really well for tennis. They don’t quite stream as much as Bet365 but if you mainly bet on ATP events you won’t notice any difference. You certainly won’t notice any difference in market depth, everything you can think of is available both pre-event and in play around the big events. Get the Cash In service with tennis too.
Never the best for offers but you do get the occasional one especially around the big Open tournaments. The better odds available here largely make up for that and the news, blogs, features and statistics service for tennis is up there with the best. Hill’s are a great staple bookie for tennis and worth a visit to check their odds and news features at the least.
Grand Slam tennis carries a very competitive maximum payout of £250k with £100k on other major ATP tournaments. Non-ATP or WTA tennis payouts are down at £25k but this is actually OK compared to some others.
Top Tennis News Features
Ladbrokes have to get a particular mention for their all-round news, results and stats service. The player is the critical factor in tennis with little other influences and so understanding the mind-set of a player going into a game is important. There is no better bookie for latest tennis news features and articles to help you get into the mind’s eye of any player from Murray to Williams.
Ladbrokes also do pretty much what the others do for tennis with a huge range of markets with odds offered long in advance. Live steaming of tennis is available on desktop and mobile and this works really nicely with the live in play betting service. The in play feature at Ladbrokes is bland but you soon forget this with all those other features available, the mobile in play is actually much better and I would recommend betting using mobile app.
Ladbrokes are a traditional bookie and not the strongest for offers, you will however get nice daily ‘bet bundles’ and enhanced odds offers and specials around the Grand Slams and big ATP events. Maximum payouts are nice at up to £500k and get a nice sign up offer to try their great tennis book out.
Live Tennis & More
Europeans love their tennis and as a continental focused bookie you can certainly guarantee some great prices and tennis features from Unibet. To start with they stream a huge amount of tennis year round from the ATP and WTA with some top live betting markets. Handicaps in particular are very good with Unibet and odds are generally some of the best you will find on all tennis lines.
Around the top tournaments you will find some attractive tennis promotions and features. They are one of the best for things like free bet clubs and enhanced winnings promotions. Lastly Unibet can boast one of the best live betting features going for tennis with ball by ball action betting that many other sites simply can’t match. A must have bookie if tennis is your main betting sport.
Tennis Bet Payout Maximums
A Brief History of Tennis
If you think of the origin of tennis you might imagine a fat Henry VIII wobbling around the court, but tennis started in the monasteries of France around the 12th century. This wasn’t quite the same game though as people used their hands to hit the ball instead of rackets. The first rackets only came into use in the 16th Century, and tennis is mentioned in writings of the period including plays by Shakespere.
Henry the VIII built the first ‘real tennis’ tennis court proper in England at Hampton Court in 1530. It is said that his second wife Anne Boleyn was in fact watching a tennis game when she was arrested, Henry himself was even playing tennis when he was told she has been executed. There was certainly no ‘love’ in that match.
Thanks to its popularity with royalty, tennis flourished as an aristocratic game through to the 19th century, before republicanism and the decline of some European monarchs led to a dip in its popularity.
The modern game of lawn tennis came about in the late 1800s when major Walter Clopton Wingfield patented the game with a new 8 page rule book. He borrowed many features from the original French real tennis game creating the amalgamation of English and French terms still found in the sport today.
Wimbledon became the first Grand Slam founded by the All England Club in 1877, the US Open began in 1881, the French Open in 1891 and the Australian Open in 1905. The Davis Cup began as a competition between the US and Britain in 1898 and expanded to include more countries in 1905. The International Tennis Federation was formed just before WWI in 1913.
Initially different open tournaments came under the umbrella of different associations and for a while from 1974-78 you were banned from playing the French Open if you had played in the World Team Tennis association. From 1978 the associations were combined eventually culminating in the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) for men and Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) for women in what we would now call the Open era.
Today Tennis is a massive multi-billion pound sport with a huge number of events and professional players. The simple nature of the game and hierarchical structure of points, games, sets and matches gives a huge range of betting opportunities. Most people would say they bet on tennis as their second sport.
