A couple of centuries ago, snooker was enjoyed in blacked-out snooker halls with smoke and pints. But things have since changed for the better. Like darts, snooker has evolved over the past five decades into one of the best spectator sports in the UK. In this guide, we shall go through its history and identify the best snooker betting sites available.
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A brief history of snooker
Snooker has its roots in English billiards. Billiards was a popular game among the British army outposts and those serving in India. The goal of the game was to hit the billiard balls into the table holes using a cue ball.
In the 1800s, the billiard multiplayer options arose. The games included a pyramid pool. In this variation, 15 balls were used with a white cue ball and players earned a point for every red ball that they potted. Black pool followed closely. This variation added a black ball to the game. If this ball was potted, the player earned additional points.
In 1875, it was suggested that more colored balls be added to the game. This decision saw the introduction of pink, green, and yellow balls. Blue and brown balls were added to the game way later when the game had already taken form.
From India, the sport was introduced to England by John Roberts, the billiard champion in 1885 and Chamberlain. But even after the introduction of the game in England, it remained an amateur sport for a long time.
The first-ever snooker championships were held in 1916. However, it wasn’t until 1927 that Joe Davis created the professional world championship of snooker. Davis won the first tournament and bagged £6 as prize money. Back then, the standards weren’t too high. By 1930, the sport had started to gain popularity. However, Davis was still winning the Championships. His winning streak continued to 1946. After the WWII the championships were canceled.
The sport only came back to the limelight in 1969. And with the help of Barry Hearn, it slowly gained popularity. By the end of the 1980s, there were more than 200 professional snooker players. This number increased to 400 in the 1990s
In 2010, Barry Hearn became the chairman of the World Professional Billiard and Snooker Association. He embarked on a reforming journey. A couple of new tournaments were introduced, including the World Open, Sky sports, premier league, and player’s tour championships. Invitations to sports and new player ranking increased the potential of players getting sponsorships.
And when tobacco advertising was banned, betting sites got involved in snooker games and championships.
Types of snooker bets
Since snooker doesn’t have much of a history or tradition, it has some limited snooker markets. Even the best online betting sites have limited markets. However, when the big tournaments are in play, the few available types of bets can be of great benefit. To get you prepared, here are some of the most popular snooker bet types.
Players to pot first red
In this bet, you simply bet on the player that you think will pot the first legal red in a given frame.
This bet is offered in a match as a whole or a frame of a match. With this, you are required to decide how many points the players will score in a match. Generally, these are often presented as under or over markets with points for under or over.
This is the bread and butter of snooker betting. The match result market is generally available for different events and tournaments. Like you’ve already guessed, punters have to guess which player will win the match.
For the snooker matches that have a range of betting options, there are several century break markets. Generally, this is a market enquiring if a century will be scored. The markets asking you to predict the centuries scored during a match are also available.
This is similar to correct score betting on football markets. Frame betting allows you to bet on the final score of a match. In the longer formats, including Championships, there can be a variety of score lines available.
What to consider when choosing a snooker betting site
Ways to bet
The betting sites have two things in common; competitive pricing and a vast range of markets that go beyond the handicap markets and traditional wins. The most common betting markets are tournament winner and outright match-winner. However, as mentioned above, there’s a wide range of markets available.
With the specials, you can place wagers like which player will pot the first red ball of a specific frame, and the color of the first ball that goes down the table. Additionally, the site you choose should have live betting options.
In-play betting market
In-play betting markets are perfect for snooker players. Like tennis, snooker is popular and an individual game. The momentum shifts suddenly, and outrageous comebacks are made. Snooker betting is lucrative and volatile.
Best online betting sites for snooker (review roundup)
Betway is a competitive site with a broad market. However, they create their own niches of not so popular sports in the UK. Snooker is one of these sports.
Betway sponsors the UK Championship, and one of the events included is snooker. The best thing about Betway is that it has an in-depth market to choose from.
This site sponsors big competitions in the snooker world. As such, you expect the site to have good coverage. They have full markets for the UK Championships, the World Championships, as well as the Master Tournaments. Betfred offers numerous lines through these tournaments.
Among the top reasons why most bettors prefer Betfred is that it has one of the best prices in the industry.
Paddy Power has a host of promotions for snooker competitions and tournaments. And unlike other betting sites, it offers these main snooker events in conjunction with other games and players outside the Championship season.
This is a huge British bookie that has excellent snooker coverage. We can’t fault them for their market depth. The site has a live streaming option as well.
Although their odds aren’t always the best you can find in the industry, on average, they have great prices. In fact, you may not find prices that beat those of William Hill.
This betting site was launched in 2000 and has revolutionized the betting industry by enabling punters to bet amongst themselves. The best thing about them is that they include even the smallest sports in the UK. For this reason, you can’t miss out on great snooker betting deals, promotions, and bonuses.
When you first sign up to the site, you get a bonus, which is a big plus. You’ll also fall in love with their vast markets.
Most people only bet on a few sports. If you are one of those people, there is no harm in trying to dip your hands in snooker betting. Look into the markets we’ve outlined above and the betting site suggestions we’ve made for the best prices, promotions, market options, and bonuses.
But since snooker is a relatively small sport, you shouldn’t expect it to have quite deep markets, but with time, it’s bound to grow into a vast industry.