Handicap betting in tennis

Handicap betting in tennis

Bookmakers accept a large number of bets on tennis. The varieties include bets on the winner of the match, on total games and bets on the handicap. Handicap is the difference in the number of games that both participants in the match won. Handicap in tennis can be positive and negative.

Handicap betting in tennis

Plus handicap

In this type of handicap, the difference in games won between the two participants is considered from the position of the loser. If the bookmaker gives an outcome to the athlete with a handicap of +7, it is assumed that the tennis player, taking into account the handicap, will win in games. Novak Djokovic played against Roger Federer in the men’s singles semifinals of the 2020 Australian Open Grand Slam tournament. The meeting ended with the victory of the Serb in three sets with a score of 7: 6, 6: 4, 6: 3. As a result, Djokovic won 19 games (7 + 6 + 6), and Federer 13 (6 + 4 + 3). The bet on a plus handicap of +7 on Federer turned out to be a winning one, as he lost 6 games more than his opponent. Taking into account the handicap, Djokovic won 19 games against 20 (13 + 7) from Federer.

Minus handicap

At this rate, the countdown starts from the position of the favorite. The number of games won by the winner is added up, the bet is subtracted from the received figure – the minus handicap. Then the number of games won by the second participant is counted. If the first number is more than the number of games won by the second player, the bet wins. At the beginning of 2020, at the “Adelaide International” tournament, a match took place between Dominic Tim and Sandro Kopp, which ended with the victory of the first with a score of 5: 7, 6: 3, 6: 0. The odds for Tim with a handicap of -5.5 were 1.9. Dominik won 17 games, and Kopp – 10. Subtract the indicated handicap from 17 won games, it turns out 11.5. The final value is greater than the number of games won by the opponent (10). In this case, the bet was victorious.

Handicap subspecies

Allocate integer (for example, handicap +4, -5) and fractional handicaps (-4.5, +6.5). Integers refer to handicaps with safety net, as the player can expect a refund.

What you should pay attention to

When betting on a handicap, the current physical condition of tennis players, position in the rating, motivation, and so on are taken into account. When playing a clear favorite, the odds for a win will be in the range of 1.15-1.25. In this case, a bet is placed on a negative handicap in order to increase the odds. If you think that a less titled opponent is able to resist the favorite – bet on a positive handicap.
Pay attention to how often this or that tennis player takes points on the opponent’s serve, how often he breaks.
In two-set fights, it is recommended to avoid bets on the handicap of 4.5 and higher, both positive and negative.

Interesting fact

In handicap betting, it doesn’t matter who wins the match, it is important who wins the most games. There are matches where the winner of the match wins fewer games than the loser. Harriet Dart and Misaki Doi met in the women’s singles in the first round of the Australian Open 2020. The victory was won by Dart with a score of 2: 6, 6: 4, 7: 6. Harriet won 15 games (2 + 6 + 7) and Misaki won 16 (6 + 4 + 6).


Tennis is a hard-to-predict sport. It requires a careful study of opponents, the history of confrontations, taking into account the current physical and psychological state of tennis players. However, handicap betting, if handled properly, can be profitable.

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