How To Bet On Tennis
Tennis is an excellent sport to bet on. Punters can make a conventional outright bet and just sit back for a couple of hours and enjoy the game or bet throughout the match point by point and everywhere in between.
Tennis represents one of the best competitions between individual sportsmen, small margins can make the biggest differences and this is why professional punters like the sport so much. There are often big favourites in tennis matches, but the converse of this is there are big outsiders too and if you can predict an upset it can really pay off.
We describe the common types of bets and offers you can get with tennis and help you decide the right bets for you. For regular promotions see our betting offers section.
How the Game of Tennis Works
A tennis match is made up of games and sets. One player will serve the ball to the other in each game, and the serve then rotates for each new game. Players swap ends at the end of the first, third and fifth game, and so on. Service provides an advantage to the player serving and a point won off the serve without the opponent touching the ball is known as an ace. The player serving has two opportunities, the first serve and the second serve, if both of these fail then the point is defaulted to the opponent and this is known as a double fault.
The first point is worth ’15’, the second is worth ’30’, and the third ’40’, the fourth point will win the game as long as you win by two clear points. If the score ends up 40-40 this is known as deuce. At deuce a player needs two further points to win, the first of these points is known as the ‘advantage’.
A game is worth 1 point in a set, a set is won by the first player to 6 games as long as they win by two clear games. If a set ends 6-6 then the final game is known as a tie break. In a tie break each point in a game is worth 1, the winner in the first player to 7 points and again they must win by two clear points. Apart from the final set which will not go to a tiebreak but will continue until a player wins the set by two clear games.
The only difference in structure between the men’s and women’s game is the number of sets in a match. The woman’s game is best of 3 sets and the men’s game best of 5 sets. In smaller tennis events the men’s game can also be the best of three sets too.
In tennis a score of zero is termed ‘love’. So a game that is won 40-0 will be termed as 40-love by the umpire. This is that old French influence coming through.
Outright Result Betting
This is a bet on a given result.
In tennis this is easy; Player A to beat Player B for example. These bet types are great value for money.
Bookies compete on outright markets to give the best odds and so these bets can be quite profitable in tennis. Outright betting is also good on tennis as there isn’t any extra time that can scupper your result bet like in football.
Enhanced odds markets are popular for major tennis outright betting with many bookies running at a loss to attract customers to the big tournaments.
When placing an outright bet check the latest offers from all your bookies not just the top odds.
Accumulator betting is perfect for tennis.
Here you are picking a series of linked outright result singles giving you cumulatively higher odds. To take a slightly dated example; a treble on Murray, Djokovic and Williams all to win will give better odds than three singles bets, although if one result fails your whole bet will be down.
Tons of offers are available for accumulator betting on tennis with many bookmakers offering accumulator (acca) insurance so if one leg lets you down with a minimum number of qualifying selections you will get your money back. Other bookies offer percentage accumulator bonuses, so if you are betting on a tennis accumulator anyway you would be silly not to use one of these bonus offers.
Accumulators don’t need to just be placed on outright results, you can make an accumulator from any series of non-linked bets. Place an accumulator on first set results from a number of games for example. Fixed odds accumulators, enhanced odds coupons and offers are also common around major tennis so look out for the best offer.
The nature of tennis means you can do pretty much all full cover bet types on the sport. Full cover bets (Trixies, etc.) and full cover bets with singles (Lucky’s, etc.) are common and sometimes you can get additional linked offers for playing this way. See our bet types articles for full details of how full cover betting works.
Game, Set and Match Betting
In Tennis you can bet by the second or the hour, whatever takes your fancy. A full range of markets are available pre-event and in play so you should be able to keep yourself entertained with this sport. Combine this with the wide range of steaming and you can see why it is so popular to bet on.
With a good in play service you can bet on who is going to win the next point in a game or at the very least you can bet on who will win the first point of a game. You could bet on the winning points margin or the exact score in a given game or whether that game might go to deuce, who is going to win the set, by what margin or the exact set score. If the set goes to a tie-break then betting by the point gives a truly immersive experience.
