Tennis Trading Ultimate Betfair Start Guide

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Tennis Trading -The Ultimate Trading Start Guide

Tennis Trading -The Ultimate Trading Start Guide

Ryan Carruthers's picture
Oct 08, 2019

Have you ever had a dream that you could be good at Tennis trading?


Are you just starting trading on the Betfair exchange and want to learn how to make money from the tennis markets? 


Have you thought about tennis trading as your sport but want to know all the information before you start? 


If you answered yes to these questions then you are in the right place and this is the tennis start guide for you. 


Tennis is a very popular sport to trade on Betfair, mainly due to the fact that it attracts a lot of money into the market so there isn’t many issues with liquidity. Another important thing to note is that tennis season runs for 11 months of the year, yes you read that right 11 months - this makes it a perfect sport to trade because you can have December off like the players do! 


Let’s start to break down in this guide then everything you will need to know to trade on the tennis markets. 


What time of day is it on? 


Tennis runs throughout the day, everyday monday to friday (there is some Saturday’s at grand slams but this isn't very often.) The thing to note here is that unlike other sports you might be considering trading tennis moves around the world so you will have to follow the time of where the tournaments are happening that particular week. The season is broken down into three main surface types, these are: hard court, clay court and grass courts. 


On top of this, there are 4 stand out Grand Slams that happen every year which are the top competitions, these are: 


Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon & US Open. 


How much time do I need to spend trading?


According to Tennis Abstract the average tennis match last between 70 - 90 minutes, this will not be the whole time you are trading because I do not advise you spending much time trading in the last set of the match unless it is a close match. Most of my trading is done in set 1 and 2 of the matches I am trading. 

When are the big events on?


Tennis is on year round, but it is focused around 4 major grand slam tournaments which are: 

Australian Open - Mid January 

Roland Garros (French Open) - Late May / early June 

Wimbledo - June/July  

US Open - August/September 




What are the key rules to be aware of? 


There are two possible outcomes in tennis which is another reason it is popular, player 1 wins or player 2 wins. 

Hawk eye is heavily featured in tennis and players are given challenges which they are allowed to use to challenge calls made by line judges etc….  


Please be aware that if a set is abandoned in the first set (usually due to player withdrawing because of injury) then all bets are void, if the match is abandoned after the first set is finished then the bets will stand - this is a key thing to be aware of. 


More on specific rules can be found here:


Key Terminology 


Projected hold - projected hold % of a player on their serve 

BPC - Breakpoint converted 

BPS - Breakpoint saved 

B2L - Back to lay 

L2B - Lay to back 


For more tennis specific terms here is a great site which will cover most of the ones you might hear a commentator use - 


What are the most popular trading markets for tennis trading? 


The most popular trading market for trading tennis is the match odds market, you will find that about 90% of the money that is matched on this market will also be matched in play, there is a little bit of action pre-match but most of the action is in play. 


The match odds market will only have 2 outcomes player 1 win or player 2 win, you will also notice that in play the market will move quickly this is because the market is reacting with every point. 


Some traders like to use the tournament winner markets as well, this works well if you think a player will go deep into a tournament, you can back them to win the tournament and trade out after a couple of rounds. 


What are the popular styles of tennis trading on the Betfair Exchange? 


One of the best things about tennis is that there are so many styles and strategies to trade it, you can start with a simple lay of the first set winner which is a great place to start and then look to build up to analysing player traits so that you can back at the start of the match and then lay lower in play (here’s my top tip here - wait for both players to have a serve before entering, this video will explain all 


From here you can look to bring data into your modelling like many of the members and create PJH models (projected hold for serving), you can look to scalp good servers, you can lay bad servers - all of this might sound complicated but tennis is a really easy sport to understand when you start and look to build your strategy - the key is to pick one thing and master it before moving on. 


Most of your trading will fall into swing trading or scalping. 


Scalping is where you place a back or lay with aim to get out quickly when the price moves one or two ticks. For example you back Roger Federer at 1.80 and then his prices moves to 1.78 after he wins a point on serve and you place a lay to get out. 


Swing trading is where you are aiming for a bigger price movement, this is a high risk way of trading but it will also result in a higher reward. For example you have backed Federer earlier in the match at 1.80 and he has stormed to a lead of 4-0 and you can now lay him for 1.20. 


What do I need in order to start to trade the tennis? 


To get started trading the tennis on Betfair, we recommend a few things these are: 


  • A notepad or word document - this will enable you to note down your trading plan for the day and the key stats you have researched on those games so you have a plan of what you are trading and what times etc… I personally use evernote for this. 

  • For the strategies we are talking about in this blog post the Betfair Exchange interface is fine to get you started, when you want to scale your trading up you can look to get some trading software. 

  • Access to Betfair via a smartphone or a laptop - ideally a laptop but if you only have a smart phone then that will work fine while you get started. 

  • A social network of traders like we have in Betfair Trading Community - It can be lonely trading but also you might want to bounce ideas off each other and learn others mistakes. 

  • To be willing to learn, it does take time to become proficient at trading but the journey is well worth it. 

What popular strategies can I use to get started? 


The easiest strategy for anybody wanting to get started on tennis trading is a lay of the 1st set winner. This is a very simple strategy for anybody to follow, you will watch a tennis match and then when the first set is over you place a lay on the player that won the first set. It’s a low risk strategy because the price is usually low so your risk is reduced. Then when the second set starts you are aiming for the player you have the lay on to start slower than they finished the first set, this happens a lot more than you think. Go check out previous results on flash scores if you don’t believe me! 


Keep an eye on the blog and YouTube for in-depth videos on tennis strategies. 


For members we have other great strategies here:


Again, for members we have the forum which is full of great football trading discussion:



Dave Hayes's picture

Having jsu tleft a lengthy comment on YouTube, because I wnet there from your link, I didn't read the rest of this post and so my question on YouTube is covered in this post. I have been using this for the last two days with small bits of profit. I started at £2 laying the winner of the first set at decimal odds of between 1.04 and 1.5. First tarde was a small loss, the next trades were small profits as I get sued to it, but I like it because it reduces the liability and my aim is to build up my bank, which after my trades is slowly increasing.So now I understand it better.

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