Right on Cue – Tips to Betting on Snooker
With more tournaments than ever, coupled with long-standing television deals with some of the most prominent broadcasters, snooker is still managing to pull in the punters after coming out the end of a period of stagnation. Since Barry Hearn invested in the sport in 2010, the game has expanded across the world drawing attention from the four corners of the globe.With 38 tournaments in the 2017-18 season (20 of them classed as ranking events), there is plenty for the public to get excited about from betting perspective.
Latvia, India, China, Germany, Belgium, England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales and Gibraltar all stage ranking events, with the tour stretching out to Turkmenistan and Romania in the non-ranking versions.
With the calendar now slightly diluted with the sheer volume of competition, many players find themselves burning out through specific periods of the campaign; the media has reported on notable cases of player unrest as the frequent travel in the life of a snooker player begins to take its toll.
There are still the three main focal points of the snooker season: the UK Championship, the Masters and the World Championship, with the China Open, Players Championship and German Masters playing second fiddle to the three main jewels in the crown.
Snooker’s reach as a sport has been phenomenal over the past decade with 21 nations being present on the main tour; this is a rapid progression from the limited action on offer at the end of the 2000s.
The most popular snooker bets are as follows:
Outright tournament –picking the player who you think will reign victorious at aspecific tournament.
To reach the final – picking a player who you predict will reach the final at a specificevent.
To win the quarters –backing a player to advance through to the quarter-finals ofthe draw, thus sealing a place in the semi-finals.
To win the match –picking the outright winner of the contest (draws not possible)
Handicap betting –backing either player to start the contest with a positive ornegative handicap. For example, you could wager John Higgins to win a battle after beginning with a -2.5 frame handicap. For example, in a race to six frames, Higgins would have to win 6-3 or better for the bet to win.
Correct score –predicting the exact frame score of the contest.
Frame winner –picking who you think will win the next frame. Also, a favouriteoption when betting ‘In-Play’.
Total frames –allowing you to predict the number of games that will prevail in thematch. If you are expecting a close encounter, backing all eleven legs in a race to six could prove profitable.
Total centuries –predicting the number of centuries that will be made by the playersin the match. This type of wager can also work as an ‘under/over’ bet with various values at 0.5, 1.5, 2.5, 3.5 etc.
Highest break –backing which player you think will make the highest break in thecontest.
147 break in the match –backing whether there will be a 147 break in the match ornot (usually a price around 26.0 can be found in supporting the 147 maximum break).
In snooker, the form of a player is crucial. With the incredibly draining schedule across a multitude of countries, players will often struggle to keep their consistency throughout the season with standards dropping for sustained periods. The best value is in backing the form player even if he is considered a significant underdog.
Ronnie O’Sullivan has proved as much of a nightmare as he has a godsend in recent years for his unpredictability on the table; this has translated into betting opportunities won and lost. With a player like Ronnie proving a real enigma on tour, the value bets in backing his opponent early on in tournament are possible, where it is clear he doesn’t have any interest in participating.
This is just one example of backing a player lacking in form or has a slight injury on tour. With ranking points up for grabs, the higher ranked guys are often reluctant to drop out of tournaments even though they know they haven’t got the form to go all the way – this is where the savvy punter can capitalise in backing the opponent.
Analysing the initial tournament draw can also provide excellent value. Form players can come into their own and earn you a solid return. In your standard 128 player draw, targeting a player that you feel can advance into the semi-finals by effectively ‘winning their quarter’ of the draw will often prove profitable. Through being able to roughly predict the obstacles that will be in the player’s way to reach the semi-final, it is often easier to pick the quarter winner than the latter stages of the tournament.
This is in effect picking a player to win their first five matches of the tournament; if they are in form and in a quarter with inexperienced players, then it’s a selection worth making.
It’s worth looking at the players outright prices within the quarter to determine how competitive that quarter is deemed by the bookmakers, and whether your selection shows good value to progress.
Through watching snooker, you’ll soon learn the traits and characteristics of individual players, which in turn, will enable you to be the judge for yourself if they are in form or not. If they are a prolific heavy break-builder yet they are struggling to piece more than 20-30 points on their early breaks; it would suggest that they are worth steering clear of in any tournament betting markets.
However, a player’s lack of form can also be used to your advantage in the early rounds of tournaments. The best of the best often find a way to dig themselves out of holes when the chips are down. In-Play betting can be utilised here with prices holding immense value if a favourite is losing a match early in the tournament. Comebacks are very common in snooker, so finding a player like Mark Selby 3-0 down in a race to five could yield a price as high as 6.0 for a win that wouldn’t be particularly ground-breaking (opponent dependant).
As is true with most sports betting – be patient and trust your knowledge. If you put the hours into studying the non-ranking events and qualifying tournaments you should have a solid frame of experience to predict who is due to run well in a competition.
You have to remember that you are pitting your knowledge against the odds compilers, and if your understanding is superior regarding a particular player or tournament, then you are likely to draw value from the market.
Knowledge is power, so be certain you know what you’re betting on before you place your bet. With so many different tournaments now on tour it’s hard to keep up with the formats of each one; how many frames are there in each round? Is there a shot-clock? Is it the Snooker Shoot-Out or the Six-red World Championship where the rules change entirely? You need a clear picture of the tournament before you place your bet or you’re effectively spending money on the unknown, Imagine putting a wager on a player to win a match when they are 2-0 and 60 points down in a race to three (the unusual format of the Championship League).
With more snooker available now than ever, the more opportunity we have as punters to find the best bets and best value possible. Staying one step ahead of the odds compilers is crucial to do so. However, that requires a solid foundation of knowledge hard to keep on top of in a sport like snooker.
Snooker is one of the most mentally exhausting sports, requiring hours and hours of concentration back-to-back. For this reason, upsets occur in snooker more so than in other sports. However it will also favour those who have the most experience in digging themselves out of trouble. Form, tournament formats, and player styles can all
be a consideration, and if you trust the player you’ve studied, you should have a fair idea of how far he can progress in any given tournament. Upsets are common in non-ranking events, so choose your competition wisely; it’s been a good number of years, however, since that a rank outsider has won one of the big three.