Other markets include over/under betting, such as the number of games in a set or the number of sets in a match. If you like you can predict whether there will be a tie-break in the match. The method of victory is a popular market too; will it be won by an ace off serve, a double fault, will the ball be called out or will they player hit the net on their return? Finally, if you just want to place a bet and sit back and relax then bet on the outright match result, then it doesn’t matter whether your player wins in three sets to love or scrapes it 3-2.
Asian Lines and Handicap betting
For a detailed guide to normal handicap and Asian handicap betting see our bet types section. In brief, a handicap provides an advantage to one side such as giving a player a set advantage in a game or a set disadvantage.
This type of bet can commonly be found in tennis due to the logical point’s hierarchy system. Asian handicaps are similar but in Asian betting the draw is void or simply impossible. Handicaps are available in points betting, game betting and set betting.
In Play and Pre-event
Tennis lends itself to in play betting and so you will very often see offers that link pre-event and in play markets.
These will read something like ‘bet £10 pre-event and get a £5 free bet’.
These offers are certainly worth taking up to increase your odds of winning. You can use the in play bet to hedge against your pre-event bet meaning you get a payout either way.
Some bets can only be placed pre-event, such as who will win the toss to serve first, or doubles bets like Player A to win the first set but lose the match.
Other bets lend themselves to in play, such as the winner of the 20th game, etc.
Depending on how you like to bet will define whether you prefer pre-event or live betting markets.
Tennis is a massive sport so you will find loads of specials available from different bookies. Specials can either be something like an enhanced odds multiple, something like 3 different players all to win in a round with fixed odds, e.g. 5/1. These offers are headline grabbing and will usually give you much better odds than doing a conventional accumulator. Bookies often run enhanced odds specials on tennis at a loss to get your custom so if you were thinking of backing that accumulator anyway look out for a specific promotion.
Other specials and novelty bets are available around tennis. You will quite often see things like ‘who will be Player A’s next coach’ and the like. Be careful with these bets; whilst they are a bit of fun odds tend to be fairly poor and payout limits can be extremely low. Some bookies like Paddy Power and Coral are better than others such as BetVictor for these types of bets.
Types of Tennis Events
- Grand Slam – This is the pinnacle of tennis events, there are four slams; Wimbledon, the Australian Open, French Open at Roland Garos and US Open. Winning these events is the currency of greatness in tennis, well over half of all money bet on tennis is bet between these four events. Grand Slams last 2-3 weeks and require players to triumph in 7 rounds to get the top prize.
- Davis Cup – Originally a match between the US and Britain, this now includes every major country and is split into a tiered league system based on the rankings of each international team. The Davis Cup is the highest ranking tennis team event, it is played in knockout format and countries must win their groups to get into the knockout stages. The Davis Cup in theory rewards countries with higher average standards rather than just one superstar player.
- ATP World Tour – The Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) is the main tour form of the game. These are tournaments shorter than Grand Slams but still carry ranking points for players. This is exclusive to men’s tennis and takes tennis to big major cities such as London, Shanghai, Paris and loads more. Different tours offer different points towards ranking which is why you will see better quality players in some events compared to others.
- WTA Tour – The Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) is equivalent to the men’s ATP tour and can be found in major cities around the world throughout the year.
- ATP Masters Series – Exclusive to the men’s game this is a series of 9 events though the tennis year, part of the ATP tour and are the highest ranking events after the grand slams meaning you tend to get the biggest names involved.
Live In Play Betting
Every single bookie on this site offers a live betting service and they all cover tennis.
Tennis is a superb sport to bet on in play. Games are quick enough for rapid turnaround betting yet matches are long enough to keep you entertained for hours. Live betting on tennis is easy and you can bet on everything from the next point to the outright winner at any point in the game.
