The following online betting sites have been chosen as the best places to bet on snooker based on the promotions, markets and odds they offer. All of the sites offer a free bet which can be used to bet on snooker markets.
Snooker Betting Guide
Snooker has been somewhat of a sleeping giant of the betting world for some time. The sport has definitely seen a decline in terms of viewing figures and even the exposure to the sport on TV over the years. The hay-days of the 70’s, 80’s and even 90’s are gone and snooker has had to rebuild its image.
The inclusion of Barry Hearn to the head of the World Snooker Corporation has seen new life injected into the sport. Hearn is a founding member of Match Room sports which works with some the UK’s biggest bookmakers including Sky Bet, Stan James, Tote Sport and Boyle Sport; and it’s these companies that are starting to plough money back into snooker to raise interest in the sport. It doesn’t take a genius to work out that the inclusion of sponsorship money from companies such as these will only benefit bettors looking to place a wager on snooker. As more people come through their doors in terms of bettors the more money the company will throw at the sport, and the better for all involved.
How To Bet On Snooker
As we have mentioned, snooker is more of a sport that is growing in the betting world, rather than an established sport flourishing. More and more bookmakers continue to open up a host of markets from a number of national and international snooker events. This gives you, the punter, a wide variety of bookmakers to go and place your bets with, meaning you will get better value for money on odds and also free bets.
We have listed some of the more common snooker betting markets below along with a short description of how each market functions.
- To Win Match – Pretty straightforward, simply choose which player you think will win the match. There are no draws in snooker apart from the Premier League, where unlike most tournaments it’s a league format rather than a knockout tournament.
- First Frame – Simply choose which player will win the first frame. In the event of a re-rack then it will be that who wins the re-rack. This market can also be adapted for each frame of the match and will turn in-play once the game has started.
- 50 or More Break – Select which player will score a break of 50 or more in a specific frame. Similarly to the last market, this will turn live once the game starts and you can select each market.
- Break of 100 or More – Again like the last market, although this time it’s whether either player will score a hundred break or more.
- Frame Betting – You can select the correct score for each match in this market. So first you select which player you think will win and then select the score.
- Winning Margin – This market allows you to select the winning margin of the game in frames. First select which player you think will win then choose the margin of victory in number of frames.
Snooker Betting Rules
Listed below are some snooker betting rules that are industry standard.
- Should a player withdraw from a game after that game has started then the player progressing to the next round is deemed the winner.
- If a player withdraws from the tournament prior to the tournament starting then bookmakers can enforce Rule 4 and adjust the odds as they see fit. Any bets affected will be adjusted at the bookmaker’s discretion.
In Play Betting
Snooker might be a bit of a shrinking violet in the betting industry at the minute, but when it comes to live or in-play betting, there are few sports that are better. The key when betting in-play is to think like a snooker player. You hear them talk of being 3, 4 or even 5 shots in front of the actual pot they are taking, just to make sure they don’t lose position on the table.
There are often scenarios in frames where players get a 30 or 40 point lead, and just looking at the score line you would say they are big favourites to win the frame; but, watching live you know two reds are tucked away on the top cushion and one on the bottom cushion, resulting in a very tough task for the player to clear up.
Any chance the opposing player gets to play can’t be underestimated from a betting perspective. If you can see opportunities that might arise in the frame where they can take advantage, then you need to jump.
Another positive with snooker is that you get a bit of time to react to certain situations. It’s a far cry from the fastest sport in the world, and unlike football for example, a split second isn’t likely going to change the whole outcome of a frame or even match.
It does help at this point to have some knowledge of the sport though. If you are able to identify when players are in good spots and when they are in tricky spots, this will help from a betting perspective.
Another area of in-play betting that is massively overlooked with snooker betting is that of laying your bets. You can do this by using any betting exchange, such as Betfair, and it’s very easy to do.
A decent strategy that we’ve seen many a successful bettor use is a simple backing and laying policy. They wait to see the first player to get in amongst the balls in a frame, laying for a small amount, in the hope that they miss and the other player takes the frame.
At this point you are able to back the other player to lock in for a profit, or let your lay bet run if you think they aren’t going to get back to the table.
Compared to football, you’d be right in thinking that there aren’t all that many resources out there dedicated to betting on snooker, although there is one site that is bucking the trend of late; Cuetracker.net.
