Snooker: What is it and how do you bet on it
Snooker is the game in billiards that attracts the largest amount of attention these days. It is considered to be the most difficult of the pool games, but thanks to complex rules and interesting tactical features it has thousands of professional players around the world.
The history of snooker: from the fascination of colonists - to a legitimate sports discipline
According to legend, snooker was invented in the late 19th century by British colonists in India. "Snooker" was called young and green cadets for the first year, and during the game of billiards officer Neville Chamberlain while playing an opponent called him”, got into a quandary and realized it was necessary to play a coloured ball, enclosed by others.
The nickname, however, was attached not to the player, but to the described game situation, which subsequently led to the development of snooker as a kind of billiards, full of many difficult provisions.
The game is played in 15 red and six coloured balls. Initially, there were only four coloured balls, but after 1890, and up to today - six coloured balls. The snooker rules were officially enshrined in 1919, and the first world championships were held in the 1920s.
For a long time after the second World War snooker was stagnant, the rapid development of the game began only after 1970. Television broadcasts of the best British snooker matches attracted a lot of attention from the Western public, and later, in the 1980s, the popularity of the competition reached Asia.
The best players in modern snooker have citizenship not only in the traditional countries for the sport (England, Scotland, Australia), but also come from Chinese, Thai or Taiwanese origin.
The game begins with the arrangement on the table of 15 red balls in the shape of a pyramid and 6 coloured balls in the positions designated by the rules. The tool of snooker, in addition to a cue stick, is a white cue ball which is used to drive other balls into the pockets.
A snooker player is obliged to take turns between red and coloured balls. For example, after successfully pocketing a red ball, the player must then sink a coloured ball in the next shot and vice versa. The least valuable is the red balls which are worth only one point each, and the most significant is the 7-point black ball. Each player takes shots until he fails to pocket a ball thus ending his turn, after which the opponent will take his turn until he misses and so on.
The match consists of a certain number of frames, like bowling. Depending on the status and stage of the tournament, to win the player must win from 4 ("best of seven") to 18 frames ("best of 35"). Within one frame, the perfect result is the "maximum break" - a situation in which the snooker player in perfect sequence pockets all the balls in one turn and scores 147 points.
Major tournaments for snooker betting
Traditionally, the snooker calendar was not rife with activities, but after 2010, with the arrival of 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 the three majors that attract the most attention of billiards’ fans. In December, the British Championship, the second most important tournament in the world rankings, takes place. In January, the top 16 snooker players will play another big tournament - the Masters.
And finally, in May there is the culmination of the season - the World Snooker Championship. This is an incredibly prestigious but gruelling and difficult tournament for the best players - the competition lasts 17 days at the famous Crucible Theatre in Sheffield, and the final match takes multiple days and 35 frames to name the winner.
Top snooker players, of course, try to play their best game at these three majors, but with the development of the calendar, tournaments outside of Britain have also gained considerable importance.
Local Chinese Masters, such as the Shanghai Masters or the China Open in Beijing, are tournaments where many snooker stars usually come not only for points but also for bold prize money. In addition to Shanghai and China Open, China hosts three other "big calendar" tournaments, with three more taking place in Germany, Wales and Australia.
Lines for big events in the world of snooker are offered by bookmakers around the world, receiving huge volumes of bets. But it's not just high-profile events that are live on snooker - there are a lot of tournaments with experimental formats all year round, in which star players often participate.
One of these is the six-red World Championship, regularly presented in the lines of bookmakers. Instead of 15 red balls on the table, there are only six, which reduces the chronometers of the games and makes them more dynamic.
Types of snooker bets
The winner. In each sport, there will be a bet on the winner of the match or competition. Snooker is no exception, and the market for the winner is the most popular among bettors. There is no draw in snooker, so you just bet which of the two snooker players will be the first to win the set number of frames needed to win a match.
On the total of the frames. The number of frames in a match depends on the level of the competition between the two. In the "best of 13" format, for example, a maximum of 13 frames can be played finishing with a score of 7:6, and the minimum - 7 frames in the defeat 7:0.