Some services are better than others, and they are alla bit different, so you should try out a few in play services and find the right on for you. For example I really love Betway in play but then again they are light on other features such as streaming. Coral have everything but can sometimes be overwhelming. This is why we recommend you keep a wide bookmaker portfolio so you can bet with the right bookie for the right bet.
News, Results and Statistics
Loads of bookmakers now offer various news, results and stats services and you can read about the different products offered in our betting site reviews. Again don’t take my word for it try out a few services and find the one you like the most. Bet365, Ladbrokes, Hill’s, Betfred and others all have fantastically comprehensive features for you to try.
Remember most of these features are free so if you like Betfair news but prefer to bet with Coral for example there is nothing stopping you mixing and matching.
News and stats tend to be more important in tennis than other sports. The individual nature of the game means small variances in a players potential can have a huge effect on a game. This is one reason why a lot of professional gamblers wager on tennis. This is far less important in team sports where many more factors can influence a result.
If a player has had a recent death in the family or a recurrent injury this could be critical to outcome of a tennis matchm and if you do your homework you can give yourself a real advantage.
Bookies pour a lot of resources into these features so use them.
Live Streaming and Commentary
Tennis is probably the best sport for live streaming. It is big enough to capture a huge amount of interest, cash and advertising but independent and international enough that it is not locked into expensive TV rights deals like you find with big football. The consequence of this is that many bookies own rights to stream live tennis and you’ve got a wealth of options, more than any other sport.
Whether you like to bet on tennis on an exchange like Betfair, a site with massive market like Ladbrokes, or a site with loads of offers like Paddy Power you may as well watch the game as you bet. Read bookmaker reviews in this section or in the betting sites section to find more about who streams what.
Why not mix and match? Many bookies simply require you to have a funded account in order to stream so you can always watch the game with a streaming bookie and bet with another if they have better odds or offers.
Some bookies offer audio commentaries too and all offer some form of live text commentary for you to keep up with the game. Tennis is widely broadcast on TV channels too, from the BBC, Sky and Eurosport.
Odds and Payouts
Odds will vary hugely between bookies even on something as simple as two people whacking a ball back and forth across a net.
If betting on outright results and single matches in particular then always check odds comparison websites first. Some bookmakers like BetVictor are better at offering good raw odds whereas others offer better enhanced odds promotions and money back offers to put the odds in your favour. This is largely a balancing act and often a question of risk management.
A common example would be if placing an accumulator; should you go for the money back acca insurance if a leg lets you down or the accumulator bonus? This all depends on how confident you are and what you value more, better odds or more security.
Enhanced odds promotions are common with tennis especially around the big Grand Slam and ATP events. Always look out for these as this is a great way to bring the odds in your favour. Bookies are hoping you will back the headline offer and then bet further but if you are sensible you could take advantage. A common enhanced odds promotion would be something like ‘Player A to win the match 3-0 is 6/1’ the real odds may be closer to 3 or 4/1 and so this type of offer is well worth taking
Generally as a big sport you can get really great odds on tennis, especially on those summer events like Wimbledon when there are not too many other sports on, particularly football. This time of year bookies really push the tennis offers and odds as their other popular income streams are out of season.
Tennis tends to sit as a kind of second tier sport. Not quite the payout levels you will get from football and horse racing but still well above any threshold normal gamblers would hopt to see.
Expect a pay out of a least £100k on major tennis, but most offer £250-500k. Limits do vary a lot and limtis for specific offers and promotions often come with their own terms and lower payout limits so do check in advance. Payout limits also vary by bet type with the highest limits usually reserved for outright result betting. Set and game betting for example may carry lower limits.
If betting on non ATP or WTA tennis then payout limits can be particularly low so do check in advance if you are unsure if the game falls under one of these associations. This can happen when betting on some minor Asian leagues, etc.
Tennis is a fast paced game so you may also want to consider payout turnaround times. If you are relying on getting your winnings back from the first game to bet on the third game then go with a bookie that pays out quickly. The best way to find this out is trial and error. I like betting with Coral in play because they refresh your balance almost instantly following a result.
