Snooker betting has become increasingly popular in recent years due to many bookmakers now sponsoring the sport, as well as the addition of new ranking events to the annual circuit and the expansion of the tour to countries further afield. In this article I’ll cover how to bet snooker, discuss the major tournaments and leagues, and conclude with a simple betting tip.
How to Place Bets on Snooker
There are many different ways to bet snooker. The most common is a wager on which player, or players in the case of doubles (or other multiple bets), will win the match. Of course, because one player is often more likely to win the odds reflect this. At some betting sites you can bet more than just the match winner. For example, www.bet365.com (no US bettors) offers live in-play betting with a plethora of markets.
At Bet365 if you have an account funded with $5 or more, you can log on to their website, click “live streaming” and watch snooker matches streamed right to your laptop, PC, Mac or mobile device. You can also use their schedule filter to see a list of upcoming matches that will be shown live on their website. This can be used to know which matches to handicap well in advance. For the matches Bet365 streams live, you can bet a large variety of markets both pre-match and in-play. These markets include match winner, match handicap, the player to win the race to 3 Frames, next frame winner, player to pot first ball, next frame race to 30 points and much more.
The final way to bet snooker online is to pick a tournament winner. Most bookmakers have tournament odds well in advance and throughout the tournaments for Premier League, Players Tour Championship, UK Championship and the World Championship, as well as less popular events such as the China Open. You simply make a wager on which player you think will be victorious.
It is also sometimes possible to bet this market by nationality. For this England is always the favourite because they have 52 players in the top 100 rankings. The next most powerful nations in snooker are China and Scotland with 10 each, Wales with 7 and Thailand with 5. There is often excellent value in the winner markets as it’s a sport that seems to be priced worse than more popular sports such as football or rugby.
Leading Sites for Snooker Wagers
Major Snooker Tournaments
It should come as no surprise where the majority of the ranking snooker tournaments are held. The United Kingdom (UK) consists of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. At the time of this article 71 players of the top 100 on the World Ranking are from the UK. This is where the biggest prize in the game — the World Snooker Championship is held; at the Crucible Theater in Sheffield, England to be exact. This tournament hosts the best in the world, is the final tournament of the season and boasts a staggering £1.2million prize pool. The World Snooker Championship is currently sponsored by www.betfred.com.
Another prestigious tournament held in the United Kingdom is the UK Championship hosted in York, England. It has a prize pool of £625,000. Like most snooker competitions, it is sponsored by a UK bookmaker. In this case www.williamhill.com is the sponsor. This tournament has had many champions with recent winners including Judd Trump, John Higgins and one of China’s most successful players Ding Junhui.
The two tournaments above along with the Masters comprise the Snooker Triple Crown. The Masters is however a non-ranking invitational event with a £501,000 prize pool. Even though it is non-ranking it is still considered the third most prestigious tournament. As you could probably guess, it is sponsored by a bookmaker. After a previous run with www.ladbrokes.com as their sponsor, it is now sponsored by www.betfair.com which is the world’s largest peer to peer betting exchange. Of course like the ones mentioned above it is UK hosted, in London, England.
The Snooker Premier League is another competition held in the UK. It is sponsored by Sky Sports and Party Poker, one of the UK’s largest online poker sites. This is also an invitational tournament. It involves 10 players chosen by who has the most television appeal. It runs August to November with the round-robin group stages played at various UK venues. The finals are held at Grimsby Auditorium in North East Lincolnshire, England.
Other tournaments held in the UK include the Welsh Open, Scottish Grand Prix, Pro Challenge Series and the Pink Ribbon Pro-Am.
Snooker in Asia
While 71 players rated in the top 100 are from the UK, 21 of the remaining 29 are from Asia. This breaks down as China (10 players), Thailand (5 Players), Australia (2 Players), India (2 Players), Hong Kong (1 Player) and Iran (1 Player). While there are tournaments held elsewhere in Asia, such as the SangSom 6-red in Thailand, most of the snooker events in Asia take place in China. They are fast becoming a huge player on the international snooker scene. With their massive population and burgeoning economy, many see China as the future of the sport. In fact, even the world’s greatest ever player has stated that he thinks the World Championship will be held in China some day.
Snooker is one of the fastest growing sports in China and many see the future of the sport based there
Major ranking snooker tournaments currently held in China include the Shanghai Masters in Shanghai, China Open in Beijing and World Open in Haikou. There is also a minor-ranking event with a £50,000 prize pool held in Shanghai for only Asian players. This is called the Asian players championship.
2012 saw the inaugural International Championship held in Chengdu in China’s western Sichuan Province, which boasted a huge prizepool of £600,000. Because many of the best players are from UK and Asia, snooker betting online is popular both at UK bookmakers and Asian betting sites. In this article I covered only some of the snooker events available for betting. A few others include the World Cup, 6 Red World Championship, German Masters and Brazil Masters when held. For ones mentioned in this article, and other small competition not mentioned, www.bet365.com is the site most likely to offer betting odds.
Finding Good Bets
Snooker betting is a small market and therefore it is not wise for anyone to give away much strategy advice. The reason why is essentially alluded to in my article on the betting market. This said, I will provide a strong tip. A lot of the mid ranked players do not earn much of a living from the major tournaments. Some of these guys do however solely play snooker to earn their keeps. The tip is with deep Google search you can piece together players travel schedule, results, etc. in non-rankings and even private club tournaments. This is a great way to research form. The small limits snooker betting carries keeps bookmakers from doing too much in-depth handicapping. Professional punters are also kept at bay due to the limits. Researching form using other matches most other punters are not even aware exist is the best way to find value betting this sport.