Snooker is the type of billiards that attracts the most betting volumes these days. It is considered to be the most difficult type of billiard games, but due to its complex rules and interesting tactical features, it has thousands of professional players around the world.

The history of snooker: from the hobby of the colonists to sports discipline

According to legend, snooker was invented in the late 19th century by British colonists in India. At that time, young and green first-year cadets were called “snooker”, and while playing billiards, officer Neville Chamberlain called his opponent “snooker” in a difficult situation – it was necessary to play a colored ball, covered by others.

The nickname, however, was not attached to the player at all, but to the described game situation, which subsequently led to the development of snooker as a type of billiards, replete with such difficult situations.

The game is played with 15 red and colored balls. Initially, there were only 4 colored balls, but after 1890, including today – 6 colored balls. The rules of snooker were officially established in 1919, and the first world championships were held in the 1920s.

For a long time after the Second World War, snooker was in stagnation, rapid development began only after 1970. Television broadcasts of show matches of the best British snooker players attracted a lot of Western attention, and later, in the 1980s, the popularity of the species reached Asia.

The best players in modern snooker have citizenship not only of such traditional countries for this sport (England, Scotland, Australia), but also of Chinese, Thai or Taiwanese origin.

The game begins with the placement of 15 red pyramid-shaped balls and 6 colored balls in the positions indicated by the rules on the table. Apart from the cue, the snooker’s tool is the white cue ball, with the help of which other balls are pocketed.

The snooker player must take turns playing red and colored balls, and the colored ones, after a successful hit, are put back to their original position until the red ones run out. Least of all, at one point, the red ball is valued, and the most significant is the 7-point black. Shots are carried out in series until a miss, after which the move is passed to the opponent.

A match consists of a certain number of so-called “frames”. Depending on the status and stage of the tournament, a player needs to win from 4 (“best of seven”) to 18 frames (“best of 35”) to win. Within one frame, the absolute result is the “maximum break” – a situation in which the snooker player pockets balls in a row in an ideal sequence and scores 147 points.

Major tournaments for snooker betting

Until recently, the snooker calendar was not full of events, but after 2010, with the arrival of the functionary Barry Hearn, the situation began to change. The total number of tournaments, as well as the number of mentions in the media and broadcasts, is growing by leaps and bounds.

The most striking events are still three majors, which attract the most attention of billiard fans. The UK Championship is held in December, the second most important tournament in the world rankings. In January, the top 16 snooker players are going to another big tournament, the Masters.

And finally, in May, the culmination of the season takes place – the World Snooker Championship. This is an incredibly prestigious, but grueling and tough tournament for the best players – the competition lasts 17 days at the famous Crucible Theater in Sheffield, and in the final match it takes several days and 35 frames to determine the winner.

The top snooker players try not to get distracted and play the best at these three majors, but with the development of the calendar, tournaments outside of Britain have gained considerable importance.

Local Chinese “masters” received the greatest growth, for example, the Shanghai Masters or the China Open in Beijing, where many snooker stars usually come not only for points, but also for fat prizes – in 2018, the winner of the China Open received 225 thousand pounds. In addition to Shanghai and the China Open, there are three other big calendar tournaments in China, and three more in Germany, Wales and Australia.

Lines for big events in the world of snooker are offered by bookmakers all over the world, receiving huge volumes of bets. But snooker is not only about high-profile events – many tournaments with experimental formats take place all year round, in which star players often participate.

One of these is the 6-red World Championship, which is regularly featured on bookmaker lines. Instead of 15 red balls, there are only 6 on the table, which shortens the chronometers of the games and makes them more dynamic.

Types of snooker bets

For the winner . In every sport, you will find a bet on the winner of a match or competition. Snooker does not stand out here, the winner market is the most popular among the players. There is no tie in snooker, so you simply bet on which of the two snooker players will win the given number of frames first to win the match.

For total frames . The number of frames in a match depends on the level of the fight. In the “best of 13” format, for example, a maximum of 13 frames can be played when the score is 7: 6, and the minimum is 7 frames when the score is 7: 0.

You bet on the number of frames over / under a certain mark, in the case of equal opponents and games up to 7, you can find totals of 11.5 or 12.5. Also, on some events, bookmakers can offer a bet on the exact number of frames in a match – the odds are high, but it’s hard to guess.

