Betting on Tennis

Tennis is one of the world's most popular sports watched by millions of fans around the world. The tennis matches are broadcast as major tournaments like Grand Slam events, WTA tournaments, ATP Finals, Roland Garros, and the Billie Jean King Cup occur around the world. Tennis has popular top-ranked players like Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, and Naomi Osaka who have become fan favourites in South Africa.

As tennis becomes more popular among sports fans, online sports bettors in South Africa have started making tennis bets on sportsbooks. These bets aim to be accurate predictions about match winners or winners of big tournaments. If you're new to tennis betting, you might have a few questions about how it works and what to look for, so to help you get started, we've put together a comprehensive guide to betting on tennis online.

In this betting guide, we will discuss how you can place a tennis bet, the pros and cons of tennis bets, and some of the available betting markets for tennis games. Without wasting much of your time, here is all you need to know to bet on tennis.

By Adiela de Bruyn - Updated 2024/02/08 - Estimated reading time: 10 minutes.

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Betting on Tennis

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How to Bet on Tennis

Modern sports betting companies are competing in a crowded marketplace, and because they are keen to attract new players away from their rivals, it is in their interests to make it as simple as possible for sports betting fans to find and place their bets. These companies allow punters to place bets on tennis tournaments like the French Open, WTA Finals, ATP World Tour, Roland Garros, and the Australian Open. Here are the steps to follow to make a tennis bet:

Step 1: Create an Account

The first thing you must do is register with a sports betting site. Visit the home page of your preferred sports betting website and click the "Sign Up" button to begin the registration process. You will be required to provide your full name, email address, password, date of birth, address, and any other relevant information. You will also need to verify the provided information before you can make a deposit or place bets. Tennis bettors are advised to check various betting platforms until they find one with good tennis betting odds.

Step 2: Make a Deposit and Claim a Bonus

Once your account has been created, the next step is to make a deposit and claim any available bonuses. Visit the cashier section and select your preferred payment method to make a deposit. Ensure you meet the minimum required deposit for bonuses to trigger the bonus and use coupon codes if necessary.

Step 3: Visit the Tennis Section

Go to the tennis section and view the available options and markets. You will see various tennis tournaments and other live tennis matches. Select your preferred tournament and the specific match you want to bet on.

Step 4: Select Your Betting Market

Each game will have numerous markets available for selection. Beginners are advised to stick with match-winner bets, while more sophisticated bettors can make complex bets. Where possible use accumulators to pick multiple matches on a single bet slip to get the highest odds.

Step 5: Place a Wager

Review your slip and ensure all the matches and markets selected are correct. Select the amount you would like to wager and confirm the bet. You can monitor all active bets directly from your betting account and withdraw your wins when you want.

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Pros and Cons of Tennis Betting


  • Tennis bets have a wide range of options players can place wagers on including handicap betting, set betting, and outright winner.
  • It is an individual sport so punters can make better predictions based on player form, physical fitness, games played, playing field (clay court, hard court), and opponents.
  • Tennis games have live betting options that allow punters to make a bet while a game is ongoing.
  • Tennis games get a lot of media coverage so it is easy for punters to gather information about players, tournaments, games, and all other data needed to make accurate bets. For example, it would be easy for a punter to gather details on Rafa Nadal at the Australian Open.
  • Betting on tennis is great because there are games all year from small games to Grand Slams.


  • Games are unpredictable as upsets routinely happen.
  • Small tennis tournaments may have limited coverage and unseeded players which means lower odds offered.
  • Player injuries are common and can affect the outcome of games and tournaments.
Odds icon

Tennis Odds

Odds are the lifeblood of gambling. They tell you how much you can win from your bet, and also indicate the probability of a particular event happening, according to the bookmaker. For example, tennis odds of 5.0 for Roger Federer to win at Flushing Meadows during the US Open hard court tournament indicate:

  • Your returns on this bet would be 5 times your stake.
  • Roger Federer is rated as a 20% chance by the bookmaker.

South African online tennis betting companies offer tennis odds in this form, which is known as Decimal Odds. To work out your potential return, you simply multiply the stated tennis odds by the stake you intend to wager. You may also come across Fractional Odds. These calculate your profit rather than your return. For example, Decimal Odds of 5.0 would be written as 4/1 in Fractional Odds form.

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Types of Tennis Betting Markets

Match Betting

Betting on the outcome of individual matches is by far the most popular way to bet on tennis. Tennis matches are unique because there are no draws. Hence, a winner must emerge because there are only two outcomes in a tennis match. This bet selects the outright winner in a tennis game and it is the simplest bet a punter can make.

