Introduction to Snooker
Snooker is probably best described as a variant of an older game called billiards, which is itself based on an even older game called carom. It’s a cue sport played on a large rectangular table covered in a material called baize, which is a woollen cloth and is typically coloured green for snooker tables.
In the well-known game of pool, the balls are divided into two types. These are indicated either by different colours or by a solid colour and stripes. When the player breaks the pack by striking the white cue ball into them, one of the types is selected, and the player then attempts to sink only those.
Snooker is different. All of the balls on the table are available to play by either player, but there’s a particular order in which to play them. At the beginning of each turn, a player may only strike a red with the cue ball. If he sinks a red, then he may select a follow-up shot on a coloured ball.
These colours all have specific values ranging from 1-7, in the following order: red (1), yellow (2), green (3), brown (4), blue (5), pink (6), and black (7). Obviously, the player will attempt to score as highly as possible from each turn, and so it’s desirable to play the black wherever possible.
The coloured balls are replaced (or respotted) in their places on the table until the reds have all been sunk. Once this happens, the colours must be sunk in order from yellow to black. A perfect frame of snooker is when a player plays reds and blacks exclusively, and then all of the colours in order, in a single visit to the table.
This is called a 147, in reference to the points (15 reds with 15 blacks and all the colours combine for a score of 147). The 147 is a flawless frame of snooker and is a rarity outside of the professional game, where it usually carries a substantial cash bonus for the player who scores one in competitive play.
The snooker calendar is chock-full of events all around the globe, and in the past decade or two, has taken the Asian world by storm, particularly in China. Nevertheless, the major tournaments still take place in Europe, and here’s a run-down of them.
- Snooker Masters
Inaugurated in 1975, the Snooker Masters is the second oldest tournament in the game, right after the World Championship. It isn’t a ranking event but is nevertheless considered to be among the most prestigious tournaments in the world.
- World Championship
The Snooker World Championships is the oldest and most esteemed tournament in the snooker calendar. It began way back in 1927, with Joe Davis emerging as the champion. Today it boasts the biggest prize money purse in the sport, with over £2 million in prizes, including half a million for the winner.
- UK Championship
Together with the Masters and the World Champs, the UK Championship forms the Triple Crown of snooker. It’s the youngest of the three, having been set up in 1977. Along with the World Championship, it’s a ranking event (unlike the Masters). It currently boasts a total prize purse in excess of £1 million, making it a massive draw.
- Premier League
The Premier League began back in 1987 and has undergone a number of rebrandings and reformatting. From 2013 on, it has been officially called the Champion of Champions, although many still call it by its older name.
- Scottish Open
Another championship that underwent numerous changes of name, this competition began in 1981. It’s now a ranking event in the snooker calendar and is considered very highly in snooker circles. It boasts almost half a million pounds in prize money, with the winner netting a cool £70,000.
Where to Bet on Snooker
Given the explosion of snooker in recent years, it’s hard to find a bookie that hasn’t got odds on the game. It has rocketed in popularity, especially in the Asian world. Betway, Paddy Power, William Hill, and all the others you could care to name cover the game of Snooker. Wherever you like to take a punt, you should be able to find snooker on the books.
The tips are all there online, and your option of sites is vast. Live snooker betting is the way forward for snooker betting sites, and it’s hard to imagine a better way of having snooker betting explained than by simply jumping in.
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Snooker Facts and History
There are differing accounts of the origin of snooker, but a few facts are considered certain. During the period of British occupation of India called The Raj, soldiers stationed there played several kinds of cue sports to pass the time.
Among these games were various types of pool and billiards, both of which are developed from a 17th-century game called carom. Somewhere along the line, these soldiers combined aspects of pool with billiards and arrived at a game very like modern snooker.
The game is played on a billiards table, but with six pockets like a pool table. This winning combination proved very popular among the soldiers and was subsequently brought back with them when they returned to England. It proved to be just as popular back home.
Almost immediately, snooker clubs began popping up all over the UK. This quickly led to competitions between these clubs, and in 1916 the English Amateur Championships were held. Not long after, the first Professional World Championship was held.
Snooker thus had its first champion, in the figure of Joe Davis. Since his day, champions have come and gone, but the game has steadily risen in the popular imagination. To this day, snooker clubs are common throughout the UK.
When the BBC began broadcasting in color in the late 60s, snooker was a big hit on television. In part, this was because of the multi-colored balls, but also because of its natural tactical side. Viewers were invited to engage with the on-screen battle.
The game of Snooker is made for television and is also the ideal game for a wager. It simply lends itself to betting, and indeed the snooker betting scene is enormous. With the recent spectacular rise of the game in China, the viewing figures are through the roof for the sport, and there’s no doubt the same is true of the online betting scene.
Whether you’re completely new to the game or know a little about it, snooker is so much more than a pastime. The more you watch, the more its complex and strategic nature comes out.
How to bet on snooker?
You have quite a few options open to you. You can go for snooker outright betting, spreads, or take a more specific punt on the outcome of a particular frame, for example. The choice is yours!
Where can I bet on snooker?
The world’s your oyster in terms of alternatives. All the big names have a book for snooker, and most of the smaller guys too.
How do I win big on snooker?
There are some mild bets out there, and those can be fun. To win big, though, you have to know your onions and take a shot on something you’ve spotted, such as a particular player’s form leading up to the event.
Is there much of a snooker betting scene?
It’s massive, simply massive. With every tournament, millions of pounds flow through the scene, especially online. This has rippled across the globe, and the waves have reached the shores of the US online betting scene too.