You bet on the number of frames more/less than a certain mark set by the bookmakers. In the case of equal opponents and matchups up to seven you can find totals of 11.5 or 12.5. Also, for some events bookmakers can offer a bet on the exact number of frames in the match - the odds are high, but it is difficult to guess.
The winner of the frame. In the pre-match line, you can usually find odds on the winner of the first frame. The possibility of chance is higher than the results of the whole match, and the difference in quotations between players of different levels is usually not significant. In the live office, you can offer to bet on the winner of each subsequent frame during the match.
For a head start. If Mark Selby meets a little-known Thai player in the first round, you are unlikely to bet on the winner because it will be too obvious. However, on the handicap, you can earn well - for example, putting a handicap -1.5 on Selby for 1.85, you are betting that the Englishman will win at least with a difference of 2 frames. There may also be a reverse situation when you are confident in the underdog and are insured by the handicap of 1.5.
Maximum break. Bet that one of the players during one match will score a maximum of 147 points in at least one frame. 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 the frames. Popular bet in the protracted matches of the decisive stages of tournaments. In a match of 35 frames lasting several days, you can make a prediction as to which of the participants will win the first, for example, five frames. You will see the result much faster than in the case of a bet on the match.
The winner of the tournament. It is difficult to determine in advance the winner of a big tournament in snooker. Competition is high, and there can be more than ten serious competitors present. There are more chances to win, but smaller odds in quotes on different places of the tournament – these are bets 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 a prediction for a major tournament, you should understand that in snooker a lot can be determined by luck. Accordingly, it affects the bets on snooker: events can unfold very unexpectedly. Even the most respectable snooker players in the early stages sometimes bring the matter to the decisive frame, where the outcome can be decided by luck or a matter of fortune.
Some bettors wisely choose several snooker players when predicting the tournament winner. In this case, an analysis of the tournament bracket will be necessary, because the bet will not make sense if all of the favourites are on one side.
When choosing a snooker player for a bet, you need to evaluate his past form and results. You need to understand that some professionals with big names are overrated in the line and you should be on the alert if the famous snooker is not in the best frame of mind. The audience often "squeezes" the line of bets on their players and thus makes the odds unprofitable.
Tracking relatively young and developing snooker players can be a good tactic. Odds on them are more valuable but finding the future star of the tournament is not so easy. Some little-known snooker players sometimes break into the world rankings thanks to victories in second-rate tournaments, which should not excite you too much. Competition is lower there, and experienced professionals tend to focus training on majors.
Therefore, to find a future star, you need to watch more matches, celebrate the nuances of the game and tactical development of the player, as well as watch how he manifests himself over time in matches against really strong opponents.
Pay attention to the format of the tournament. Not to mention modern exotic and experimental blitz formats, the decisive matches in traditional snooker can take place, for example, with a limit of 9 frames or 35, as at the World Cup. In the second case, it will be more difficult for older snooker players to keep in shape the whole tournament, much less to facing an opponent several days in a row. For 9-frame matches, patience and endurance are needed less as technical skill comes to the fore.
The host country of the tournament can also make a difference, and it is worth highlighting the developing powers in snooker. China and Hong Kong have an increasing representation at the highest level every year. Their snooker players gain experience and compete with English-speaking players at the World Championships, and then when at home (at their Masters) they are able to show particularly unexpected results.
Snooker is an individual sport, so sometimes because of poor mental form participants do not perform to their expected level. In this case, it is advisable to read more news and interviews of snooker players, follow their blogs and social networks.
Often cases, especially in the case of Britons, when a good player does not show his level it is because of problems with depression, alcohol, because of troubles in the family. Motivation is a fickle thing, and you have to understand that snooker players are ordinary people with their own problems.
Widespread snooker bets during matches. Professional bettors have their own strategies and developments, noting the features in the game of snooker players.
For example, the odds for winning the frame are very popular - the player can track when one of the snooker players played a good series, but not enough to win, and the situation on the table (or skill of the athlete) does not have to develop advantages. Then it can be advantageous to significantly increase the ratio on the inferior participant in the frame.
During major tournaments, snooker forecasts are also published on Legalbet: they can be used to compare your expectations with that of forecasters, or as an aid for selecting a specific bet.