First invented as a pastime activity for British Army officers stationed in India back in the 1870s, snooker grew in the early 20th century when this discipline was moved into a more professional frame.
Snooker as a sport consists of two players competing over a table covered in green cloth and fitted with pockets on corners and in the middle of each side. Using a cue, they try to pot 22 coloured balls in a particular order and when you lay it out in this fashion one could wonder what the fuss about snooker is all about.
Even though it is an individual sport relying not on much physical ability, but rather on the skill, creativity and mental endurance, snooker is a hugely popular sport, both for spectators and bettors.
Snooker achieved negative publicity due to the match-fixing scandals which shocked the sport and resulted in Stephen Lee being banned from the sport for 12 years. While the sport was also criticised for the fact that televised matches were slow and losing dynamics through lengthy safety exchanges.
The players themselves were involved in passing some criticism towards the governing bodies, arguing that there were so many championships during a season that top players often risk getting burned out.
In his answer to all the critics, World Snooker chairman Barry Hearn changed professional snooker’s schedule, prizes and tournament formats in 2015 to make the sport more alluring. His attempts proved to be a success with snooker currently going through a renaissance.
What factors to consider when betting on Snooker
Snooker is once again a popular choice among bettors, who need to be aware that a sound betting strategy is required if they are planning on getting some value from the process of betting.
- Learn from qualifiers
- Pay attention to playing styles
- Be careful of the short-format competitions
- Misleading handicaps can be your friend
- Back a 147 to be scored anytime
Snooker Betting Tips
As in any sport, good and thorough research is a crucial part of any sound betting strategy. Snooker bettors need to get acquainted with the sport, with the players – top ones and rising stars – and there is no better way to do so than to watch as many matches, preferably qualifiers and minor events.
The expansion of snooker and the expansion of online betting went hand in hand to give punters the ability to enjoy live snooker at its best. It also allowed them to watch players and get to know who the emerging ones are, while at the same time they were given a chance to identify the most in-form qualifiers, who could go on to surprise on the biggest stage.
A committed snooker bettor who dedicates his time to watching the PTC series or qualifiers would have known who the capable qualifiers are and would have been given a head-start when it comes to placing a bet and benefiting from a value bet some other tipsters would be unaware of.
Looking through the qualifiers and PTCs will allow you to identify a fluent break builder and a considerable natural talent, who would then be a good betting choice especially during the opening stages of the top-class competition.
Bettors who watch as much snooker as they can earn a valuable edge ahead of their fellow bettors. Watching as many matches and players will not only help you identify potential surprises or future stars.
However, it will also get you familiar with players’ styles. Learning a player’s style can be a solid edge in terms of betting as you will be able to identify their strengths and weaknesses, which can ultimately be exploited in your favour.
Some players are prolific break builders, while others will be focused on making tactical moves, whereas some – like good old Ronnie O’Sullivan – would be more reliable over shorter matches.
With O’Sullivan and his short-format form in mind, there comes another important part of a snooker betting strategy. The newly introduced formats have seen a number of tournaments employ a ‘shot clock’ intended to speed up the pace of a match and increase the appeal.
The idea worked and the events with short formats are highly entertaining with each match lasting just a single frame. However, they remain a dangerous betting choice as it can get rather hard to apply a serious progressive strategy that will allow you to find a pattern and take advantage of it.
When it comes to patterns, there is a betting aspect that can be a good friend of yours, especially in the early rounds of any tournament – handicap betting.
A popular betting option in all sports, handicap betting is basically an edge given to a player, usually an underdog, in order to level their chances and it is a highly popular betting market which – in snooker terms – can be your friend.
The early rounds of a tournament will see firm favourites being pitted against high-priced underdogs and there lies your chance of making a profit. Those bettors who paid attention and watched the qualifiers will have successfully pinpointed the outsiders capable of placing pressure on big-name players.
If that is the case, bettors will be able to hit the handicap market by backing the underdog on the head-start of up to 5.5 frames as outsiders are likely to come close and lose by one or two frames to give great value to your bet.
Similarly, if you decide that a favourite is miles ahead, go for a minus handicap on the hot-shot player to increase the odds. In the end, another interesting betting market is 147 to be scored at any time. In the old days of snooker, matches would only yield a few century breaks. The high-paced world of modern-day snooker, however, has brought the all-time high of 147s, which have become the standard in snooker. In betting terms, a good punter will recognise the value and back a 147 to be scored in any round of a tournament.