Snooker may not enjoy the same levels of popularity as some other sports these days, but it is something you will consistently find on all betting sites – certainly ones that have UK customers.
Its following is substantial enough that any UK-facing bookmaker would be foolish not to at least offer a small selection of odds for any upcoming action. Moreover, as the game gets increasingly global in nature, it is attracting fans from all over mainland Europe and Asia.
The situation does not look like changing any time soon either with snooker still enjoying decent media and TV coverage. Additionally, it is a sport that many bookmakers actively sponsor as they know audiences are sufficiently large to make it worth their while.
So, even though the sport may not be experiencing its heyday of the 1980s, it is still one you will be able to easily bet on for the foreseeable future.
How to Bet on Snooker
We are writing this article largely from a British perspective but if you live overseas your access to snooker odds and markets could well be different. This is primarily because whilst snooker is now a sport that receives global interest, the United Kingdom remains the place where it is most widely followed. This is reflected in the British dominance of players in the world rankings and also the number of tournaments that are held on these shores – especially the biggest ones. That said, the game is booming in popularity in China too, although this is not a country with a welcoming approach to gambling.
So, if you do live outside the UK, your preferred bookmaker may give you limited snooker coverage. This is less likely to be the case though if you pick a big global brand that operates in the UK and elsewhere. For those of you using such sites, snooker is a sport you can bet on all year round. Being both an indoor and physically undemanding sport has its benefits, and this means there is an almost constant supply of fixtures.
This is not to say there are back-to-back high-profile tournaments but there is rarely a long wait before the next snooker competition. Speaking of major tournaments, most of these are held in the UK. Not only is it home of the World Snooker Championships, based at Sheffield’s Crucible Theatre, but the UK Championship in York is another major meeting on the snooker calendar. Making up the final leg of the Triple Crown of the game’s major events is The Masters, held at Alexandra Palace, London, since 2012. Thanks to the high concentration of UK-based events, timings of matches are very friendly to a UK audience, making placing bets more convenient for them.
Main Bets on Snooker
As is the case with most sports, the bigger the contest, the more betting markets a betting site will typically provide. For a relatively minor affair, you may be limited to just the ‘match winner’ market and perhaps a small handful of others.
For more significant fixtures though, options can be plentiful and include some or possibly all of the options listed below.
- To Win – The most simple bet of the lot, just pick the player you think will win the match. Unlike in other sports, there will always be a winner as snooker matches cannot usually end up tied. Note, however, that there are some league and round-robin format events where the draw might be a possibility.
- Match Handicap – In the main match handicap market, a bookmaker will award one player with extra frames and subtract frames from the other. The idea is to balance out any differences to create two evenly matched betting options. These added/subtracted frames are applied to the real score and your job is to determine who will win the match with the handicap values applied.
- Alternative Match Handicap – Works exactly like the main match handicap market only you will see different subtracted/added frame values. This gives you a wide range of odds rather than just two evenly balanced options at around evens.
- Total Frames – A bet on how many frames there will be in a match, over/under the stated amount.
- Correct Score – Here you need to pick the exact frame score that the match will end, including in which player’s favour. For example, you might pick 6-3 to O’Sullivan.
- Correct Score First Four Frames – Often a much easier bet as you only need to call the scoreline after the first four frames, meaning there are only five betting options (4-0, 3-1, 2-2, 1-3, 0-4).
- Match Centuries – With this bet you are trying to guess how many centuries there will be in the match. Note this market relates to the combined total of both players. This bet usually involves betting over/under a stated amount or betting on the exact number.
- Player Centuries – As above except only centuries for the specified player will be counted.
- Highest Break – Which player will record the highest break in the match.
- 1st Frame Winner – A simple bet of who will win the first frame.
- Next Frame Winner – As above but who will win the next frame of a match.
- 1st Frame Break – Will the stated player reach a 50 or 100 break in the first frame.
- Race to Frames – Which player will be the first to reach the stated number of frames.
Other Types of Bet
Your most basic form of snooker betting involves placing a single stake on one market before the game begins.
There are other ways to stake your money on the action though including live-betting and accumulators.
Snooker’s slow pace means that it works well as a live-betting sport as punters have plenty of time to weigh up their bets. If a bookie offers pre-event odds for a snooker match, then there is a very good chance the clash will also appear on its live betting page.
