A Guide to Tennis Handicap Betting

A Guide to Tennis Handicap Betting

One of the most popular sports for betting in all over the world is tennis. Tennis is preferred by so many bettors, who want to make a stable income, by betting on sports. Tennis betting actually can open a lot of doors for you, with all of the available markets, which are available in every single online bookmaker, and for every single tennis game. For no doubt, one of the best tennis markets is handicap.

Tennis handicap, will not only make tennis more dynamic and even more satisfying to be watched, but will also drastically increase the odds, which means you can earn even more. Tennis Handicap bets can be even placed on live games, which means the odds will be even higher. So, in this article, we are going to give you a full guide on how to place successful tennis handicap bets. If you do not like handicap betting, but you want to earn money from tennis betting, you can check our full tennis betting guide.

What is a handicap in tennis?

Probably the way you will easily understand what handicap in tennis is, is to say that handicap simply equates the chances of both players in tennis, by giving an advantage to the unfavoured player, and disadvantage for the favored player, so that the favored one should win with a bigger difference for example.

What is spread betting in tennis?

In tennis, handicap can be also known as spread betting, which actually is the same, but for the US markets. So, remember it, handicap is mainly for the European markets, and spread betting is for the US markets, both terms mean the exact same thing.


If we have a tennis game with player A and player B, where player A is favored and player B is not, and we have a handicap for player B + 3.5 games, what does that mean?

It means that the favored player, player A, should win with a difference of at least 4 games at all. Every other difference will mean that player B will be the winner, for example, if player A wins with only 2 games difference. This actually will be a very profitable end of the game, simply because the odds for this will be extremely high.

Types of Tennis Handicap Bets

As we already mentioned, there are a lot of types of handicap bets for tennis. Actually, this is one of the biggest advantages of tennis handicap betting. No matter what you like to bet, you can find it in this type of bet. So, let’s cover the most common types of handicap bets in tennis.

Positive Handicap Betting, How does it work?

The first main type of tennis handicap, is a positive handicap, for example, + 3.5, + 4.5, + 1.5, etc. A positive handicap is usually given to the unfavoured player, which means after the game ends, the numbers will be added to the unfavoured one.

For example:

If we again have a tennis match with Player A and Player B, where Player A is favored and B is not, if we have handicap + 3.5 for the games. Player A should win with no more than 3 games difference, also Player B can win, which means all that makes your bet winning.

Negative Handicap Betting, How does it work?

The next main type of tennis handicap is a negative handicap, which exactly the opposite of the positive one, is giving a disadvantage to the favored player. As for the positive one, the negative one can be - 2.5, - 3.5, etc, so this number is subtracted from the final result.

For example:

If we again have the same match between Player A and B, where A is favored and B is not. And for example, - 2.5 handicap is given to the stronger player for games, it should win with at least 3 games difference, and every other result will mean that your bet is losing.

What are the different possible results of handicap betting?

As we already said, a lot of things are changing when the handicap is applied, for example, even if you placed a handicap for the stronger player, but it wins with a small difference, you can still lose the bet, also if you place a bet for the unfavoured player, and he lost, you can still have a winning bet. In order to visualize everything, let’s see different options. Again with the help of the same example, favored player A.

Player B + 3.5 games Result of the match Bet
1st Option Player A wins: 7-3, 6-3, 6-4. Lost
2nd Option Player A wins: 6-4, 4-5, 6-5. Won
3rd Option Player B wins: 7-5, 2-5, 6-4. Won
4th Option Player A wins 5-2, 7-5, 5-2 Lost

As you can see, no matter who wins, the handicap can change everything a lot.

As you can see no matter that player A win, as it is for the 2nd option, you can still win if there are not 4 games difference.

Different handicap bets?

By now you already know how handicap bets work, but actually handicaps can not only be placed for games. You can also place handicap tennis bets for:

  • Sets - You can also place sets handicap, which actually requires less math. Again for sets, there are positive and negative handicaps, where again everything is depending on the favored player, who should win with a difference set by the handicap, for example, +1.5,
  • Over/ Under - You can also place handicap bets for the over/ under market, where completely everything is the same. Handicap is offered, in order to make the chances of both players, so there is nothing specific.

