Tennis betting sites aren’t hard to find. Professional tennis is a popular sport worldwide, especially now that there are major celebrities from the world of professional tennis. When Venus or Serena Williams compete, TV audiences for tennis matches compete with major cable TV broadcasts in terms of audience, and sportsbooks are seeing more and more action on tennis wagers now that tennis is back in its prime.

Here’s a little bit about my personal experience with tennis betting sites.

My First Tennis Betting Site Experience

The first sportsbook I joined to bet on tennis was a total disaster. I didn’t do my research beforehand and joined the first site I found that offered wagering on tennis matches. I didn’t get ripped off; in fact, I actually won more bets than I lost, but the withdrawal period for my winnings was 30 business days, or about six weeks in calendar time. Not only that, but I joined the site in hopes of cashing in on a huge bonus they were offering to first-time depositors, and since I didn’t read the fine print, I didn’t realize I’d have to bet 20x my bonus amount to clear any of that free cash. Combine those things with poor customer service, and its easy to see why I quickly closed my player account at that site, which shall remain nameless, and went hunting for a new home to place my tennis wagers.

How I Bet On Tennis Now

These days, instead of relying on a single tennis betting site for my professional tennis gambling, I’m a member at three different tennis sportsbooks. That way, I can bet on just about any match or tournament in the sport of pro tennis. I also found three awesome tennis betting sites that didn’t try to entice me with ridiculous bonus offers, but instead treated me like a human being on the phone, telling me about special betting opportunities coming up and always answering my customer service questions via email in just a few hours.

The truth about tennis betting sites is that some are great and some are downright awful. You may have to go through some trial and error before you land on a good home for your tennis gambling hobby, but time spent comparing sites is well worth it.

Look for tennis betting sites that are regulated by a legitimate gambling jurisdiction and sites that allow deposits through multiple payment transfer methods. That way you know you’re dealing with a legitimate business, and you shouldn’t ever have trouble depositing or withdrawing your gambling bankroll.

How To Bet on Tennis Online

As with all professional sports, there are lots of different ways to bet on tennis. Most bettors are familiar with the standard “heads-up” bet, which asks you to put your money down on one athlete to win, with payoffs determined by odds presented by the sportsbook.

Heads-Up Tennis Bets

For example, you may see a heads-up line like this:

Roger Federer -600
Tommy Hass +540

In this example, a wager on Federer to win would mean you have to drop $6 for every $1 you want to win. That means Federer is the heavy favorite. A gamble on Tommy Hass means winning $5.40 for ever $1 you bet, or a return of $540 on a wager of just $100, should Hass pull off the big upset.

Prop Tennis Bets

But head to head gambling isn’t the only way professional tennis wagering works. Every sportsbook I’ve seen that accepts tennis bets usually has a lineup of prop bets on different matches. One popular type of prop bet is the “sets bet,” where the book will post a line on the number of sets the match will run to, allowing the bettor to gamble on the over/under. Similarly, you can sometimes gamble on which player will win more sets based on a point spread layout. Using the above example, you might see a sets bet point spread that looks like this:

Roger Federer -1.5 -279
Tommy Haas +1.5 +259.

For a sets bet on Federer to pay off at this line, he’d have to win the match 4 sets to 1 or 3 sets to 0. Any other result makes a gamble on Hass at +1.5 sets a winning bet. This prop bet is favored by tennis fans who like to bet the underdog, as they tend to have a better chance of a payout when gambling the point spread as opposed to the head-to-head result.

Other Exotic Tennis Bets

There are tons of other ways to gamble on tennis. Exotic bets, including the number of times one player will fault on service, or whether or not a player will break a racket, are often available at the larger sportsbooks. But the above examples are the most common ways you can bet on tennis.

With the Summer Olympics in London fast approaching, don’t forget about placing tennis bets on the Men’s and Women’s tennis matches during the 2012 Olympiad. Olympics gambling is big business, and wagers on medal outcomes during the Olympics are yet another way to bet on tennis that could swell your player account, should you outsmart the books and pick an upset winner.

Choosing Between Tennis Sportsbooks

Plenty of Web sites are design to tell you what sportsbook you should join. When I first looked for a book that would accept bets from my home country, the USA, I landed on so many spam sites I almost gave up entirely.

If you do generic Internet searches for terms like “best sportsbook,” you’ll mostly land on affiliate sites that make money by linking you to certain books that then pay the owner of that affiliate page for every successful signup, etc. You don’t have to trudge through all that garbage to find a good sportsbook for tennis bets.

What to Look For in a Sportsbook

If you don’t mind spending about an hour doing your own research, you can find an ideal sportsbook by comparing a few simple details. Here’s what you should look for when it comes time to choose a sportsbook for tennis wagers.

1. Customer Service

The first thing you should do when you’re considering joining a given sportsbook Web site is call their customer service department. Legit sportsbooks provide excellent customer service, with short hold times and friendly and knowledgeable staff who are more than willing to answer any questions you may have. If you find a sportsbook that doesn’t offer these features, go ahead and skip that site. Customer service is a great way to test a sportsbook’s legitimacy and willingness to accept your business.

2. Bonuses & Loyalty Programs

I’m not much of a bonus chaser myself, but sportsbooks use promotional offers and bonus giveaways to compete for your business. Often, they’ll offer to match your first deposit at a specific rate up to a certain dollar amount, which makes it seem like you’re getting free cash just for signing up. But the terms & conditions associated with these offers often make them nearly impossible to earn. If you’re looking for money to pad your gambling bankroll, compare bonus and loyalty programs across several sportsbooks before you choose one to do all your business with.

3. Variety of Bets and Live Streaming

The best sportsbooks for gambling on any sport are offering live streaming of matches right in your web browser, convenient if you have money down on a match and can’t access it on your home television. You’ll also want to look for a site that offers a wide variety of bets on a lot of different matches and tournaments.

It isn’t hard to pick a sportsbook. You just need to look for features that matter to you. Good luck finding your home sportsbook, and remember, you can join as many as you want. You don’t have to have just one player account at one book.