Major tennis tournaments take place all year round and just like with other sports, this inspires the bookies to run a number of profitable offers. Even if you know nothing about tennis, taking advantage of the various offers available can be very profitable providing you play them correctly.

Matched betting a tennis match initially seems very simple. You can simply back a player to win and lay the bet on a betting exchange. However, tennis matches, unlike football and the majority of other sports, have a greater chance of ending early either due to a player getting injured or being disqualified. After all, there are no substitions if a player gets injured like in football.

So what happens to your bet if the match is called off before it finishes?

Well, therein lies the problem. Different bookmakers and exchanges have different rules when it comes to tennis and you need to make sure that the two in which you are using have the same rules. If you don’t and the game ends early, you could find yourself making an unintended loss on your bets.

Bookmaker Tennis Retirement Rules

As mentioned, some bookmakers and exchanges have different tennis retirement rules. Let’s take a look at the different types.

1. One Set Completed

Bookmakers who offer the ‘One Set Completed’ rule will allow your bet to stand if one set has been completed with the match result going in favour of the uninured player.

If the match ends prior to one set being completed then bets are made void and your stake will be returned.

21Bet Betfred Dabblebet Mintbet Tommy French
32Red Sport Betsafe Dafabet Mr Green Toals
7 Best Bets BlackType Gentingbet My Club Betting Totesport
888sport Bookee Grosvenor Paddy Power Unibet
Bet600 BruceBetting Ladbrokes Quinnbet  
Betdaq Bwin LeoVegas Skybet  
Betfair Sportsbook Coral Marathonbet Smarkets  
Betfair Exchange Corbett Sports Matchbook Sportingbet  

You’ll notice that the three major exchanges, Betfair Exchange, Smarkets & Matchbook all follow this rule which is extremely handy as it means that you can lay your bets from the bookmakers above with the exchanges knowing that they have the same retirement rules.

2. Match Completed

If a bookies tennis retirement rule is ‘Match Completed’ then this means that they will void your bet if the match ends before it is completed. Therefore, you should never lay your bets on an exchange when using the bookies below as they have different retirement rules to the betting exchanges.

10bet BetEast Fun88 Mr Win Superlenny
12bet BetMcLean Geoff Banks Netbet Titanbet
138 BetPack GUTS Ole777 TLCbet
188bet BetVision Jenningsbet RedArmyBet Tonybet
Bet-At-Home Boylesports Jetbull Redbet K8
Betboro Comeon Karamba Redsbet Vernons
BetBright Energybet Mansionbet RoyalPanda William Hill
BetBull Expekt Meridianbet SportNation Winner
Betclic Fansbet Mobilebet SportPesa X-Tip

3. Match Completed Unless Disqualified

Similar to the retirement rule above, these bookmakers will void bets if the match hasn’t been completed. However, they will allow bets to stand if a player is disqualified rather than being injured.

Bet365 Betway McBookie
Betstars BetVictor Sunbets

4. Other rules

A couple of other bookmakers have slightly different rules to the majority. For example, TheGreek requires 2 sets to be completed for bets to stand and Novibet only requires the first serve to take place. As TheGreek is the only bookmaker to offer this rule, you won’t be able to lay or dutch any tennis bets with them without being at risk of making a loss.

What happens if you use bookies with different rules?

First of all, it’s important to mention that you should never use bookmakers or exchanges which have different retirement rules. If you want to lay your bet which you have placed with a bookmaker, only use a bookmaker who offers the ‘One Set Completed’ rule. This is because the exchanges also use this rule.

Let’s take a look at an example of what could happen if you back and lay a bet using the ‘Match Complete’ retirement rule.

Bookmaker: William Hill

Offer: Bet £10 on tennis & get a £10 free bet

Your back bet: You back Roger Federer to beat Novak Djokovic at odds of 2.0 with a stake of £10.

Your lay bet: You lay Federer at odds of 2.05 on Betfair Exchange

Initially, this seems like a standard ‘bet & get’ offer where you simple back and lay a player for a small qualifying loss in order to receive the free bet.

We’ll use a matched betting calculator to calculate our lay stake:


Back Stake: £10

Lay bet Liability: £10.50

However, during the 2nd set, Djokovic pulls a muscle and is unable to continue! What happens now?

As Djokovic can’t continue, the match ends in favour of Federer and so we lose our lay bet with Betfair Exchange. Usually, this would mean that we win our back stake with the bookmaker but as William Hill require the match to be completed, our bet is void and we only receive back our initial stake.

This means that we have broken even with our back bet with William Hill but we have made a loss of £10.50 with Betfair Exchange! Also, we won’t receive our free bet as the bet was void.

Overall loss: £10.50

This is the problem with using two bookmakers or exchanges with different retirement rules. You risk losing money should the match end early.

If we placed our back bet with a bookmaker such as Coral who have the same retirement rule as Betfair Exchange, both bets would have stood and we would have won our back bet leaving us with just a £0.50 qualifying loss and a £10 free bet.

If we used Coral and Betfair Exchange and the Djokovic got injured in the first set, both bets would have been void and although we wouldn’t receive our free bet, we would receive both our back and lay bets back and would have broken even.

What to do when the bookmaker and exchange have different retirement rules

So, we’ve now determined that you 100% shouldn’t lay a tennis bet on a betting exchange unless the bookmaker has the same retirement rules.

So what do we do if a bookmaker has an attractive offer but doesn’t offer the same rules as the exchanges?

One option is to dutch your bets.

Dutching Tennis

Dutching is when you cover every possible outcome by placing back bets at different bookmakers with no betting exchange needed.

Thankfully, when it comes to the match winner market in tennis, there are only two outcomes. Player 1 to win or Player 2 to win as a draw isn’t possible. This makes dutching relatively easy.

To dutch a match winner in a tennis match, simply place a bet on Player 1 to win with a bookmaker and place a bet on Player 2 to win with a different bookmaker. This way, you have covered all possible outcomes just like you would if you backed and layed a bet.

It’s important to note that you still need to use two bookmakers who have the same retirement rule! Dutching just gives you a few more options as you are not limited to using just a few exchanges as there are many more bookies who share the same retirement rules.

With dutching, you’re likely to make a qualifying loss just as you would if you layed your bet and to calculate the ideal stakes to place on each player you should such a dutching spreadsheet like the one available to ProfitSquad members. By doing so, you’ll make a small loss but still qualify for your free bet and by using two bookmakers with the same retirement rule, you can be sure that you won’t make a loss if a player retires during the match.


Tennis betting offers can be profitable but you can make a loss if you don’t look carefully at each bookmakers retirement rules. If you follow the information in this guide and stick to the two rules below, you should be able to make a profit from tennis offers regardless of the outcome.

Remember the main rules:

  1. Only lay your bets with bookmakers who have the same retirement rule as the betting exchange.
  2. Only dutch bets where both bookmakers have the same retirement rule.