Tennis Handicap Betting – How to Place Handicap Bets on Tennis [2024] 🎾

Tennis handicap betting is one of the most popular and intriguing tennis betting markets, and we explain what a tennis handicap is and how you can profit from it in the article below.

To begin, it’s important to let the reader know that tennis handicap betting is the same as spread betting. The word “spread betting” is more popular in the United States, but “handicapping” is more common in Europe.

In the extremely popular tennis betting markets, there are over a dozen tennis markets to bet on, but to be lucrative, one must take a lot of risk. Consider match betting, in which you must wager on the final outcome of a match, such as that between John Isner and Novak Djokovic.

The majority of people will back Novak Djokovic, but the odds on him are just 1.05 (1/20), making it difficult for bettors to profit, while betting on John Isner is too hazardous. This difficulty can be solved, and you can still wager on your favourite athlete with reasonable betting odds. We’re talking about tennis handicap betting, which is different from betting on the outcome of a tennis match.

tennis handicap betting

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What is the difference between a handicap and a spread in tennis? ⚖️

In tennis handicap betting, one player is given a significant advantage while the opponent is given a deficit or handicap in order to balance their odds of winning.

As we all know, in the majority of tennis matches, one player is the clear favourite to win. To counteract this notion, handicap betting centred on the performance of these two players rather than the match’s eventual outcome.

Handicap Betting in Sports (or Spread Betting) 🚧

An Example of Tennis Betting of This Type

Take the same match between Isner and Djokovic, for example. Most fans will root for Djokovic, and understandably so.

Let’s say a bookmaker has given John Isner a handicap of +3.5 games in a handicap market. It implies John Isner has a 3.5-game advantage. If the final score of the best-of-three-set match was 6-7, 6-5, and 4-6 in favour of Novak Djokovic, it means he won 18 games versus 16 for John Isner.

When we consider the most games won after adding the +3.5 handicap to Isner, the outcome is 16+3.5=19.5 for Isner vs 18 for Djokovic. Despite the fact that Novak Djokovic won the actual match, after applying the handicap, John Isner is the clear winner of your wager.

Handicap Betting Types 🔡

The positive and negative handicaps are the two forms of handicap betting.

In a positive handicap situation, the weaker player is given a few games or a positive handicap, such as +2.5, +3.5 games, and so on.

When the final score is calculated, the positive handicap is added to the final score of the weaker player, and the bet is calculated based on the handicap score.

In a negative handicap, the stronger player is given a few game disadvantage, such as -2.5. The result of the bet is determined by subtracting this negative handicap from the stronger player’s total games won at the end of the match.

According to positive handicap, three different handicap betting outcomes are shown in the example above.

Various Possible Outcomes for this Betting

The outcome of a handicap betting might take a variety of forms.

An Example of a Match between Djokovic and Isner

Continuing with the previous scenario, Djokovic defeats Isner 6-3, 4-6, and 6-2. John Isner wins 11 games, while Djokovic wins 16 games.

When we add a handicap to the match, we get 16 v 14.5 games in Djokovic’s advantage. Djokovic wins the match in the first potential result, and he remains the winner after applying handicap.

The second outcome of the match is that Djokovic defeats Isner 6-3, 2-6, 6-4. This means Djokovic takes the match and wins two sets and 14 games against Isner’s one set and 13 games. After applying the handicap, the score is 16.5 v 14 games in favour of John Isner.

The second conceivable outcome of the handicap is that John Isner loses the match yet is deemed the bet winner when the handicap is applied.

The match’s third potential outcome is for John Isner to win 7-6, 0-6, 7-6, and 2-1 sets. When the game results are compared, John Isner wins 14 out of the 18 games. Now, with 18 games against the 17.5, Novak Djokovic is the winner of the bet after applying the handicap. As previously stated, handicap betting is concerned with the performance of two opposing players rather than the outcome of the match.

Similarly, the fourth situation depicted above is self-evident.

Handicap Betting is a type of spread betting ☑️

This is not different to handicap betting in sports. Replace games with sets, with the lower-ranked players receiving a positive handicap and the higher-ranked players receiving a negative handicap, allowing punters to benefit from better odds rather than one-sided ones.