The site is about as in depth as you are going to find for stats, and an absolute godsend when it comes to forming your research for your snooker bets. You’re able to sort stats by status, categories, scope and date range, to see up to the minute data.
Once you’ve sorted all that out, you get to see things such as points scored, average points per visit, average shot time, in depth scores and so much more. It’s a brilliant feature to use and we think something that all serious punters betting on snooker should be adding to their armoury.
An interesting feature on the site is their predictions section. This is solely a stats based section that allows you to see just who they think will win a certain match based on numbers. Looking back through their results they have a very good track record, with most tournament matches being predicted at over 65%, and some as high as 75% per match.
The match ups are where the money is though. It’s like head to head betting on football using something like soccerstats.com. The data is massive, but it can be a little overwhelming as well, so you need to know where to look.
All in all, considering the whole site is free and bang up to date, it’s probably going to be your biggest friend when betting on snooker.
Snooker Shootout et al
One of the ways in which Barry Hearn has tried to transform the sport is by offering different types of events. They’ve clearly tried to follow the same path as the darts when they made the PDC away from the BDO, trying to create more atmosphere and getting away from the ‘best of order’ brigade.
The Snooker Shootout is one of those tournaments. It’s played over a 1 frame shootout and there are shot clocks for each player. The crowd are encouraged to sing and make noise, something that is totally alien to most snooker die-hards.
Whilst the jury is still out as to the success of the event, with many of the top players deciding not to enter it’s likely that it will do well over the years, if only as something a little bit different.
From a betting perspective though, it’s without doubt one to avoid. A 1 frame shootout is not something that you want to be invest any serious money into. Sure, have a casual flutter if you must, but for most games you could flip a coin and it likely wouldn’t be a bad shout. The format is designed to be fast and frenetic and not to be bet on.
Snookers links with betting companies
Match Room sports, owned by Barry Hearn, has had and still does have a number of ties within the betting industry. The likes of Stan James and Sky Bet have been linked with the Match Room brand previously so it’s not a huge surprise to see a flurry of bookmakers getting in one some lucrative sponsorship deals within the sport.
The fall out of the tobacco industry and sports sponsorships in the early 2000’s left a huge financial hole for snooker to fill – a lot of the tournaments were named after exactly these products such as Embassy, Benson & Hedges and Marlboro.
These days though, snooker is much more commonly linked with bookmakers, the biggest of which at the minute has to be Betfred, who are sponsors of the World Championships. In fact, since Embassy dropped their sponsorship deal with the ‘World’s’ in 2005, only bookmakers have been the face of the tournament, including the likes of 888, Betfair, Dafabet, and Betfred.
Ladbrokes are another high-profile bookmaker getting in on the sponsorship deals, with their link to the World Grand Prix and the Players Champions.
Whilst it’s unknown what sort of money each bookie is bringing to the table, it’s much needed funds for what is really a diminishing sport. It’s badly needed the face lift that Hearn and Co. are trying to deliver, and with enough money it will flourish again.
Sponsorships with the bookmakers is key for the sport as it keeps them relevant to a strong target market. If the bookies have a vested interest, which they clearly do given how many are involved these days, then you’d say that the future is definitely looking up, especially when you consider the previous tobacco company interest which gave off the wrong impression and the wrong type of exposure for the sport.
We spoke earlier about how well live betting works with snooker, but we wanted to add to that with handicap betting. It’s another great little market that often gets overlooked by punters who aren’t keen to utilise it.
The thing is, for a lot of the bigger tournaments you find players who might be ranked top 5 in the world playing against qualifiers not even in the top 50. The odds are, as you would imagine, not going to be great, so it really offers little to no value betting on these guys.
However, it’s actually pretty rare to see snooker players blow their opponents away, even in a total miss match in world rankings. The best in the world often take time to really get going, so the handicap system works well for these early rounds.
We like to target games where we can back a relatively in-form underdog to maybe not win, but be within a certain number of frames, or at least enough to allow our handicap bet to come in. If you utilise the likes of cuetracker.net you can see which players are coming in hot and who is out of form.
Remember, for this to work out we don’t necessarily need the payer to win, just not to disgrace themselves. This is the beauty of handicap betting.