We Brits have a rather odd obsession with snooker, but it's not just us. Over the past twenty years or so snooker has grown to be extremely popular with Asian countries too and some of the best players in the world – including Ding Junhui (China), Marco Fu (Hong King) and Thepchaiya Un-Nook (Thailand) – were born in Asia. Snooker is popular in Australia too, and there is increasing interest in snooker in Non-UK European countries.
All of the best and biggest online sports books will offer you the chance to bet on the biggest and best snooker tournaments all around the world. Here will we instruct you on the ways you can get the best deals when it comes to snooker betting sites.
Most snooker enthusiasts are a little nuts when it comes to snooker, as it's a sport that engenders a very devoted fan base. In the 1980s snooker became a country-wide obsession, and over eighteen million people tuned in to watch the deciding frame of the 1985 Embassy World Professional Snooker Championship between Dennis Taylor and Steve Davis.
Snooker is not as popular as it once was but millions of people still love to watch and gamble upon the biggest snooker tournaments, such as the World Championship, the UK Championship and The Masters. Under the stewardship of World Snooker chief Barry Hearn the sport has broadened its market and now holds regular events in both Thailand and China. Young people also seem to be flocking back to snooker in a big way, with emerging new talents such as Jackson Page and Zhao Xintong starting to give established pros a run for their money.
Online sports books have reacted to this new wave of interest in the gentleman's game and many have upped the offers and promotions they usually provide for snooker events. All leading sports books now offer the chance to bet on multiple snooker markets, from the major championships to local, big-name tournaments.
When the big guns are smacking the balls in it will pay you dividends, as a snooker-betting fan, to check out any special promos that sports books offer. Such bonuses are usually designed to gain new customers, but established snooker bettors are still able to take advantage of them to their benefit.
It will not surprise you to learn that the most popular way that people bet on snooker is in selecting whom they hope will be the outright winner of a snooker competition or match. Snooker is not always predictable, but when it comes to the big tournaments there's not the same level of unpredictability that you might find with golf, for example.
Choosing the champion is not always a chase of selecting the favourite though. Big tournament shocks do happen, such as 150-1 (151.00) outsider Joe Johnson winning the 1986 World Championship, and in more recent times Stuart Bingham winning in 2015 when priced at the onset at 50-1 (51.00).
If you want to back a winner at snooker, you'll find that beyond regular tournament favourites such as Mark Selby, Ronnie O'Sullivan and Judd Trump, prices tend to be very beneficial. If you've an inkling that an outsider is likely to be the next Johnson or Bingham, then the chances are you'll be able to obtain a very tasty price.
Snooker is somewhat unique (although some might say that darts is very similar) in that during a direct match between two players, Player A cannot prevent Player B from performing without any form of hinderance or obstruction. Once a player is at the table, his opponent cannot stop him playing or even get to the table himself unless the first player misses a pot or plays a positional shot instead.
A player may become frustrated if he is not getting enough time on the table, leading to poor decision making. However, snooker matches are habitually long events, so a string of poor decisions may not have that much of a direct impact on a match.
With in-play betting you can take advantage of 'the rub of the green' by watching the games as they progress and reacting accordingly. Most snooker tournaments are televised, with the big events appearing on mainstream TV, and the smaller events being covered by Sky, BTSports and others. If you see that a player seems to be currently 'on fire' then you might want to bet on him winning the current frame, or a number of frames in a row, or making a century break within the next frame or two.
At most sports books you can bet on other 'in play' markets such as the winning margin of the next frame, the highest break that will be obtained over the course of a match, or even which coloured ball will be the first to be potted!
You can bet that Betfred likes its snooker. Since the ban on tobacco firms sponsoring snooker events came into force, Betfred have sponsored the World Snooker Championship twice, between 2009 and 2012, and again from 2015 onwards. Betfred's sponsorship deal is set to continue until 2019 at least.
