Pickleball Betting Tips – Complete Guide to Pickleball Betting

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Pickleball is on the rise. With over 50 million players in the United States alone, it’s proving to be one of the country’s most exciting and fast-growing sports. The success of the professional game has led to sportsbooks looking to get involved, and at Techopedia, we’ve got all you need to know about Pickleball betting tips, how to bet on the sport, and betting strategy.

How to Bet on Pickleball

Pickleball betting is very new. The coverage across even the best online sportsbooks is low, but the demand and increase in exposure are coming. Offshore betting sites have limited coverage, but we expect to see the professional game start to infiltrate through in the near future.

pickleball online betting

Some sportsbooks have a dedicated pickleball betting section, but it’s worth noting that some will run markets within other sports, such as tennis, badminton, and table tennis. Given the crossover between these sports, it makes sense to work it like this.

The first step is choosing the sportsbook you want to bet with. As we’ve stated, the market is currently limited, but the best offshore sportsbooks offer some limited coverage that looks set to grow. It’s currently the fastest growing sport in the US, and with this increased popularity, the professional game will explode, creating more betting opportunities in the form of game coverage, and markets.

Use the sportsbook to work through the potential games to bet on pickleball. Within each will be a series of markets, such as outright winner, game betting, and set betting. Some sites will include live betting, although this will likely take longer to grow as the sport becomes more popular.

Before you bet, if you’re new to the sportsbook, take the time to see if there are any promotions linked to pickleball. Most sportsbook bonuses can be claimed and cleared when betting on pickleball, but because the sport is still new, you’ll need to check T&Cs to see if this is the case.

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Pickleball Betting Example

In this section, we want to look at the process of placing a pickleball bet. We’ve created an example of how the bet works and mentioned any nuances you need to look out for when placing a bet. At the time of writing, we are in the off-season, so we’ve created a real-world scenario to understand better how to bet on pickleball.

We will look at a potential classic in the men’s game between world number one and world number two, Ben Johns and Tyson McGuffin. If you’re new to the sport, then these two are the ones that’ll get you hooked and this match is a great candidate for your first pickleball bet.

The beauty of pickleball is the vast range of markets to bet on. We’ll bet on the outright winner for this example to keep things relatively simple. However, there’s a lot of value in game, and set betting, and prop bets, which we’ll expand on later.

The odds for the match are as follows:

  • Ben Johns to win: -130
  • Tyson McGuffin to win: +150

For this bet, if we were to place $100 on either player, we’d get the following returns:

  • Ben Johns to win: -130 x $100 = $176.92 total returns ($76.92 profit)
  • Tyson McGuffin to win: +150 = $250 total returns ($150 profit)

As you can see, although the odds look close, we make almost double the profit by betting on McGuffin to win as we would by betting on Johns to win. As with all sports bets, take the time to research the best pickleball sports betting odds to ensure maximum returns.

Bet on Pickleball – a Step-by-Step Guide

Most betting sites have a simple procedure for placing a pickleball bet. We’ve used our top-rated betting site, BetOnline, to highlight how the process works. This can be applied to most betting sites as the process will be nearly identical no matter where you bet on pickleball.

  1. Open an account – First, you need to create an account. This will include adding a username, password, email address, phone number, and home address. The process should take a few minutes, although you may be asked to verify your account before starting.
  2. Make a deposit – Once the account has been created, head to the cashier. Here you’ll see the range of payment options accessible to you. Pick one you’re comfortable with and make a deposit.
  3. Claim welcome offer – You can claim the welcome offer within the payment process. Note any promo codes needed to access this.
  4. Find pickleball in the sportsbook – Now that your account has been funded, head back to the sportsbook and use the navigation menu to find pickleball. Click the link to the sport to see the range of live games and markets.
  5. Place a pickleball bet – Once you’ve chosen the bet you want to place, click on the odds to add this to your bet slip. Within the bet slip, enter your stake and confirm your pick.
  6. Track bets – You can track bets by using the “My Bets” tab within the bet slip or by opening your account and seeing all live bets.

How does Pickleball Work? – Pickleball Rules

Before you work out how to bet on pickleball, it pays to know the rules.

