Tennis has had something of a fall in popularity in recent years. Despite this, it still has a dedicated following that has a good grip on the gambling market. There are plenty of fans and gamblers who like to place a wager on tennis, especially around the time of the big tournaments such as Wimbledon. As is the way of the Betting Veteran, he is a bona fide expert on all things tennis. That is why he is going to let you in on all of the information that you need to start betting on tennis.
betting on tennis

Some say he placed the very first bet. He bet a fish that it could walk on land. It managed it, and that is how the Betting Veteran invented evolution. Today, he uses his powers to make sure that everyone knows what he knows. He is the Betting Veteran and he is here to help.

Tennis background

Tennis has its roots going back as far as 12th century. It is one of the oldest games around and is thought to have originated in France. At the time, there were no rackets and the ball was just struck with the palm of the hand. This obviously hurt after a while, but it still took 400 years, in the 1500s, for rackets to be introduced, again in France. Strangely, it took until the 1800s for tennis to be played on grass. This could have been due to the lawn mower being invented around this time and players finally having access to a surface on which tennis could actually be played. It took until 1913 for tennis to have a governing body, and from there, the tournaments and tour circuits that exist today started to come into effect.

One slight idiosyncrasy about tennis that other sports do not have is the scoring system. The game starts at 0-0, and then the first point scores 15, the second point scores 15, the third point scores 10, and the final point has no specific value but is called the game point. Also, to win, you need to have scored two clear points more than your opponent. 

Tennis terms

Baseline – the top and bottom line of the court. If the ball hits the floor past this line, then it is out.

Serve – at the start of a game, one player hits the ball to the other player from the baseline. This is called the serve.

Ace – when you score a point directly from a serve.

Break – when you win a game when your opponent was the player serving, this is called a break – as in, you broke their serve.

Deuce – this is when both players have a score of 40-40. In this situation, when a player scores a point, they will get an advantage. If they score another point, then they will win the game. If the other player scores next, then the score goes back to deuce.

Match point – match point is when you only need one more point to win the match.

Types of pre-game bets

There are two main types of bet that tend to be placed on tennis games. Because it is a one-on-one, or in the case of doubles two-on-two, sport, there tends to be fewer markets available when compared to team sports. This means that players do not have as much choice when compared to other sports, but there is a smaller risk because of this.

The first type of wager that is extremely popular with tennis bettors is match betting. Match betting is when you place a wager on the winner of the match. It is very simple to place – all you have to do is choose a winner. As there is no draw available in tennis, it is a two-way bet, which is usually expressed as a moneyline. Each game will have a favourite and an underdog. The favourite will usually have shorter odds and the underdog will have longer odds. More often than not, the favourite will win, but as with all sports, this is not always the case.

The second highly popular tennis wager that is on offer is handicap betting. This is when you place a number of games handicap on a player before the match in order to either improve your chances of winning or improve the odds. For example, if two players are playing a match and the favourite has very short odds, then you can choose to add a -3.5 games handicap to them.

This will mean that at the end of the match, both players will have their total number of games won counted up, and if the favourite has four or more games more than the underdog, then your wager will still come in. This can also be applied as a positive handicap, where an underdog would have +3.5 games added to their total number of games. If a match is likely to be a close one, then this is a good way to shorten the risk of placing a wager on a slight underdog.

You can also place a wager on the correct score of the match. This is slightly less popular than the other two due to the difficulty of calling it right, but it does offer far superior odds to match betting and handicap betting. For this type of wager, all you need to do is correctly predict how many sets each player will win throughout the course of the match.

There is also the ability to place outright bets on who will win tournaments. This will offer far superior odds when compared to a single game, but obviously relies on the player you choose winning more than just one match. It is essentially an accumulator without knowing which games you are going to be betting on in advance.

Types of in-play bets

Because the points in tennis tend to go very quickly, it is important to be very fast when placing in-play bets in tennis. Placing a wager on who will win the next point is very rare, and not all online bookmakers offer this opportunity, though there are bookmakers out there that do offer it. More common is placing wagers on who will win the next game or who will win the next set.

Some bookmakers also offer more specific in-play bets to gamblers – for instance, whether the server will have their serve broken or if the current game will go to deuce. This means that despite being a game with few players, there is still a range of wagers available to bettors.

Accumulators or singles? 

Accumulators can be placed on a range of tennis matches. They are actually more likely to come in than with many other sports because tennis very rarely has the odds-on favourites losing. The big-name players will more often than not win their matches when they are playing against inferior opposition. It is important to remember though that it is not a guarantee, and as with any sporting contest, there is always an element of risk involved.

The benefit that an accumulator offers over a series of single bets is that it gives much greater returns at the end. If you placed three wagers on players who had odds of 4/1 with a stake of £5 for each one, then you will have a total return of £75. This is a return of £25 for each wager – £20 for the winning bet and the return of the £5 stake.

This means that from a stake of £15, there would be a total of £60 profit. If you placed a £15 stake as an accumulator, then you would end up with a return of £1,875. As is plainly obvious, this is a much larger return and offers a profit of £1,860. However, placing the wagers as singles means that if one players loses, then the other two wagers will still win. In an accumulator, if one players loses, then the whole bet fails.

It is important to weigh up the total risk when deciding to place an accumulator. Are the increased odds worth the potential to lose your whole stake over one player losing? It is up to you to make the decision.

Analysing the stats 

Stats are vitally important when it comes to placing wagers. It all depends on how a player has been playing recently as to whether they will offer good value for you when placing your wager. If they have been on a good run of form, then the stats will show this and give you an idea of whether they are worth backing. Stats will also show which kind of court each player prefers and will allow you to make a balanced judgement on whether it is worth backing them either in a game or as an outright for a tournament.

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