If you're new to Betfred then you've a treat in store - £30 in free bets, which you can use on snooker or just about any other market. To get your £30 you need to deposit £10 and then bet £10 on any event at odds of at least 1/5 (1.20). You will then receive three £10 free bets to use. Note that when you use your free bet your stake money is not returned, only any winnings.
It's fair to say that 888sport loves snooker. When the cigarette company Embassy were forced to end their near thirty-year sponsorship of snooker's world professional championship, 888sport stepped in and covered the sponsorship of the 2006, 2007 and 2008 tournaments. 888sport is noted for its many event-related promotions and specials, including regular betting specials on snooker.
888sport has a unique offer if you're not a member and want to join the betting fun at the site. If you deposit at least £10 at the site and place your first bet of the same value, then 888sport will triple the odds of that bet should it prove to be a winner. Note that any money won over what you would have won if you had used the normal starting price is paid as free bet cash, and free bet cash is not returned when you use that 'bonus' money as a bet, only any winnings derived from it.
Betfair is the world's biggest sports betting exchange, and they declared their love for the green baize game in 2013 in a one-year sponsorship deal of the World Professional Snooker Championship. As a betting exchange Betfair is not in the habit of offering special promotional deals – snooker-derived or not – but the site hosts a typical sports book as well where deals and bonuses are much more commonplace.
If you use the Betfair sports book then you'll find regular specials on all of sports' biggest markets, including top snooker events such as the UK Championship and the China Open. If you prefer the exchange, then the site is willing to offer you a risk-free £5 bet when you sign up. If your five pound bet is a winner then all well and good, but if it's a loser Betfair will hand you a £5 free bet as compensation.
This is the number one event in the snooker calendar, and it takes place every year in April and May, with the final concluding on the first May bank holiday. The tournament is held at its 'spiritual home' of the Embassy Theatre in Sheffield, as it has every year since 1977.
This tournament was first held in 1927 and it was won every single year by snooker legend Joe Davis right up until 1946, when Davis announced his retirement from the tournament. Snooker fell into a sharp decline in the 1950s, and no recognised tournaments were held from 1957 until 1969.
Snooker came of age with the advent of colour television, and as a sport it began to really capture the public's imagination. The top snooker players of the 1970s and 1980s – name such as Ray Reardon, Alex Higgins, Steve Davis, Dennis Taylor and Stephen Hendry all became household names.
In recent years the World Snooker Championship has been dominated by two players – 'Rocket' Ronnie O'Sullivan and Mark Selby, the 'Jester from Leicester'. Despite not being as popular as it once was with the general public, the final of the annual World Championship is watched by a worldwide TV audience approaching 350 million people.
This open tournament was created in 1977 in response to the public's demand for more televised snooker. At first it was perceived as a poor cousin to the World Championship, with unlikely winners in its early years such as Patsy Fagan, John Virgo and Doug Mountjoy. It's now regarded as the second-most important event in the World Snooker calendar.
The tournament takes place in late November or early December each year. It has had several venues over the years including Preston, Bournemouth and Telford, but has every year since 2011 taken place at the Barbican Centre in York.
Steve Davis has won the most UK Championship titles, winning in 1980, 1981 and every year from 1984 until 1987. Both Stephen Hendry and Ronnie O'Sullivan have won the title five times, and John Higgins three times. Mark Selby beat Ronnie O'Sullivan in 2016's final.
The Masters is the third event of what is regarded as Snooker's triple crown, along with the World and UK Championships. The Masters is not an open event, and entry is by invitation only. The tournament takes place each year in January, and is the second event of the annual snooker season, which runs from May each year until the following May.
The Masters was first played in 1975 at the West Centre Hotel in London where ten of the world's best players gathered to compete. The first Masters was won by John Spencer. The world's sixteen highest-ranked players now do battle in the tournament each year.
Ronnie O’Sullivan is the most successful player in the history of the Masters. He has competed in twelve finals, winning a record seven of them.
The other current ranking tournaments in the annual snooker calendar include the World Open, the Paul Hunter Classic, the World Grand Prix and the China Open.
Keep up to date with the latest snooker offers for UK punters with our betting offers page.