European Handicap in Tennis

European handicap,

There is a growing alternative to the popular match winner market in tennis betting. It is called the European Handicap. Opting for this bet type requires a sound understanding of handicaps, where the difference in ability is balanced as much as possible. 

In the mainstream bet type in tennis, bettors bet on a player to beat the opponent. This article will comprehensively explain how European Handicap can represent a better option than just betting on the match winner. 

Why Do Handicaps Exist in Tennis Betting

Tennis is an individual sport, and as such, a player’s ability and quality of delivery make all the difference. This is unlike team sports such as football, where a lot of players and other factors contribute to the quality of a club. 

So when a top performer like Andy Murray is up against a player like De Schepper, for instance, the odds of the British tennis star winning would be very small. As a result, staking in such a game would be counterproductive as it would only deliver an insignificant profit. The playing field between these two players might be difficult to level on the tennis court but not on the betting table. 

The European Handicap market is based on the number of sets/games a player is expected to win. Here you are not predicting the actual winner of the game. This puts the chances of winning for either player as close as possible as well as the odds. 

The European Handicap market is most relevant when staking on a match with a clear favourite (represented by – sign) and underdog (represented by + sign). Fortunately, it is way easier to ascertain the underdog and favourite in an individual sport like tennis. 

An Example of European Handicap in Tennis 

Let’s stick to the initial example of Andy Murray and De Schepper. This particular fixture did take place in 2016 in the Hoffman Cup. 

Murray won 6 games in the first set and another 6 games in the second set. Overall, De Schepper was only able to manage 4 games, but Andy Murray won in both sets. A bet on Murray to clinch the game with a European Handicap (EH) of -5 would have won because the difference in the number of games won is more than 5.

If a bettor had bet on a draw with EH -5, the bet would have been lost. Also, a bet on DeSchepper to win with a handicap of +5 would have lost because a +5 handicap means the player has to lose by less than 5 games.

The -5 means Andy Murray is given a 5 games deficit. On the other hand, the positive counterpart gives the underdog an advantage and takes the form of + integer. The integer can be any value and is not limited to the values used in the above examples.


European Handicap betting offers an important balance in the risk-return ratio in a tennis game. With this betting market, there is a higher chance of making profits from an underdog. The player you are betting on might lose the sets but still get enough wins to clock in your bet. As for the favourite, there is also much more to benefit if the bet comes up successful.

Stephen Olayanju
Professional casino content writer with 5 years of experience. He has been privileged to work with many popular casino brands, which are mostly ghostwritten. He’s a casino player and punter too, and has helped many players to get most out of gambling.
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