How we choose the best betting sites for the French Open
The red dirt of the French Open is legendary to tennis fans – and strikes fear into the hearts of even the most formidable players. Remember how the usually unstoppable Pete Sampras never won a French Open, the slow surface proving to be the great legend’s undoing?
While it may not register as brightly as Wimbledon on most people’s tennis radars, the French Open does present plenty of betting opportunities. But which of the top UK betting sites should you use? Picking out a favourite can be a tough task, with so many around these days. Our team of experts make the process easier, by presenting you with our top picks, determined based on a number of factors.
Betting would get pretty dull if all you could do was put money on tournament winners. The top UK bookies open things up with a wide variety of markets, so you can bet on pretty much every aspect of each match in the French Open.
Welcome bonuses are often the deciding factor when debating which UK betting sites to sign up at. From matched deposit bonuses to free bets, there’s a lot on offer, and at Compare.bet we also consider the on-going promotions available to returning customers.
Fussing and faffing about with banking options can be a chore. That’s why it’s good to sign up with a betting site which supports your preferred deposit and withdrawal methods. The top bookies will have plenty of options, ticking most punters’ boxes.
The overall “feel” of a betting site can be as important as the various bonuses and betting markets on offer. We consider the whole experience of using the bookies, and also check that its customer service team are on hand to handle any issues that may come up.
All the booking sites you’ll find on Compare.bet are licensed by the UK Gambling Commission, meaning you can rest assured your personal details will be encrypted and secure, and the sites abide by regulations regarding fair play and responsible gambling.
As well as providing a thrilling tennis spectacle, the French Open also gives us a lot to bet on. Here are some of the most popular and widespread markets you can expect.
These are the markets most punters are drawn to, where you can bet on which players will win matches, and who’ll seize the overall singles and doubles titles.
An each-way bet is two bets in one. You’ll be wagering on a player to win or, if they don’t win, to place second.
Predicting who’ll win the first set, or the sets that come after, is another popular tennis market, and can pay dividends if an underdog snatches the occasional set from the favourite.
Reckon you can predict what the scorelines of sets, or entire matches, might be? It may be tricky to get right, but the higher odds on these bets could lead to some hefty profits if you come good.
Tennis matches can be very one-sided, with a plethora of modern-day titans hitting the courts. But you can still get healthy returns on these bets thanks to handicaps, which can be applied by bookies on a set or game basis.
These classic tennis bets let you guess whether the number of sets or games in a match will exceed a certain stated number.
The best UK bookies offer in-play betting, also known as live betting. There are some big advantages to this. First up, it means you don’t have to remember to bet before play commences. Second, with live betting, you’ll be able to capitalise on the odds as they change during the match. If, say, the favourite’s serve is broken and their odds lengthen, you can place a bet mid-set and potentially get a better return if the favourite does go on to win, compared to betting on shorter odds before the game began.
Like the thought of being able to bail out of a Roland Garros bet when you feel like it, and take some winnings with you? Then look out for the cash out option, which lets you do exactly that. By hitting cash out, you can cut your losses on a bet that looks likely to be hopeless, and collect a payout that’s worked out according to how much you wagered and what the current odds are. It’s a good bit of damage control, and can also make it feel a little less risky to try your luck on the championship’s underdogs.
If you’d like to place a number of bets, an accumulator bet – generally dubbed an acca bet – is a good way to go. With accas, the different selections are all put on the same betting slip, and if they all come good then you’ll get a profit that’s calculated by multiplying the individual odds – which is far more lucrative than getting separate payouts.
One thing to bear in mind is that your acca won’t win if just one selection is out. This is why many bookies offer acca insurance, which will mean you’ll get your stake back as a free bet if you miss by this narrow margin.
What welcome bonuses can you expect when you sign up to one of our recommended UK betting sites? Here are a couple of widespread incentives to sign up.
Matched deposit bonuses
These are generally the most generous welcome bonuses, in terms of how much you’ll be given to gamble with. A typical matched deposit bonus is “100% up to £200”, where the site will credit your account with the same amount you transfer as a first deposit, up to a maximum of £200. So, if your initial deposit is £50, you’ll have another £50 to bet with, courtesy of the bookmaker. Of course, there will very probably be wagering requirements attached, as well as minimum odds obligations and other conditions.
Free bets are precisely that: bets that don’t put your own cash at risk. You’ll typically be expected to make a qualifying bet to unlock this incentive. For example, you might be eligible for £10 worth of free bets (either as a lump sum or smaller bets equalling a tenner) if you wager £10 at the stipulated odds. As with all bonuses, check the terms and conditions beforehand so you know if any other strings are attached.
