Tennis Betting Basics
These are the different types of ways to bet tennis and what they mean.
Moneyline – This is like any other sport, taking a player on the MoneyLine is just taking them to win the match.
Game Spread – Example: Djokovic –4.5 games vs Nadal. This means that Djokovic needs to win the match by 5 or more games total between all the sets. Such as 6-3 (3 Game win) 6-4 (2 Game win). Those 5 games would cover the 4.5 game spread.
Set Spread – Example: Djokovic –1.5 sets vs Andy Murray. This means that Djokovic needs to win the match 2-0 sets, game count does not matter. This bet is pretty straight forward except for when it comes to Men’s Grand Slam Tournaments that are 5 sets.
Game Total – This bet is the total number of individual games played for the entire match. Example: Over 21.5 games would mean the match would have to have set scores of 6-4 (10 Games) and 7-5 (12 Games) in order to win WITHOUT going to an extra set.
Future – This is a prop bet. At the beginning of a tournament you can bet on the winner of the tournament or quadrant.
Now Let’s Go Into How The Game Is Played
Before I explain the different ways to bet on tennis, and the different lingo, I want to get this article up just explaining the basic rules of the game. For anyone who has never watched tennis before or just doesn’t understand how the game is played, this article is for you.
Let’s start with the scoring first. Each tennis ‘set’ is broken down into individual ‘games.’ Tennis games are broken down into 4 individual points.
- 1st point is ‘15’
- 2nd point is ‘30’
- 3rd point is ‘40’
- 4th point wins the game (however, you must win by 2 points)
If the score of a single game is 40-40 that is called ‘deuce’ or tie, the next point is called ‘advantage,’ and then game point (need to win by 2).
When a tennis game is finished, it goes onto the scoreboard into a ‘set’ score. In order to win a set, the player must win 6 individual games, and also, just like the individual game points, must win by 2.
If a set score is tied at 6-6 after 12 games the match then goes into a tiebreaker. Tiebreakers consist of playing individual points up to 7 and again, you must win by 2. Serves alternate every other point.
Each set is essentially a mini match within the match itself because they constantly reset. In order to win a tennis match a player must win 2/3 sets, or in Men’s Grand Slams, 3/5 sets.
Who serves first is decided pre-match by a coin flip, the winner of the coin flip has their choice to serve or return first. The serving player is the one who starts each tennis game with the first shot.
Scores are always read with the serving player first, even if they are losing the current game/match. Example, if Player A is serving and the score is 15-40 that means Player B is actually winning that current game, 3 points to 1.
When a player is serving, they are expected to win their own serve, that is called a ‘Hold’. Holding your own serve.
When you are returning an opponent’s serve and you win their service game it is called a ‘break’ or ‘service break’. Basically, Tennis matches are won on ‘breaks’ because you have to win a set by 2 games, or go to a tiebreaker. Breaks are absolutely critical to winning matches.