Set Betting

This match bet predicts match winners and the results of the sets. This gives the punter a higher probability of winning larger rewards because the odds are stacked. For the bet to win, the scoreline of the sets must be exact. Therefore, if the player the punter predicted wins but the set scoreline is different, the bet loses.

Over/Under Betting

This predicts if the total number of sets played in a tennis match will be higher or lower than the number set by the bookmaker. For example, if the bookmaker sets the line at 20.5, gamblers will bet that the played sets will be either above or below this number.

Tournament Betting

Another popular tennis betting market is Tournament Betting. With tournaments like the French Open, Billie Jean King Cup, and the Davis Cup taking place on both the men's and women's Tours every week, there are plenty of tournament betting opportunities throughout the tennis season. One of the advantages of this type of betting is that by looking at the draw, you can work out whether a player has an easy or difficult path through the tournament.

In-Play Betting (Live Betting)

In-play betting is one of the most popular tennis betting options for South African betting fans and provides an exciting way to profit from the sport, for those who can learn the necessary skills. Most tennis betting sites will offer a range of live betting markets, including Next Game Winner and Next Set Winner, while the betting market will fluctuate throughout a match according to how well each contender is playing, offering opportunities for quick-thinking punters. Most sites will also provide updated statistics throughout a match, to help inform your betting, and some will even provide live-streaming footage of the match through their site.

Handicap Betting

This bet adds an advantage or removes an advantage from games before they begin. Most punters will add advantages to weaker players and add disadvantages to stronger players. These advantages could be sets or games which players use to balance out the odds. For example, a -1.5 set handicap means that the player must win by two sets for the bet to win. Alternatively, a +1.5 set advantage means that the player must win the match outright or lose by a single set for the bet to win.

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Tennis Betting Tips

  • Look for the Best Odds: Players should always look for the best odds among the available markets before they make a bet. The market with the highest odds per game will increase your potential winnings without you needing to make multiple wagers.
  • Follow Tennis Tipsters: Follow tennis tipsters and other professional punters for tennis tips. Tennis tipsters offer predictions based on the data and information they access.
  • Consider the Playing Surface: Pay attention to the surface of the tennis court. Some players are better on a clay court than they are on a hard court. This will affect the outcome of each match.
  • Player Research: Keep track of players and their relevant information including games played, form, and injury records.
  • Avoid Early Rounds: Avoid early rounds of tournaments as they can be uncertain and unpredictable.
  • Manage Your Bankroll: Avoid risky bets and stick to one small win at a time as it is the best way to manage your bankroll.
  • Track Your Bets: Track each win and document each loss. You should approach gambling like a business and avoid making too many losses on your bets.
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Tennis betting is becoming increasingly popular in South Africa. It is a harmless way to add a little extra entertainment to an exciting sport, or for those prepared to put in the work, it can become a profitable enterprise. The internet has made it easy for South Africans to wager on tennis and win money. Various gambling platforms offer tennis odds to South African gamblers. Furthermore, tennis betting websites also offer a bewildering array of markets and betting options for every tennis betting fan, whatever your level of experience.

In this article, we have covered everything you need to know about gambling in tennis. We also covered how to place a wager, the available markets, and tips you can use to get ahead when gambling. The next step is to find a legal bookmaker, place your wagers, and win! Ensure that you search for the best possible odds from each bookmaker so that each win is more significant. Happy gambling!

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Frequently Asked Questions about Betting on Tennis

Is tennis gambling legal in South Africa?

Yes, it is legal in South Africa and only people aged 18+ are allowed to gamble. Sportsbook operators are required to register with the National Gambling Board before they can offer their services to players.

What tennis tournaments and games are available for wagering?

There are major and minor tournaments available for bettors to gamble on. These include the French Open, US Open, Australian Open, and other grand slam titles. There are also lesser-known tournaments and individual games available to bet on.

Can I bet during a live match?

Yes, you can. This is available to bettors in South Africa and it allows them to make a bet on tennis while the game is ongoing. This bet can be unstable but players can also win big rewards from making the right predictions.

What are the best tournaments to bet on?

There are different tournaments you can bet on but it is important to choose those with familiar tennis players. This will give you an edge as you will know their relative strengths and weaknesses against other players.

Are accumulators allowed for a tennis bet?

Most gambling platforms offer odds accumulators, which punters can use to combine multiple bets. These accumulators increase the odds and potential payout of each slip.

Author: Adiela de Bruyn

Adiela de Bruyn

Adiela de Bruyn, our founder, launched this site in 2016. Since then, she's written over 100 pages filled with crucial info to enhance your gaming experience. Her goal? To provide you with the best, most reliable online casino knowledge.

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Article published 2019/07/24