Snooker Betting Strategy: An Introduction to Betting on Snooker

Snooker has grown as a sport dramatically over the past two decades and because of that, betting on snooker has also evolved and developed into a huge market. With so many new snooker tournaments on the circuit, you will find betting opportunities pretty much every week of the year, and because of that more and more people are now betting on snooker. When you add to this the extensive TV coverage that is now available and the extra betting markets, snooker betting is now very big and an area of opportunity for punters. Instead of waiting for the big events to come around, you can bet on snooker weekly and that is what appeals to a lot of people.

While the change in schedule has been great for punters, it does also throw up another element to think about when betting on snooker and that is fatigue. When betting on snooker you now need to factor in how much a player has played recently, is he in or out of form and is he fatigued and in need of a rest. With so many tournaments taking place it is expected that players will tire throughout the season, and have to rest. They will also drift in and out of form because of this, and knowing when to strike is just as difficult as knowing who to pick when you are studying a snooker tournament.

When players are in form I often find it worthwhile to follow them, as they often hold their form for a few tournaments in a row, especially if they are close together. This is much more evident now that we have more tournaments and has added another element to think about before placing your bets on the upcoming tournaments. It makes things harder, but with the right studying, you may find a value bet because a player is in good form, against someone who looks tired, despite your selection being ranked lower than their opponent.

Understand Tournament Rules

With so many different tournaments throughout the year, it is very important to understand the rules and length of each tournament before betting. For example, some tournaments will last for one week, with players playing each day in short games usually best of seven frames. However, other tournaments will be much longer, lasting 2 weeks or more and these will feature longer games, but with breaks in between. Different players react differently to the tournament styles and you may find value by picking someone out who plays well in the shorter format if that is the event coming up next.

I often find that the shorter format is more prone to shock results, due to the need to only win four frames to win a game. The lower ranked players are used to playing these games because when qualifying for events they have to play in them, meaning they have experience. They know the importance of a fast start and sometimes a big name will struggle in these events because they take time to warm up and can be caught cold by their opponent.

Alternative Markets

One of the biggest problems with snooker betting is that the standard market is a two-way market between two players and this can often result in many long odds-on shots. However, thanks to the growth in both the game and betting on it, we have a number of alternative markets that can be used in these instances if you would still like to bet on the games.

Handicap Betting

Handicap betting is associated with American sports and other sports like rugby where the score lines can be very big and one-sided. However, handicap betting has also found a place in snooker and it is a great market that I use a lot of the time when I am looking to find extra value. The majority of bookmakers will price up a handicap line on snooker games and what they do here is they create a fictional level playing field between the players. This makes betting on the match a lot more interesting and the odds on this market are much better if you think the favourite will win the game. This is a way of adding value to your bet, and something that is proving to be very popular.

Here is an example of a snooker handicap bet.

If Mark Selby is playing a snooker match over 11 frames against a lower ranked opponent then he will be long odds-on to win the match. To win the match he has to win six frames, and if you think he will win comfortably, then you can take a look at the handicap market on offer to get more value on your bet.

On the handicap betting in a short game like this, Selby is likely to be offered at -2.5 on the handicap line. This means that his opponent is receiving a 2.5 frame start in the game, to try and bring the players closer together. In this instance, Selby has to win the game either 6-0, 6-1, 6-2 or 6-3 for your bet to win. If he wins the game by a smaller margin, or he loses the game then you will lose your bet.

This makes the bet harder to land, but if you think Selby will win comfortably then this is a great way to add value to your bet. Instead of backing him at the long odds on price in the standard market, you will get a much better price on Selby by using the handicap. The reward is there if you think the additional risk is worth it and that is up to you to decide based on the game you are betting on.

Betting Outright

If you want to bet on someone to win a tournament then you will need to take a look at the outright market. You can bet outright either before a tournament starts, or during the tournament if someone impresses you in the early rounds. It is a great way for fans to get involved for small stakes and gives you a player to cheer on in every game he plays. If you want to back your favourite player then backing them to win outright will give you one price and one bet for the whole event, instead of short prices for each game they play.

Betting Outright to Reach Semi-Finals

This is one of my favourite snooker markets and one I always look out for when I am looking at an upcoming tournament. A snooker draw is split into four sections, and the winners of each section will make the semi-finals and face each other. This means that when you are betting on a player to reach the semi-finals, what you are actually doing is backing him to win the section that he has been drawn in.

When you look at the draw you can see what players he will have to beat and often you can find good value if you can spot a player who potentially has a good draw for the event. You don’t have to worry about the big picture, you can just focus on the players in that section and try and work out for yourself who your chosen player will have to take on.

In Play Snooker

In-play betting has grown massively in recent years and snooker has become part of that growth. With the slow pace that snooker is played at, it is perfect for in-play betting because not a great deal can happen while you are trying to place your bet. This means if you want to, you can watch a frame or two of a game before deciding which way to bet or bet during a frame if you want to take what you think is value at that point.

There are many markets available in-play that are not available before the match starts and these are also worth looking at. These markets are things like ‘to win next frame’ or ‘to win session’ at the longer events and they can offer value if you believe a player is on a roll, or his opponent looks out of form or tired. This gives you a bet on a small part of the match, instead of the whole match and especially in very long matches this can be profitable.

To take advantage and win on these markets you really need to be watching the game and taking a look at who you believe to be on top, and if one player is fading. By striking at the right time you can place a bet on someone just before they win a few frames in a row because you have caught them just as they are playing into form.

Snooker is great for in-play betting and it is certainly something to consider next time you are watching a game.