Pickleball is a racket sport that looks a lot like a cross between tennis, badminton, and table tennis. It’s typically played on a rectangular court, both indoors and outdoors, with a center-crossing net. The game is usually a doubles match, but singles play is also a popular option.

The general rules of pickleball are as follows:

  1. Serving – The game begins with an underhand serve, which must be executed diagonally to the opponent’s service court. The server must serve from behind the baseline and hit the ball below the waist.
  2. Volley and Non-Volley Zone – A non-volley zone (or, the kitchen) is on both sides of the court, near the net. Players standing inside this zone can only hit the ball if the ball has already bounced first.
  3. Scoring – Points are scored only by the serving side. A game’s typically played to 11 points, and a team must win with a minimum two-point margin. In tournaments, games may be played to 15 or 21 points.
  4. Calling the score – The score must be called prior to playing the point by the serving team. If a player fails to call the score prior to the serve being made, the point must be replayed.
  5. Double Bounce Rule – After the serve, the receiving team must let the ball bounce once before volleying it. Subsequently, the serving team must also let the ball bounce before they can volley it. This double bounce rule encourages strategic placement and dinking (soft shots).
  6. Faults – Common faults include stepping into the non-volley zone, hitting the ball out of bounds, and serving into the wrong service court. The receiving team gains a point or the serve when the serving team commits a fault.

Pickleball Terms

Below we’ve a list of some of the most common terms associated with pickleball. If you’re new to the game, then this is a great place to start to familiarize yourself with how the game works.

  • Court: The playing area, which is similar to a badminton court but with modifications for the game.
  • Dink: A soft shot hit just over the net, usually with backspin, intended to drop into the non-volley zone (kitchen) and make it difficult for the opponent to return.
  • Erne: A shot where a player jumps and hits the ball on the non-volley side of the net. This is often done to surprise the opponents and hit a ball that is out of their reach.
  • Foot Fault: Stepping on or into the non-volley zone while hitting the ball is considered a foot fault.
  • Kitchen: The non-volley zone, a 7-foot area on either side of the net where players are not allowed to hit the ball out of the air.
  • Let: A situation where a served ball hits the net and lands in the proper service court, resulting in a redo of the serve.
  • Lob: A high, arching shot hit over the opponent’s head, with the intention of making it difficult for them to return.
  • Paddle: The paddle used to hit the ball. It is typically made of lightweight materials like graphite or composite.
  • Poach: When one player crosses over into their partner’s side of the court to hit a ball that is on their partner’s side. This is often done to put pressure on the opponents.
  • Rally: A sequence of consecutive shots exchanged between the two opposing teams.
  • Serve: The starting shot of a point, where the ball is hit diagonally across the net to the opponent’s service court.
  • Side Out: When the serving team loses the serve to the opposing team. This occurs when a fault is committed or the ball is not returned successfully.
  • Smash: A powerful overhead shot aimed at putting the ball away and ending the point.
  • Third Shot Drop: A strategic shot typically used as the third shot after the serve, aiming to softly drop the ball into the non-volley zone.
  • Violation: Occurs when a player steps into the non-volley zone and hits the ball before it bounces.

The History of Pickleball

Pickleball originated in 1965 on Bainbridge Island, Washington. It was invented by three friends: Joel Pritchard, William Bell, and Barney McCallum, who combined elements of badminton, tennis, and table tennis to create a new game.

Influential players in the early days included the sport’s founders, who helped formalize its rules. Additionally, players like Arlen Paranto, who designed the first composite paddle, and Sarah Ansboury and Tyson McGuffin, notable competitive players, contributed to the sport’s development.

Today, pickleball has experienced remarkable growth, with a global following. The sport is played by people of all ages and skill levels and boasts a vibrant community. Dedicated courts are found in various locations, and national and international tournaments have become commonplace, cementing pickleball’s status as a popular and inclusive worldwide sport.

With the sport’s increasing popularity we’re starting to see a crossover between tennis and badminton in the professional ranks. Eugenie Bouchard has seen huge success on the WTA, amassing over $6 million in tournament earnings, but announced in 2023 that she’d be switching disciplines to pickleball for the 2024 season.

What is the PPA?

