Betfair Exchange – A must have weapon for all tennis bettors

When it comes to sports betting, the world of bookmakers is basically divided into 2 areas. These are traditional bookmakers and betting exchanges.

If you are on this page, I assume that you are doing some sort of research for your betting activity and I take for granted that you know what a traditional bookmaker is. Here are two of my favourites right now: Bet365 and Pinnacle.

Betting exchanges

Betting exchanges like Betfair, Betdaq and Smarkets are different from traditional bookmakers. Their peculiarity is that you bet against other bettors and not against a bookmaker. This brings in a lot of different ways to differentiate your own betting action, offering you a heavier arsenal to fight the bookies.

This article won’t focus on betting exchanges in general though. If you want to know more about them head to this article on betting exchanges and you will get a nice understanding of how they work.

Instead, this article will focus on one of my favourite betting exchanges, Betfair! And in particular, we will focus on what I like the most about Betfair exchange: tennis betting (both pre-match and live).

Betfair exchange

A quick Google search tells me Betfair exchange was founded in May 1999. I think I started using it in 2000 or so, as I was working in a betting shop and a customer mentioned the website to me.

It blew my mind!

I mean, I was already betting daily at the time, but this was a whole different level. If you use it, you’ll know what I’m talking about!

Thanks to Betfair (in this article, when I mention Betfair I’m referring to the exchange part of the website), I switched from mainly betting on soccer to mainly betting on tennis. The reasons behind this choice are various and would require a whole article to explain.

As you can probably guess, I think that Betfair and tennis betting are a perfect match. So, let’s see the reasons why and what Betfair is actually good for when it comes to tennis betting.

Trading at Betfair

Trading has to be the number one reason for using Betfair! This applies to both pre-match and in-play.

Trading is just the act of buying a certain commodity (a bet, in this case) hoping that you can sell it later at a better price. The exact same thing that happens in the stock markets.

Here’s an example to help explain.

So, let’s say that Roger Federer loses the first set and odds rise up to 3.0 for Federer to win the match. From a trading perspective, this is when we want to buy “Federer stocks”, meaning that we want to bet on him to win the match now that odds are high.

So, what’s different compared to a normal bet on the underdog?

When trading we will settle for a smaller profit and as soon as Federer is able to win a couple of games (or a set, depending on your willing to risk) we will be able to harness the power of Betfair and lay some of our “Federer stocks”. This means we’ll make a profit no matter what the final result is.

This might be a very small profit compared to the amount that we need to invest, and you might be right, but this is why tennis is so good for this betting activity: odds in tennis change a lot, both live and pre-match, but especially live.

A couple of games won by the favourite could cause the underdog odds to double or triple and the same happens (with smaller differences) if the underdog gets a good point run.

If you don’t believe me, have a look at this screenshot, a relatively small bet that turned into a £2,000 profit on Betfair exchange:

Betfair tennis trading

This was one of my best live trading bets on the WTA last year!

Without diving too much into the specifics of this particular match, which is beyond the scope of this post; you have to keep in mind that it all starts with analyzing the match, way before it actually starts.

At, we do that and we show you as much data as possible for all the sports and leagues that we cover, in order to help the smart bettor make the right choice.

For instance, you can find pre-match odds movements, latest results, how we rank each player and experts’ picks for the above match on this dedicated page: Lesia Tsurenko vs Coco Vandeweghe – WTA French Open 2018.

Our experts’ pick, before the first point was played, was Tsurenko at odds 2/1 (+200 if you are American). Well, Tsurenko lost the first set, causing odds to sky rocket and we were able to take advantage of this and cash in the sweet profit as Tsurenko won the second and third set.

Obviously, this is an ideal scenario, but trading chances are out there every day and even if profits might be smaller, it’s good to catch these opportunities.

I have to warn you about trading though. It requires experience, dedication and takes a lot of mental effort, so it’s not for everyone!

However, if you are like me, you will probably end up with something like this on your second screen:

Tennis trading with Betfair

Betfair is quick

This one is often underrated. If you are used to traditional bookmakers, you might find yourself in a situation where you confirm the live bet and then something suddenly happens, and your favourite bookmakers close that market, waiting for more information while your bet does not get accepted.

Well, this does not happen on Betfair (when betting on tennis)! Odds are open no matter what. Betfair works on commission, so they do not risk their money, and therefore have no reason to suspend betting on tennis.

After clicking the “confirm” button on your selection, your bet will enter the Betfair exchange market in exactly 5 seconds no matter what.

You can surely take advantage of this but at the same time, this can cost you money… Betfair will certainly test your betting skills!

High Odds and High Limits

Given its nature, Betfair is able to offer very high odds.

When betting on tennis, I rarely check other bookmakers because I am positive that I will find the best odds on Betfair (or sometimes, Pinnacle).

This comes with the limitation of only placing single bets on the exchange, as multiple bets are not really a thing there (in fact I never make multiple selections on Betfair).

It’s also worth noting that limits on Betfair are high, extremely high in fact. Just scroll back up to the screenshot of the bet that I posted here. You will notice that on a French Open Round 2 women’s match, a total of 1 million pounds was matched on the money line (match winner) market only.

Betfair helps you understand the game

The odds movement on Betfair is not arbitrary; it is not decided by a trader or a tool, but it is made by a lot of people that are betting on that specific event and that specific market.

This gives you a better perspective on the whole situation. They show you a nice graph with odds movement, and if you are a numbers person like me, you will find this useful, to say the least.

For instance, one use case that quickly jumps to my mind is match fixing. I think that pretty much all the fixed matches (or supposedly fixed matches) were found thanks to the analysis of how the odds moved on Betfair.

Live Streaming

Betfair’s offer of tennis live stream is incredible!

You can easily watch main ATP and WTA events and as you have noticed from my second monitor’s screenshot just above, you can have many games on at the same time and watch them simultaneously.

They have always been a leader in this particular field and have constantly improved. However, I can guarantee you that this was not the case back in the days when I constantly had to hit the refresh button on the ATP/WTA live score app to follow a game live as it was played.

Betfair as a protection for your bets

This actually applies to all sports, not only tennis.

As Betfair very rarely suspends its odds, you can take advantage of it until the very last second in case you need to cover a bet that you previously placed.

For example: if a player is up 6-0 5-0, the odds are most likely entirely suspended on a traditional bookmaker, while there is still some operational margin on Betfair.

And guess what… anything can happen in tennis (and sports in general)… A comeback from 0-6 0-5 actually happened last month!

It’s always better to cover up your bets when given the chance.

That’s it from me. As a closing note, I want to underline that tennis betting rules may vary from bookmaker to bookmaker. This is especially true when it comes to a player retiring during the match, so make sure you are aware of this when betting on tennis.

On Betfair exchange, if a full first set is played, and then a player retires, all match winner bets stand, while handicap markets are voided.

If you want to know more about how we bet on tennis or check the latest tennis stats and picks, head over to!