In-play tennis handicap betting?

The thing, which brings tennis handicap betting to a new level, is the option to place in-play handicap bets for tennis matches. There are a lot of online bookmakers, which offer that option to its bettors, so that they can win even more. You already know that handicap betting is increasing odds a lot, and now just imagine how high they will be if they are available for in-play betting.

Which are the best online bookmakers for handicap betting, and how they actually set handicap bets?

Before, seeing the best online bookmakers for tennis handicap betting, we should first see how do they actually set that handicap bets.

You already know why handicap is available. Handicap simply makes the chances of winning equal for both players, by revealing more possible winning outcomes. As you saw from our examples, even if you place a handicap bet for the unfavored player, and it loses with a small difference in games, you can still win that exact bet.

So, this is exactly how bookmakers set their handicap bets. They simply calculate what are the chances of both players winning, after that the actual advantage or disadvantage is given.

Which are the best bookies for tennis handicap betting?

Now, let’s see which are the best online bookies for tennis betting. Actually, the final choice for the bookmaker is yours, simply because every one of them has a different mind about what the best is, so that they offer completely different betting options and services. In order to choose the best online bookie for you, you should watch out for a simple criteria:

  • The number of tennis betting options,
  • The available tennis handicap markets,
  • Bonus offers for tennis,
  • In-play tennis handicap,
  • Does the bookie has a license?

So, now as we already saw the criteria, let’s see some of the online bookmakers that we highly recommend you join, which will give you more than you want for no doubt.


1xbet is one of the best online bookmakers, no matter what sport you are about to bet. 1xbet offers you a lot of tennis handicap betting options, markets, also the option to place in-play tennis handicap bets. And do not forget about all the bonus offers, which can give you a lot of free money for tennis betting,

William Hill

William Hill is for no doubt one of the best options when we are talking about online bookmakers. It is one of the oldest bookies, which has a lot of experience behind its back, so that if you decide to join it, you can be sure that you are not going to miss anything,


Betfair is one of the leading global online bookmakers, actually, the bookie’s only disadvantage is that its casino is not available in many countries. But, the sports betting section is, including all the tennis betting options, like handicap, in-play handicap, and so many others,


22bet is another perfect online bookmaker if you want to start betting on tennis, especially on tennis handicap. 22bet is a leading online bookmaker, which team knows exactly what to offer you to satisfy you. By joining 22bet, you are going to have access to a lot of tennis betting markets, options, bonus offers, which can give you a lot of free money to bet on tennis.

Tennis Handicap Strategies

The thing, which you should remember if you want to be successful in any type of betting, is that it takes a lot of time and knowledge. One of the most important steps for the path of success in betting is to learn how to create your own strategy. In order to make a stable income from sports betting, especially from tennis, is to follow some strategy, which will eliminate the chaotic betting, which a lot of players are doing. In order to help you create your strategy, we are going to give you some example ones, which can help you a lot. You can try them out, or just take all the positives, which you see in them and combine them, in order to make what you like.


One of the most popular strategies, which actually guarantees you a profit is the Martingale’s. Martingale strategy is working perfect for tennis handicap betting, and can make you a lot for almost no time. Martingale strategy, is simply doubling your next bet, until you win. By doing it, you are going to return your previous stakes, and get a profit. In order to take a lot from Martingale’s strategy, you should remember that you should have a lot of money and time, and last but not least to bet only on odds of at least 2.00,

In-play Tennis Handicap Betting

There are a lot of players who make literally thousands of money, just from betting on live events. In-play tennis handicap betting actually opens a lot of doors for you. You can clearly see what is going on through the game, so that you can clearly know what bets to place. In-play tennis handicap betting will not only give you a lot of profits, but will also bring a lot of satisfaction, especially because most of the online bookies allows you to live stream tennis matches, so that you can watch your favorite sport, while you make money,

Set goals

This is kinda strategy and goal, which can help you make what works the best for you. As we already mentioned there are a lot of players who are just placing chaotic bets, without following any strategy. In order to stop that, you can set goals, which can help you learn how to follow a strategy. For example, you can set a goal to make X money per month, and make everything possible to reach it. This will not only guarantee your profit, but will also force you to find the best bets for you, which you can place.