When men’s matches are played over best of five sets at Grand Slams, this works much better. Tennis handicaps may also be used in best-of-three set matches, especially if you believe the underdog is capable of capturing one set but will not likely win the match.

Let’s look at the Isner-Djokovic matchup once again.

If you bet on Isner +1.5 as a Set Handicap, you will win your wager if Isner wins one or two sets in the match. In order for you to lose your wager, Djokovic must win in straight sets. Suddenly, an incredibly one-sided encounter in Djokovic’s favour allows gamblers to have a higher chance of winning at better odds.

Tennis Handicap Betting in Real Time ▶

It’s worth noting that certain bookies also provide live tennis handicap betting. Current Set Handicap is the name for this.

Tennis bettors can extend the games handicap in a match to a set, allowing them to wager on the number of games won in the current set but with a handicap applied. In the Djokovic-Isner example, if the second set handicap is for Djokovic to win with a -2.5 handicap, the punter wins the wager if the Serb wins by three or more games.

To summarise, tennis handicap betting is one of the markets you might check out, but like with any other market, do your homework beforehand.

In tennis, how does three-way handicap betting work? 💡

Tennis handicap bets, as you may have noted, are based on one of two outcomes: player A wins or player B wins. In other words, there are two handicap tennis betting lines or “two ways.” There is one more possibility: a match might result in a tie. Only European handicap bets allow for draw betting (tennis Asian handicap bets do not), and yes, three-way handicap betting is available in tennis as well.

However, with three-way handicap bets, the score must be “0,” which is an extremely unlikely scenario in tennis. For example, if a football game ends 1-0 and the handicap points are +1 and -1, the result will be ruled a draw. However, because a “0” in a tennis score is uncommon, three-way handicap betting is uncommon in this sport.

Tennis spread betting tips and techniques ✔️

Now that you have the solution to the issue of how to handicap tennis, we’d like to provide some advice on how to succeed.

Tip: Don’t limit yourself to just one tennis betting method. There is no such thing as an ideal tennis handicap betting system: Every match is different, thus you might need to apply a different approach for each one. Ideally, you should conduct your research and settle on your plan before the game begins. Research is crucial, as it always is. Furthermore, your task is simpler this time: In football, for example, you must watch many players, although in tennis, this number is significantly lower. Gather and record every information you can about the tennis player’s performance in order to generate more accurate forecasts.

You don’t have to bet on the favourite all of the time. It’s possible that doing so will result in unanticipated losses. Due of their enormous odds, underdogs can occasionally provide more opportunities to win and pay out highly pleasing sums. Check out our betting on the underdog and over/under betting tips for additional information. If you’re just a beginner, take advantage of tennis betting offers for your first tennis handicap bet: With the correct bonus, you can test tennis spread betting and even tennis crypto betting without risk.

Are handicap bets on tennis the best option for you? 👌


Pays substantially more than conventional moneyline bets

Research is easier

Betting incentives are available


It might be difficult for novices to understand.

Three-way handicap bets are quite uncommon.


Is there a difference between handicapping and spread betting in tennis?

No, there isn’t much of a difference in terms of practicality. The term “spread betting” is preferred by Americans, whereas “handicap betting” is preferred by Europeans.

What is the tennis betting spread?

This refers to the distance between points, or “spread.” Based on expectations, each tennis player receives a positive or negative point, and the “spread” is the difference between these points.

What does “handicap 1.5” signify in tennis betting?

If this value is positive, the game must be won by more than two points. If the value is negative, the game must not be lost by more than two points.

In tennis betting, what does zero handicap mean?

This implies that all of the tennis players are on an equal footing and no one has an edge. With zero handicap, this bet becomes a standard “who will win” wager, and you may win with any point differential as long as the result is not a draw.

When should I bet on tennis with a negative handicap?

As previously stated, only favoured players/teams receive a negative point, therefore taking a negative handicap indicates betting on the favourite. This option is available as long as there is no sign that the underdog will win.


Michael Adams
Experienced writer in iGaming Industry. Worked for the big companies in the industry, now I took the challenge to grow with a new company and a new website. The future is bright and I am happy to be part of it!