Snooker Betting Guide

Snooker

Snooker is a very popular game in many parts of the world and whilst traditionally a stronghold of British players, massive growth of the sport in China looks likely to challenge that in the future. The game has been through some huge changes in recent seasons – the structure of the players’ season rather than the game itself – and whilst not all competitors are happy with this, it really is great for punters.

Under Barry Hearn the number of events on the professional snooker tour has expanded massively, with tournaments now held over a 12 month calendar with few weeks off. A huge number of events are now held in China with others in Thailand and Europe; great for us bettors, not so handy for players having to fly all over the world. The three big ones remain the UK Championship in December, the Masters in January and the daddy of them all, the World Championships in April and May.

How To Bet On Snooker

Snooker is an increasingly popular sport to bet on and offers lots of different gambling opportunities. Whilst the majority of bets will be on one or two main markets there is increasing interest in betting in-play. Snooker lends itself well to this because of the breaks between shots and the way frames can swing very quickly on one shot – a lucky run of the balls or a bad miss.

Snooker Bets

  • Tournament betting – Probably the most commonly placed bet and also the most straightforward. Pick which player you think will win any given tournament and away you go! Each-way betting is normally available (and wins if your player makes the final).
  • Match betting – The second most popular bet is also a simple one: you back who you think will win any given match between two players. Note that in tournament play, matches are always “best of” an odd number of frames so there is no possibility of a draw.
  • Handicap betting – In any given match the underdog may be given a “head start” to even the odds out when one player is a strong favourite. To avoid the possibility of a tie this is usually given in half frames, for example +2.5 frames.
  • Correct score – Another good option where there is a strong favourite but also popular in close matches is to bet on the exact score in frames a match will finish.
  • Total frames – Less precision needed than the above, this is a bet on the total number of frames that will be played and sometimes may be given in bands, for example, 10- 12 or 13-15.
  • In-play – There are lots of options for in-play betting with the most popular being who will win the next frame, who will win the frame currently being played, who will pot the next ball and who will win the match. This is an exciting way to bet with lots of twists and turns and rarely very long to wait until you know if you have won or lost.
  • Highest break – You can bet on who will make the highest break, either in a specific match or the whole tournament.
  • 147 – Whether or not there will be a 147 break scored in a given tournament; a very simple yes or no bet.

Snooker Betting Rules

There is very little to look out in terms of betting rules as the sport – and hence the bets on it – are fairly straightforward. Bets on match winner and tournament winner will generally be settled on the official result, although some bookies may void bets if less than one full frame has been played. If a player withdraws or is disqualified during a match usually all bets relating to frames will be voided, unless already settled.

In the event of a re-rack the re-racked frame will normally count, other than on markets that may have already settled, for example who will make the first pot. Finally, with regards betting on a 147, breaks over that so-called “maximum” amount (i.e. if a player pots a free ball and a colour prior to a 147 clearance) will count as “yes”.

Snooker Betting Strategy

The best tactic to utilise when seeking to win when betting at snooker is the same as with most sports: do your research, study the form and look for value. With the increased number of tournaments in the modern game this is more important than ever and if you have analysed and assessed the minor tournaments that most people haven’t watched you should gain an edge.

It is also well worth backing the outsiders in the smaller events, given so much of snooker is about mental preparation and concentration. In the biggest tournaments upsets are unlikely but in the lesser competitions there is definitely value to be found looking outside the elite group, especially early in the season.

In terms of picking a tournament winner it is essential to study the draw. It is not uncommon for one half or quarter of the draw to contain most of the best players, especially with the increased fluidity of the world rankings caused by a greater number of events. This could lead to real value, especially as an each-way bet, in the other sector(s) of the draw.

Familiarity with a player’s style also creates opportunities. For example, a great match player who revels under pressure but isn’t the heaviest scorer may throw up value on the lesser player, the underdog, in the highest break market. Similarly, a player known to start matches quickly but buckle under pressure may be good to back before the match, with a view to backing the other player at much higher odds once they are a frame or two down but ready to stage a fight back.

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