Top 5 Tips on How to place successful tennis handicap bets?

As you already saw, in order to make a lot of money from tennis handicap betting, you should be organized and consistent. Sometimes, especially for beginners, it can be very hard to do this, so that in order to help you, we are going to give you some tips, which can be cruical for your success.

  1. Never let past losing bets follow you - One of the biggest mistakes, which a lot of new to betting players make, is to let losing bets follow them in the future. This can not only lose you more money, but can also ruin your strategy, and make betting unprofitable. So that, if you lose a bet, just skip it and go forward with the next one, just try to improve yourself, without being dependant on past bets,
  2. Research - Researching is one of the major steps in your professional betting journey. Without learning how to research, there is no way to make a lot of money, especially for tennis handicap bets, which require researching. As you know, handicaps change the possible winnings outcomes a lot, so you should know exactly for what to look for,
  3. It is ok to skip a bet - Most of the players, who are just starting betting, want to bet on every single match, but this is actually a big mistake. So, we strongly recommend you to not bet on every match, of course, if you are not sure about it. There are a lot of matches, which are really hard to be predicted, so that do not be jealous, just skip these ones,
  4. Never bet more than you can afford - It is not a secret that in sports betting, there is no such a sure bet, so that there is always a chance for losing. So that you should never place more money than you can afford, simply because if you lose them, it will not be good for you. You are free to check our bankroll management article, which will give you a clear view of how much to place on every single bet,
  5. Never place bets, which you do not know what they mean - This tip is especially for handicap bettors at all. As you already know, by placing a handicap bet, the possible winning outcomes are changing a lot, for example, even if you place a bet for the favored player, and he wins with a small difference, you can still lose the bet. So, you should learn what exactly each bet means, before placing money on it. There are a lot of players, who just place handicap bets, only because the odds are extremely high, do not make that mistake,
  6. Bonus Tip - Always search for value bets - No matter that tennis handicap markets have extremely high odds, there are some which are not worth it for betting. You should make all the calculations, and see if you should place a bet. The moment you learn how to find that kind of bets, you will increase your profits a lot.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is tennis handicap betting?

A: Tennis handicap simply gives an advantage to the unfavored player, and disadvantage to the favored player, so that the chances of winning of both players are quite equal.

Q: Is it better to bet on pre-match tennis handicaps or on in-play tennis handicaps?

A: Actually, this answer should be given by you. There are different players who like different types of betting so that you should try them both, and see what fits you the best. Only because in-play betting is working for a lot of bettors, does not mean that will work for you also.  

Q: Which is the best strategy for tennis handicap betting?

A: The best strategy for tennis handicap betting, is the one created by you. You should try different strategies, combine them, and see what works the best for you.

Q: Can I make a living from tennis handicap betting?

A: Yes of course, but you should know that in order to be successful and start making a lot from tennis betting, you should be well-educated, and research a lot, there is no way to be successful without working. So, we strongly recommend you to set time for learning and researching if not every day, as much as you can.


There are thousands of players, who are making a lot of money from tennis handicap betting. Actually, if you like the sport, you can also do it. Tennis handicap is quite different from the regular tennis betting, simply because it changes the possible winning outcomes, but this means you have a higher chance of winning, also the odds are extremely high. But, in order to be successful in tennis handicap betting, you should be well-educated, learn and research a lot, which can take you from a beginner to an expert.

The moment you learn how to research, how to follow a strategy, and how to find value bets, you are going to make money, which you never thought you can make. So that, do not waste time, join the bookie you like the most, and start your tennis handicap journey.

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