Bitcoin betting primer

If you’ve got this far without being too sure about what bitcoin is, read this introduction to bitcoin first. For those who are familiar with bitcoin, there are several ways it can be used for betting.

With the birth of the internet, betting quickly moved online facilitated by traditional payment methods like bank and credit cards, as well e-wallets like Neteller or Paypal. The advantages that bitcoin has for betting over these traditional methods has seen rapid adoption by sportsbooks, but not all are as they seem.Some traditional sportsbooks working with fiat currencies dollars and euros) - market themselves as accepting bitcoin but this is for deposit only. Your bitcoin is converted into Euros or Dollars for betting, and then back again when you want to withdraw. This has many drawbacks which are discussed in more detail here - how bitcoin gambling works.

Cloudbet operate differently, as we are a pure bitcoin sportsbook. You deposit in bitcoin and can then bet on the tennis in bitcoin. This also means that your bets are paid in bitcoin, and subject to its fluctuation (and potential appreciation) making it in effect two bets in one. You are then able to take advantage of ease of transaction with bitcoin, by instantly withdrawing any winnings. With the primer out of the way, let’s run through the markets available for betting on the tennis with bitcoin.

Tournament Betting: Outright Winner

There are two fundamental ways to look at tennis betting - the match level and the tournament level. An outright winner market focuses on the latter and offers odds for a list of given players to win the relevant tournament. Here is a screenshot of the main contenders in the outright winner odds for the 2018 French Open published by Cloudbet just ahead of the tournament.

Selecting any of the listed players to win the French Open from the outright market would provide a potential return of odds X stake

  • 0.1 BTC Nadal @ 1.40 = Return of 0.14 [0.04 profit plus 0.1 stake]

Match Betting Markets

The alternative to betting on a tournament outcome, and by far the most popular type of tennis bitcoin betting is match level betting. To illustrate the types of markets available at Cloudbet we’ll use a theoretical matchup between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal:

Match Winner

The simplest way to bet on a tennis match such as Federer vs Nadal is to choose the Match Winner. Cloudbet offer odds on either player winning with Federer regarded as the favourite in this example and Nadal the underdog; the potential returns would be as follows:

  • 0.1 BTC on Nadal @ 2.78 = Return of 0.278 [0.178 profit plus 0.1 stake]
  • 0.1 BTC on Federer @ 1.49 = Return of 0.149 [0.049 profit plus 0.1 stake]

Set and Game Handicaps

Another popular, but less intuitive way to bet on tennis with bitcoin is set and game handicaps. A handicap bet applies a theoretical advantage - in sets or games - to one player, and deficit to the other, as the means to creating a more balanced betting market.

With our example player because Nadal is the underdog and therefore considered less likely to win the game handicap gives him a theoretical +3 game for the purposes of the handicap bet. The handicap gets added to the actual number of games Nadal won, and if his theoretical aggregate game total is greater than Federer’s the handicap bet would be a winner. The opposite is true if betting on Federer -3 games; three games are removed from the actual number he wins and if that total is still greater than the actual number of games Nadal wins your bet is graded as a winner.

Essentially as Nadal has a +3 game handicap if the Spaniard wins the match, or loses by an aggregate of less than two games he would 'cover the handicap'. Conversely, Federer needs to win by more than two games. If the aggregate difference in games is exactly three the handicap bet is a push, with stake refunded.

Here is an examples outcomes based on the three game handicap:

Real Match Score

Total Games

Handicap Total

Federer (-3) 1.87




(14-3) = 11

Nadal (+3) 1.98




(12+3) = 15

If you bet on Federer (-3) despite him winning the match with 14 games to Nadal’s 12, you would lose the bet as the Handicap Game Total would be Nadal 12 and Federer 11 (14-3).

The same principle applies to set betting, where a players handicap will be added or subtracted to the final match score to establish a winner for the bet.

Here is an examples outcomes based on a 1.5 set handicap:

Real Match Score

Total Sets

Handicap Total

Federer (-1.5) 2.13




(2-1.5) = 0.5

Nadal (+1.5) 1.64




(-2+1.5) = -0.5

If you bet on Federer (-1.5) because he won the match 2-0, the handicap adjusted set score still gives him a 0.5 set advantage, whereas Nadal, despite receiving a theoretical 1.5 set start, still loses for the purposes of the bet because his adjusted handicap match score is -0.5 (1.5 - 2).

Live Match Betting

Match betting takes on a completely different complexion once the game begins. The match winner and handicap markets are still available, operating in exactly the same way, except that the odds change in relation to the real-time score.Because of the ebb and flow of a tennis match it is one of the best sports to bet live in-play. This fluctuation enhances the excitement, and the engagement within a match, as each point can drastically impact the odds. Quick thinking and quick placing of bets is essential for success for in-play tennis betting.

Jul 1, 2018
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