On the frame winner . In the line before the match, as a rule, you can find odds for the winner of the first frame. The chance of randomness is higher than at the end of the entire match, and the difference in quotes between players of different levels is not so big. Live offices offer to bet on the winner of each subsequent frame during the match.

Head start . If in the first round, Mark Selby faces a little-known Thai player, you are unlikely to bet on one or the other to win. And you can make good money on the handicap – for example, by placing a handicap of -1.5 on Selby for 1.85, you are betting that the Englishman will win by at least 2 frames. The opposite can be the case, when you are confident in the underdog and insure with a handicap of +1.5.

For the maximum break . A bet that one of the players will reach the maximum 147 points per frame at least once in a match. Also, predictions are usually accepted simply for the best break – which of the two participants will have the most successful frame in the match.

Race to frames . A popular bet in protracted matches of the decisive stages of tournaments. In a 35-frame match lasting several days, you can predict which participant will win first, for example, 4 frames. You will see the result much faster than in the case of a match bet.

The winner of the tournament . It is rather difficult to determine in advance the winner of a big snooker tournament. The competition is high, and sometimes there can be more than 10 real applicants.

There are more chances to win, but you will find lower odds in the quotes for the various tops of the tournament – that a certain snooker player will at least reach the final or get into the top 4.

Choosing a game strategy: what to look for

When making your predictions for a major tournament, you should keep in mind that in snooker, a lot can decide … luck. Accordingly, this also affects snooker bets: events can unfold very unexpectedly. Even the most venerable snooker players in the early stages sometimes bring matters to a decisive frame, where the outcome of the game can be decided by fortune or an accidental mistake.

Some bettors wisely choose several snooker players at once to predict the victory in the tournament. In this case, the analysis of the competition grid will provide all possible assistance, because the bet will not make sense if the favorites are in one half of it.

When choosing a snooker player for a bet, it is necessary to evaluate his past form and results. You need to understand that some big name pros are overrated in the line, and you need to be on the lookout if a famous snooker player is not in the best frame of mind. The audience often “pushes” the line by betting on their favorites and thus makes the odds unprofitable.

Tracking relatively young and emerging snooker players can be a good tactic. The odds are more valuable, but finding the future opening of the tournament is not easy. Some lesser-known snooker players occasionally break into the world rankings with victories in second-rate tournaments, which shouldn’t bother you. The competition is lower there, and experienced professionals, as a rule, focus their training on the majors.

Therefore, in order to find a future star, you need to watch the matches more, note the nuances of the game and the tactical development of the player, and also monitor how he manifests himself over time in matches against really strong opponents.

Pay attention to the tournament format. Apart from modern exotic and experimental blitz formats, decisive matches in traditional snooker can be held, for example, with a limit of 9 frames or 35, as in the World Championship. In the second case, it will be more difficult for older snooker players to keep fit during the entire tournament, and even more so to confront an opponent in the final for several days in a row. For 9-frame matches of patience and endurance, mental and physical, less is needed, and technical prowess comes to the fore.

The country of the tournament can also make a difference, and the emerging powers in snooker are worth highlighting here. China and Hong Kong each year have more and more representation at the highest level. Their snooker players gain experience and compete with English-speaking players at the World Championships, and at home, in their Masters, they are able to show especially unexpected results.

Snooker is an individual sport, so sometimes, due to cockroaches in their heads, participants do not show the expected level. In this case, it is advisable to read more news and interviews of snooker players, follow their blogs and social networks.

There are frequent cases, especially for the British, when a good player serially does not show his level due to problems with depression, alcohol, and family troubles. Motivation is a fickle thing, you need to understand that snooker players are ordinary people with their own problems.

Betting during matches is widespread in snooker. Professional bettors have their own strategies and practices, noting the peculiarities of the game of snooker players.

For example, odds for winning a frame are very popular – a player can track when one of the snooker players has a good streak, but not enough to win, and the situation on the table (or the skill of the athlete) does not lead to the development of an advantage. Then, a significantly increased coefficient for the inferior participant in the frame may be beneficial.

During major tournaments, snooker predictions are also published on Legalbet: they can be used both to compare your own expectations with those of the forecasters, and as an aid in choosing a specific bet.