The Professional Pickleball Association (PPA) works alongside the USA Pickleball Association (USAPA), the sport’s governing body. It was formed in 2018 and covers all aspects of the sport, including amateur and professional competition.

The key roles of the PPA and the PPA Tour include:

  • Tournament planning – The PPA’s main role is tournament organization. The majority of these events are at a professional level and are hosted in the United States. However, as the sport grows, they plan to extend to parts of Europe and Asia.
  • Competitive platform – Part of the PPA makeup is ensuring that professional events are competitive. This requires them to attract the best pickleball players in the world, largely down to ensuring competitive prize money, and purses. One of the biggest signings has been former tennis superstar, Eugenie Bouchard, who’s set to go pro in 2024.
  • Promotion and development – The PPA has to promote and develop the sport at all levels, particularly on the professional level. New sponsorships are a way to drive additional income, which plays another key role in the targets for the group.
  • Player support – While not a governing body for the sport, the PPA does look after professional players in terms of support regarding finances, guidance, tournament help (travel, etc.), and creating paths for athletes to reach the highest level.
  • Collaboration – Their role includes working with other governing bodies, such as the USAPA, and other regional pickleball associations, to create a collective effort in the promotion of pickleball around the world. They also monitor pickleball sports betting and make sure the sport remains competitive and fair.

Professional Pickleball Tournaments

The sport’s growth is best outlined in the range of professional tournaments played worldwide. As the number of eyes on the sport, and pro athletes, increases, not only does the number of events increase, but also the prize money.

Below, we’ve outlined the biggest pickleball tournaments in the world.

  1. US Open Pickleball Championships
    • Venue – Naples, Florida, USA
    • Inception Year – 2016
    • Prize Money – $125,000
    • Overview – The US Open Pickleball Championships is one of the world’s largest and most prestigious tournaments. It attracts elite players from around the globe and features various categories for players of all levels.
  2. Pickleball Tournament of Champions
    • Venue – Brigham City, Utah, USA
    • Inception Year – 2013
    • Prize Money – $6,000
    • Overview – Known for its competitive and inclusive format, this tournament offers a range of events, including singles, doubles, and mixed doubles, drawing top talent to Utah.
  3. Professional Pickleball Association (PPA) Tour
    • Venue – Various locations in the United States
    • Inception Year – 2018
    • Prize Money – $40,000
    • Overview – The PPA Tour consists of multiple tournaments across the United States, featuring cash prizes and attracting some of the best professional pickleball players.
  4. Las Vegas Pickleball Open
    • Venue – Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
    • Inception Year – 2017
    • Prize Money – $10,000
    • Overview – This event takes place in the world’s entertainment capital, and combines competitive pickleball with a vibrant atmosphere. A standout on the pickleball calendar.
  5. Indian Wells Pickleball Championships
    • Venue – Indian Wells, California, USA
    • Inception Year – 2021
    • Overview – This relatively new event is gaining prominence, with a stunning location in the Coachella Valley, and a focus on providing top-level competition.
  6. Minto US Open Pickleball Championships
    • Venue – Naples, Florida, USA
    • Inception Year – 2016
    • Prizemoney – $100,000
    • Overview – Another major event in Naples, this tournament is a sibling to the US Open and offers a chance for players to compete on a grand stage.

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Types of Pickleball Betting Markets

As pickleball grows in popularity within the online betting sector, so does the number of betting markets. This section highlights the types of pickleball bets available with certain sportsbooks, and how they work.

Match Winner
In pickleball, the most straightforward betting market is predicting the match winner. This bet involves selecting which player or doubles team will win the match. Odds are typically offered for both sides, with favorites and underdogs.
Set Betting
Set betting is where you predict the outcome of individual sets within a match. Depending on the tournament rules, you can wager on which player or team will win a specific set, often in a best-of-three, or best-of-five set format.
Total Points (Over/Under)
This market focuses on the total number of points scored in a match or set. Bookmakers set a line, and bettors can wager on whether the total points scored will be over or under that line.
Handicap Betting
Handicap betting is used to level the playing field when there’s a clear favorite. Bookmakers assign a handicap to the favorite and an advantage to the underdog, allowing bettors to wager on the adjusted outcome.
Live Betting
Live, or in-play betting, is becoming increasingly popular in pickleball. It enables bettors to place wagers as the match progresses, adjusting their bets based on real-time performance and shifting odds. This market adds an interactive element to pickleball betting tips.
Tournament Winner
Rather than betting on individual matches, you can wager on which player or team will emerge as the overall winner of a tournament. This bet covers the entire tournament, often providing long-term investment options.