Types of Tennis Bet
For information on types of coupons and bets and how they work see bet types in our betting guide section
A single bet is a bet with one line.
This is usually an outright result bet but could be any single bet such as the winner of the next point or the next set.
When betting on outright singles it is worth checking odds comparison websites and latest betting offers as bookies will compete on the headling grabbing big singles bets.
Multiple betting is common in tennis. The most common is an accumulator, a series of linked singles. An accumulator with three matches would be known as a treble.
You can find offers around for multiples betting on tennis from accumulator insurance to enhanced bonuses. Money back offers tend to go along the lines of ‘back 4 selections and if one lets you down we will give you your money back as a free bet’, while other offers on multiples may give a specific bonus or enhanced fixed odds.
Multiples betting has some restrictions. You cannot place an accumulator if events are linked, for example you can’t have a double on Murray to win back to back matches as the result of one could infleucne the other.
You can bet on as many events within a single round as you like though. You can also mix multiples between events and even sports so long as there is no direct link.
Do be careful betting like this as your multiple will be based on the event with the lowest payout terms not the highest.
Full Cover Betting
Full cover betting is just a series of multiple bets. Usually where you can place an accumulator you can place a full cover bet.
These bet types have weird and wonderful names but are very simple.
See our bet types for information on how to place these bets.
An example would be how to bet on a tennis Lucky 15.
A Lucky 15 is a 15 line bet made up of 4 selections; one line is a conventional 4 fold accumulator followed by the 4 possible trebles, the 6 possible doubles and the 4 single bets.
In this instance only one match needs to win for you to get some return.
Obviously though his bet will cost you 15x whatever you wager on a single line.
Occasionally you will find full cover betting promotions around tennis, and this can be a great way to bet if you like to mitigate your risk.
Handicap and Asian handicap betting is common in tennis with most bookies offering this bet type as pre-event or in play.
Handicap bets are good when you have a strong favourite such as the number 2 seed playing an unseeded player. Here the number 2 seed will have atrocious odds, let’s say 11/100 (1.11) odds on. In this case you may take a 2 handicap against the favourite that may take the odds to say evens (2.0). This will require the number 2 seed to win by 3 sets to love to get a return though.
Handicaps can be applied to individual games, sets and matches, anything where there is an overall score. Asian Handicaps are no more complicated, the difference is it is impossible to have a draw with Asian Handicaps, either it will be impossible or the bet will be void in the event of a draw.
Forecast and Conditional Betting
Forecasting is possible in tennis and can easily be found with many bookies. If the bet type isn’t offered you can usually get in touch directly with the bookie to bet in this way.
A forecast bet simply predicts the order of an event. This could be a straight forecast such as Player A to win Wimbledon and Player B to come second, the championship would have to finish in this order for you to get a payout. A reverse forecast would allow the result to finish in any order as long as both these players finish in one of these two positions. A tricast is a forecast of three selections, offering high odds but being very hard to hit.
You can also do conditional betting, or any-to-come betting, in tennis although it is not too common with the amateur punter.
This type of bet is effectively two singles with linked conditions for the bet to complete in full. You could bet on Player A to win a match with a £10 stake and Player B to win with a £10 stake. In an any-to-come tennis bet if Player A wins the £10 stake is further wagered on Player B (so now a £20 total stake) and vice versa, if Player B wins £10 further is wagered on Player A.
The benefit of this bet type is if both win then you have a double stake on both, but the negative side is if just Player B won for example then you would lose both the £10 stake from the Player A single and the £10 stake from the Player B single.
Spread betting on tennis is certainly possible although usually only through spread betting specific books and exchanges.
This is a means of non-fixed odds betting where the level of your reward or loss is not fixed but instead is linked to the accuracy of your prediction. If your prediction is good you can stand to win well beyond your stake, if your prediction is bad you can stand to lose a lot. Therefore this bet is not for the uninitiated, read more in our bet types section.