Novak Djokovic of Serbia celebrates after defeating Chung Hyeon of South Korea during their first round match at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia, Monday, Jan. 18, 2016.(AP Photo/Vincent Thian)

Tennis has been played as a sport since the 19th century. More than 1.5 billion people either play or watch tennis regularly. And, they bet billions of dollars on tennis each year. There are so many fans, it’s not surprising more and more people are betting on the matches.

Tennis has become a very popular sport to bet on. It’s second only to soccer in the number of bets placed and money won. Why is it so popular as a betting sport? Here are some ideas.

The Frequency of Game Play

One of the main reasons tennis has become so popular is the nature of the game itself. Tennis doesn’t have a season. In fact, people can play it year-round, and major tournaments are running for 10 months out of the year. There are always tennis matches for people to bet on somewhere in the world. Also, there are four major championships and several minor championship tournaments held in either the United States, Europe or Australia. Because there are so many opportunities to watch a match, there are many opportunities to bet. In addition, there are several tiers of tennis match play. Tournaments on the circuit have many levels. Therefore, the number of tennis games available for people to place bets on is nearly unlimited.

The Chance Factor

It’s easy to see why betting on sports is so popular. There is one feature that people like about them: the chance factor. People like to try to predict the outcome of a sporting contest. In the NFL, when one team is a lot better than the other, the outcome is usually fairly certain. The better team usually wins. That is not true nearly as often in tennis. At Wimbledon this month, Serena Williams had an amazing two weeks of play. All the experts said she would be champion because of her dominating court play and her service game. However, Romania’s Simona Halep, who is not the powerhouse that Williams is, won because she was faster that day. People who bet on Halep to win the Women’s Singles Title at Wimbledon did very well on the payout.

The Number of Bets Placed in One Game

Tennis is an exciting game to bet on because there’s more to place bets on than just the outcome. In general, sports betting is expanding the number of opportunities to bet. In football, people can bet on the spread of points between the two teams. People also bet on whether the final total of points will be over or under a specific number. Sometimes, people place bets on who will score first, and how many interceptions the quarterback will have.

Tennis, however, can have several bets moving on a single match. People bet on who will win the match overall. However, depending on the odds for specific players, this isn’t always a good bet. People also bet on doubles matches, where they can place a team bet. Tennis also offers people the chance to place handicap bets. This means each player in a match has several games added on or subtracted from his or her score. Handicap bets refer to how good a player is, and how much opportunity the player has to win a match. With handicap betting, the tennis game itself is more exciting. Not only must the player win, but he or she also has to win by a specific margin.

Tennis has other options for betting. People can bet on the score of the overall match. They can also bet on the score of each set. In-play gambling also allows players to make bets on each point or each game. It’s easy to see why tennis has become such a popular betting option.

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Richard Holmes was born in Tampa, Florida and studied computer science at Pensacola Christian College in Pensacola Florida. A devout Baptist, volunteer Sunday School teacher and online gaming fan, Richard works as a part-time systems administrator at Baptist Hospital and part-time professional blogger specializing in statistics, probability and computer science issues. He is an ardent believer in the future of artificial intelligence as a tool for transforming human society for the better, particularly in the area of health care and modern medicine. A chess player, and competitive online gamer Richard actively participates on online gaming tournaments in his free time.