12 Pickleball Betting Tips & Strategies

To consistently make money from pickleball gambling, you need a solid strategy. As the sport gains popularity, the range of tournaments and markets will increase, allowing you to be more selective about where and how to bet on pickleball.

Use this section to learn how to improve your pickleball betting strategy. Each section has information on areas you must consider before betting, and how to execute to be more profitable.

Apply Research and Analysis
Start your pickleball gambling journey by conducting thorough research and analysis. Dive into player statistics, recent performance records, playing styles, and head-to-head matchups. Pay attention to factors such as the court surface (indoor or outdoor), weather conditions, and player injuries. Understanding these key variables will lay a strong foundation for your betting decisions.
Practice Effective Bankroll Management
Effective bankroll management is paramount. Set a budget that you’re comfortable with and stick to it. Avoid placing large bets that could lead to substantial losses. Responsible bankroll management ensures you can continue to bet without risking financial stability.

As a rule of thumb, each wager should be between one to five percent of your total bankroll. For example, if you’ve got a $500 bankroll, then bets should be anywhere from $5 to $25. You can decide how much (between these figures) based on how confident you are of your pick.

Use Different Bet Types
Familiarize yourself with common bet types, including the match winner, set betting, total points (over/under), and handicap betting. It’s essential to comprehend the odds associated with each bet type and choose the one that aligns with your match assessment.
Take Advantage of Set Betting
Intermediate bettors should consider set betting. This approach involves wagering on the outcome of individual sets within a match. It’s especially valuable when there’s a discernible skill gap between players, as set bets often provide more favorable odds than match-winner bets.
Research Players to Get an Edge on the Over/Under Market
Assess the players’ recent performances and playing styles to determine whether a match will likely yield a high-scoring or low-scoring outcome. The over/under market can be strategically used to make predictions and bets on the total points scored during the match.
Use Handicap Betting to Your Advantage
In contests with clear favorites, handicap betting is a valuable strategy. It helps level the playing field by offering an advantage to the underdog and can be a source of value in your betting decisions.
Use Live Betting Momentum
For more advanced strategies, consider engaging in live, or in-play, betting. This allows you to adjust your wagers as the match unfolds. Observe player form, momentum, and signs of fatigue to make real-time, informed decisions.
Consider Surface and Conditions
Consider the type of court surface (indoors, outdoors, hard, or soft) and how it may impact the game. Weather conditions, such as wind or humidity, can also be significant factors that affect gameplay and should be considered in your betting strategy.
Time Your Bets
Timing is crucial when placing your wagers strategically. You can secure favorable odds by betting well in advance or waiting for potential fluctuations in odds just before or during a match.
Use Advanced Betting Strategies
As you gain more experience and your bankroll grows, consider more advanced strategies like parlay bets. These involve combining multiple wagers to increase potential returns. It’s a way to enhance earnings as you become more proficient in pickleball gambling.
Hedge Bets to Lock in Profits
In certain situations, you can hedge your bets by placing wagers on both sides of a match. This strategy reduces potential losses or secures profits, regardless of the match outcome. It’s what we describe as an advanced betting strategy, but if performed correctly, is highly effective.
Keep Betting Records
Maintaining a record of your bets, outcomes, and strategies is vital for your long-term progress. This record will help you identify what works, and refine your approach over time. It’s a tool for continuous improvement and adaptation in your pickleball betting strategy.

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Jonathan Askew
Sports Betting and Casino Expert
Jonathan Askew
Sports Betting and Casino Expert

Jonathan is a freelance writer working with Techopedia. He has been working within the gambling sector for over 15 years and has been fortunate enough to work with brands that include Gambling.com, CheekyPunter.com, BasketballInsiders.com and Betfair. He specializes in US and UK-based sports and casino content for Techopedia.