Deprecated: Methods with the same name as their class will not be constructors in a future version of PHP; plgContentRokbox has a deprecated constructor in /homepages/12/d457616922/htdocs/tennisbet.net/plugins/content/rokbox/rokbox.php on line 11

Bet the number of total games in tennis match

If your sports book allows you to place a bet on the number of total games in a tennis match, the I have a few tips for you. Guessing the number of games is no such a long shot as it first seems.

By the way, not all sportsbetting websites have the option of betting the number of games in a set. But our favorite sportsbetting site Bet365 does - if you would like to give them a try, click here to see all the options they are offering. On their main site, just pick "Sports" from their top menu, then "Tennis" in the side menu on the left, then pick an ongoing match and you will find a long, long list of possible bets you can choose from. 

How many games does a tennis set usually have?

Well that number can usually be anywhere from 6 to 13, unless you are talking the final set of a Grand Slam event for men, or the Davis Cup. Those do not have the tiebreak rule and can end up with results like 14:12 or similar. In ladies' tournaments, the tiebreak rule applies all the time.

The most common game counts in a set are 9, 10, 12 and 13. Those are the results where a set is won by one player breaking the other guy's serve just once (or player A has one break, and player B has two), or where no breaks happen at all (or the number of breaks is the same for both players) and the set thus is decided in a tiebreak.

In men's tennis, results like 6:0 or 6:1 happen much less frequently compared to women's tennis. That is so because male players simply serve just a little bit faster, so even when a player plays against a significantly weaker player, the underdog will still win a good percentage of his own serves.

Guessing the number of games correctly

Obviously, in order to make an educated guess and bet profitably, you have to look at the way both players serve and return. Statistics, as always, are a big help, but not everything. Look at the stats for "First serve in" and "Second serve in", as well as the percentages of points won for both the 1st and 2nd serve. As a tennis coach as well as as a player, I have always believed that a strong 2nd serve is the base for a good 1st serve. Or, in other words, a strong and consistent 1st serve will make for many service games won easily, but a strong and consistent second serve (with good depth) will go a long way towards not allowing your opponent too many break chances!

More importantly, look at the way the serves are placed. Serving with precision and changing directions a lot beats the hell out of a super-fast, but not-so-well-placed first serve all the time. Sometimes, you TV broadcaster will show a "heat map" showing where the serves landed - that is a great indicator for you.

Equally important, but never reflected in the stats, is the position of the player when he hits his return, and how well he reads the other guys serve. That is something that you will have to observe by yourself. Keep your eyes on the receiving player while the other player serves. Do you see him making a "split-step" - that little jump when the other guy hits? Is he moving forward just before he hits? Does he swing the racket or is he just blocking? Does he seem to anticipate the right corner most of the time? Does he seem to be in time for the execution, or is he always a little late hitting the ball?

When returning a serve, a player will always try to achieve at least one of four things: 1. hitting the ball as a well-place cross-shot or 2. into the middle with good depth, or 3. aggressively down the line, or 4. (if serve and volley is what the other guy does) aim for the attacking player's feet. The worst return of serve is a ball that ends up on the longline side, with now depth or speed, and possibly high. This kind of return will almost always be answered by an aggressive cross-shot by the server, which allows his to chase the other guy around and finish the point rather easily.

Here's another detail, but it is hard to observe: When the returning player has a good read, you will see him pick the backhand or forehand grip long before the actual execution of the shot, which of course makes the result much better and the return more aggressive and consistent. If he has problems reading the serve, you will see him hitting a lot of serves back using a sliced backhand. Those slice returns are of course weaker (unless very well placed and with good depth).

Observing all that will give you a pretty good idea about whether there will be many breaks in a set. When you see that both players are good at serving and returning, chance are the set will be decided in a tiebreak. But if one player both serves very well and looks good during the games when he is the receiving player, then it is likely that he will need less games to win the set.