As well as retaining some of the major markets such as winner, total frames handicap etc. in-play betting also enables punters to bet on the current or next frame. There can be a lot of frame specific markets such as frame handicap, frame foul (yes/no), first colour potted, to pot first ball, race to 30 points and so on.
By having all these extra markets that relate to the immediate play, punters can stay really engaged with the action and place quickly settled wagers. It is also worth mentioning that some bookmakers support live streaming for selected snooker matches on their website. If not, at the very least they should provide some key match stats such as the highest break and number of 50+ breaks. As with all live betting, note that images you are watching may not be 100% live, especially if you are streaming. Odds can change dramatically based on a single shot and so if a price looks far too good to be true, there is a chance that the state of the frame is not quite as it appears based on your stream or even TV footage.
If you are someone who likes to chase big returns then accumulators are likely to be right up your street. With an acca, you can combine one selection from multiple snooker matches (or even other sports) and combine them in the same single-stake bet.
You could, for instance, have a bet on Ali Carter and Shaun Murphy to win plus Mark Allen to win with a -2.5 frame handicap. The markets do not have to be the same, you just have to avoid picking more than one market from the same match. While this can end up creating a potential big payout from a small stake, with an acca you do need all selections to be winners. This is often far harder than it initially seems.
Much of snooker betting focuses on betting on an individual match, but what about having a punt on the winner of an upcoming tournament? This is what is known as outright betting and you can find it at all betting sites that offer snooker wagering. It should be available for every single tournament/league but you will certainly be able to bet on the outcome of major events such as the World Championships, UK Championship, British Open and The Masters. You can do this while the tournament is underway or beforehand, often many months earlier.
For outright bets, it is common that you will have the option to place an each-way bet at 1/2 odds covering the top two places. What this means is that half your total stake will go on the player to win, and half of it will go on them to finish in the top two (at half-price odds). With snooker, as with other sports such as football cups and tournaments, the top two typically means to lose in the final.
Note that there are often other outright bets available aside from simply which player will win a tournament. Popular ones include betting on how many centuries there will be at an event, whether there will be a 147 or not (a simple yes/no wager) and, one of the most popular, highest break – which player will register the highest break of the whole tournament.
Important Rules for Snooker Betting
No matter where you bet, there will be a set of rules for each sport. Thankfully, for snooker, the list of rules is about as short as they come. The below rules aim to serve as a general guide but be aware different sites may have their own policies that vary slightly in certain circumstances.
- Outright Bets – If you place a bet on a player to win the tournament but they end up not taking any part, bets will usually be marked void. Exceptions can apply though, especially if they have been defeated in a qualifying stage.
- Rule 4 – When betting on a tournament winner, rule 4 deductions may apply if there is a withdrawal of a player who was trading at under 10/1 or under 14/1. This means any winnings can be smaller than anticipated.
- Match Winner – If a match begins but is not completed, the person who progresses to the next round (or is officially deemed the winner) will be the winner for betting purposes.
- To Pot First Ball – This market does not include fouls/illegally potted balls.
- Highest Break (Frame) – If two players share the highest break, and you could not bet on a draw, all bets will be voided and stakes returned.
- Highest Break (Tournament) – In contrast, if two (or more) players share the highest break in a tournament, dead heat rules will typically apply. Here, your stake will be divided by the number of players involved in the dead heat, and the payout calculated from there.
- Re-racks – In the event of re-rack, bets that have already been settled will stand. Those that have not will be settled following the re-rack. All final result bets will be settled on the official result of the frame.
Snooker Betting Guides
Snooker is one of those sports that can be seen by people as more traditional. Perhaps this is because it is one of those rare games which can be played into old age, so you still see older people playing in snooker halls up and down the country. Snooker is going through something of a resurgence though, with 4.1 million people tuning in to watch the 2021 World Championships.
It is also a sport with a lot of interesting betting options, and there is lots of it being played too, so anyone who thinks snooker is not worth their time as a betting option could be missing out. What’s more, many players stay in the game for a very long time, which means there is a lot of statistical information online that is easy to find, and any research you do remains useful so the time you put in is well spent.