The (British) Open Betting Guide for 2021

The Open Championship, known outside the UK as the British Open, is the oldest of golf’s four annual Major tournaments.

Golf is a sport that lends itself readily to a host of betting opportunities. Modern sportsbooks offer a broad range of tempting markets to ensure clients in USA feel even more involved in the action.

In this guide we’ll tell you:

Top Golf Betting Sites for United States Players

An Introduction to The Open

The history of The Open dates back more than 150 years. It is one of the most prestigious and sought-after titles in golf.

Most players qualify by performing well in leading tours or championships

They are joined by qualifiers from special events around the world

A final 12 make it through Final Qualifying, held across the UK just before the championship

A field of 156 players tees off in the 72-hole strokeplay event, traditionally held on a links (coastal) course

After the first two rounds, the top 70 and ties play the final 36 holes

If there is a tie after 72 holes, a four-hole playoff is held

The winner is announced as 'The champion golfer of the year' and receives the famous Claret Jug

How Golf Odds Work

Betting on The Open in particular, and golf in general, is straightforward. But you may want an introduction to gambling.

Take the example of a tournament. The odds about one player winning may, expressed as decimals, read:

For every C$10 you stake on McIlroy, you win C$110. If you put C$10 on Johnson, you get back C$160.

Odds can be displayed in other formats, such as fractional and moneyline (also known as American) odds.

But most sportsbooks let you swap between systems to let you choose how you view their prices. Have a go on our Odds Calculator to see how they compare.


The Open Betting Options

Tournament winner

A very simple question. Who do you think is going to win the tournament?

Given that there are 156 players in The Open, and it is always incredibly hard to win, maybe that’s not as simple as it sounds…

First round leader

Some players are noted for making a fast start before fading. Rather than back them for the tournament, this could be the market for you.

The other advantage is that you can assess your options based on tee times and the weather forecast for the first day only.

Top 10 finish

This is the market for those players who consistently score well without winning tournaments.

Shrewd bettors know who these players are and wager on them accordingly.

Match bets

This is a great way of adding extra spice to a round. Which player will score lowest in their group?

You can even bet on a virtual match between two players who aren’t even playing together.


Again, a simple yes-or-no question. Will there be an ace during the tournament?

This is a market that requires serious study of the course and the trends there. Or you could just follow a hunch.

To qualify for The Open

As the golf season moves towards mid-July, there may be a player you think could qualify for the tournament. Some sportsbooks will be happy to let you wager on the outcome.

To make the cut

If you think a player is going to do well, but not well enough to top the leaderboard, how about a bet on them to reach the weekend?

To win next year’s Open

You may see a player in this year’s event and conclude his game is perfectly suited to next year’s venue. There will be sportsbooks offering odds on the outcome 12 months in advance.

What is The Open Live Betting?

Brief Timeline of The Open

The first Open is won by Willie Park on home soil at Prestwick in Scotland

Old Tom Morris becomes the oldest winner at 46

The championship is not held because of a dispute over a new trophy

England's John Ball becomes the first non-Scottish winner

Harry Vardon of Jersey wins his sixth Open, a record that still stands

Walter Hagen is the first American-born winner

Arnold Palmer wins for the second year running, boosting American interest in the event

Nick Faldo, with a final round of 18 pars, wins the first of his three Opens

Paul Lawrie wins at Carnoustie after being 10 shots behind before the final round

Tiger Woods completes the career Grand Slam as he wins The Open by eight shots

Tom Watson, at the age of 59, bogeys the last hole to tie – and lose in a playoff

Henrik Stenson, the first Swede to win, sets a record Open score of 20 under par

Recent Open Champions


Betting on The Open is, for many people, as traditional as The Open itself. Given the widespread ownership of cellphones in USA, allied to the innovative flair of sportsbooks, there are plenty of ways to get involved.

To find out everything you might ever need to know about betting on golf in USA, check out our home page.


A golf tournament held each summer on one of 10 links courses in Scotland, England and Northern Ireland. It is the oldest of the four annual Major championships.

In a field of 156 of the world’s best players, betting on the tournament winner is enormously popular.

Our online betting guide will show you all the subjects you need to know about when choosing a site – one of our recommended higher up on this page – to bet with.

These include important areas such as security, licensing, range of bets and bonuses.

Definitely. Virtually all sportsbooks now have their own consumer-friendly apps that allow you to bet on your device.

Once the tournament gets under way, sportsbooks will continue to offer you odds about the live action, as well as the overall result.