The best tennis betting sites in the UK will reward you for returning by offering promotions over time. Here are some frequently on offer.
This kind of promotion offers some serious damage limitation on losing bets. Let’s say you bet on a certain player to win a match, and they actually crash out. With a money-back promo, you’ll be eligible to have your stake returned as a free bet. Although there will be a maximum cap on how much will be given back, this should still take much of the sting out of a losing bet.
A major tournament like the French Open will inspire the best UK bookmakers to offer boosted bets. This is great news for punters, as it means that selections that usually have short odds will be artificially enhanced, providing bigger returns than normal if you win. So, betting on a hot favourite like Nadal may actually be a worthwhile wager for once.
These days, you can expect to find a conveniently wide range of banking options at the best UK betting sites. These include:
- Visa and Mastercard debit cards
- Bank transfer
Whether you want to bet while on the go, or while relaxing on the sofa with your smartphone or tablet in hand, the UK’s mobile betting sites make it easy. There are a couple of methods open to you. You can log onto the site’s URL on your mobile device’s web browser, then sign in and place your bets. Or, if the site has one available, you can download the native app. This exists on your device independently of the browser, meaning you can have a flutter with a couple of taps, with minimum fuss. You can also choose to receive push notifications from the native app, so you’ll always know when tantalising new promos are availabl
Betting tips for the French Open
Whether it’s tennis or any other sport, there are no sure things when it comes to betting. That doesn’t mean you can’t put in the research to make the wisest, most informed bets possible, though. Checking players’ form is all-important. This is more than about consulting the world rankings, which offer a fairly unhelpful general overview. You’ll need to look at how they’ve performed in recent times – have they been slipping of late? Any injuries compromising their performance?
Roland Garros is the only Grand Slam played on clay, so the players’ prowess on this kind of surface is absolutely key to assessing their chances. Even the biggest name players, who may be regarded as obvious favourites by uninformed punters, may be wrong-footed at the French Open. Before a match, you’ll also want to check the head-to-head data to see if the players have had prior skirmishes, and what the scorelines have been.
If live betting is your thing, you should pay attention to the nitty-gritty aspects of how players are on the court – how do they tend to cope when momentum shifts, for example when their serve is broken? This kind of knowledge will help you make the right call as the odds fluctuate in real-time.
The other major tennis tournaments
Typically taking place in May at Stade Roland Garros, the French Open is one of the four famous Grand Slam tournaments that thrill players and fans alike throughout the year. The others are:
- The Australian Open (January, Melbourne Park)
- Wimbledon (July, All England Club)
- The US Open (August, USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center)
The Grand Slams aren’t the whole story, though. Plenty of other tournaments unfold every year, including:
- BNP Paribas Open (March, Indian Wells Tennis Garden)
- The ATP Finals (November, Pala Alpitour Stadium)
- The WTA Finals (October Shenzhen Bay Sports Center)
- The Davis Cup (begins February, various venues)
- The Fed Cup (begins February, various venues)
- Tennis at the Summer Olympics
The history of the French Open
Some call it the French Open, to others, it’s simply Roland Garros (since it’s held at the Stade Roland-Garros, named in honour of the French aviator). However you refer to it, this is undoubtedly one of the all-time great tennis tournaments, with a history going back to 1891 when its predecessor – the French Championships – commenced. In this original form, only members of French clubs were eligible to compete, though the very first champion was actually a British player called H. Briggs.
The only clay-based Grand Slam, the French Open has been synonymous with one name in modern times: clay court maestro Rafael Nadal, who has won the men’s title a staggering 12 times. Chris Evert, meanwhile, holds the record for the most women’s singles titles with seven to her name.
There have been plenty of surprises at Roland Garros, though. Think back to 2012, when the great Serena Williams was knocked out in the very first round by Virginie Razzano, a French player who not only trailed 106 places below Serena in the rankings but was also recovering from an injury. This would have made for a windfall for any bettors who’d put money on her to come out on top. The same could be said for punters who fancied the chances of Brazilian player Gustavo Kuerten in 1997. A relative unknown ranked 66th in the world, he defeated previous champions – including clay-court specialist Thomas Muster – to bag the men’s title.
All set to bet on the French Open?
We’ve covered the bases when it comes to betting on the French Open. If you fancy your chances, check out our list of the best UK betting sites and sign up to place your bets on this great tennis tournament.