With an ever-growing list of ranking tournaments along with some fantastic and historic non-ranking and invitational events, there has never been a better time to get into snooker. It’s perhaps the ultimate test, with a combination of strategy, skill and co-ordination earning it the label “chess with balls”.
For those who enjoy analysing such a spectacle there can be good financial reward and it’s no coincidence that the introduction of in-play betting comes with an increased interest in watching and wagering on the game. It’s a sport which lends itself very easily to betting when you can make bets during the game as things can change so fast and laying anything specific down pre-game can be very risky.
In this guide we assess three of the best bookmakers for betting on snooker. We’ll look at their range of markets, quality of odds and frequency and nature of promotions as well as practical features like the usability of their website and options for mobile and in-play betting. We will also give a brief introduction to the most popular markets and an explanation of how they work as well as finishing off with some common bookmakers’ rules to be aware of when placing a bet.
Best Bookmakers For Betting On Snooker
We’ve narrowed the market down to three for you and it is really just personal preference between the bookies we’ve selected. Here’s some information and analysis of the three best bookmakers for betting on snooker and all come highly recommended so take your pick – or join all three to give yourself the best range of odds, free bets and promotions possible.
Betfred has earned the moniker of the “Bonus King” in sports betting and in snooker this is definitely a fair description. Fred Drone, the founder of Betfred loves a wager himself, once losing £1m to Victor Chandler, formerly of BetVictor, and this comes across in the kinds of promotions they offer. Betfred sponsored the sport’s World Championship between 2009 and 2012 and this commitment to the sport is evident in their snooker betting coverage.
The range of markets offered may be quite as extensive as some of their competitors, but Betfred are hard to beat for prices. In our odds comparison Betfred was consistently offering odds which matched or exceeded the rest of the market. Their range of markets in games they do cover is also very good and consistent and it’s only a lack of unusual snooker specials that could really be considered in any way a weakness. Most snooker fans will, however, bet on the main markets and in this sense Betfred are hard to beat.
In terms of functionality their website can be a bit tricky to navigate at first but it has a wide range of features such as poker, virtual sports, live casino, bingo and so on. In addition, the mobile site and app are very simple and easy to use. A good mobile betting facility is key for betting on snooker as many of the bets you place will be in-running and you can’t always be at your computer.
Basically, Betfred is your go-to bookmaker for the biggest tournaments when there’s a strong chance they’ll have a decent promotion on and even if they don’t they are still definitely worth a look for the strong odds and excellent mobile site.
BetVictor is an old school UK high street bookmaker (though they retain only a small retail presence now) with a reputation for its fairness and honesty. They offer a straightforward service for snooker with great prices on a competitive range of markets. Indeed, in terms of odds BetVictor are probably the best snooker bookie around, narrowly pipping Betfred and the rest.
Since rebranding from VCBet, BetVictor have had a new website made and it’s an absolute joy to use. It isn’t flashy but that can be a good thing in our opinion, meaning you can navigate directly to what you’re looking for with minimum fuss. If you click on snooker in the side bar it takes you straight to a page where all the tournaments are listed with in-play at the top. It’s only one click less than Betfred, for example, but when you’re using the sites a lot it really makes a difference. The mobile platform is just as good, as is fairly standard now for online bookmakers at this level and both have a stylish black colour scheme that is easy on the eye.
BetVictor cover a slightly larger range of games than Betfred, often this means the early stages of a big tournament like the UK Open, which isn’t a huge deal but is a nice feature, especially if you have some inside knowledge on the lower echelons of the game and fancy you may be able to spot an upset or do well on the qualifiers.
Ladbrokes is the real industry giant, currently the biggest overall betting company in the UK. This has its advantages and disadvantages but there’s no doubt they’re up there when it comes to snooker betting.
Their coverage is similar to BetVictor’s in that they’ll cover most early stage games in big tournaments, though not all. Their odds are, as with the other two featured snooker betting sites, are very strong and well above industry average and especially on long shots you may find some exceptional value at Ladbrokes.
Navigating their website is easy and clicking on snooker will then show you a list of markets as well as allowing you to navigate by type of market or tournament. The mobile site and app are also useful, although their service isn’t integrated into one app but spread across three for sports betting, exchange betting and other games. If you simply access the site on your phone, rather than by using the app, you won’t encounter this issue though and we prefer to simply use a browser anyway.
How To Bet On Snooker
In this part of the guide we look at the mechanics of betting on snooker. We’ll run through some of the best and most popular markets and explain how they work before flagging up some of the rules that can affect your bet and that you should be aware of.
Here are some of the markets you’ll come across when betting on snooker. Note that this list is by no means exhaustive but explains some of the most popular options.
- Match Outright – This is a simple one: choose the winner of any specific matchup and if they win, you win. Obviously this is easier in some games than others – make sure you research form and rankings before piling in, although favourites tend to do well in the biggest tournaments.
- Tournament Outright – Make a bet on a player to win not just a single match but the whole tournament. You’ll get the best odds on this before the tournament starts but it should be available throughout. Snooker is generally dominated by just a few players so betting on outsiders is not very advisable, especially in the major ranking events.
- Frame Betting – A good market for betting on in-play. Bet on who will win individual frames, just before they start or as they are happening. Most bookmakers will update their odds in real time to allow you to do this. You can also bet on the overall score in frames through the game. Odds can swing very dramatically as a player makes a great shot, misses a sitter or loses position.
- Handicap Betting – A way of backing a player who is unlikely to win the match. For example if Mike Dunn is playing Ronnie O’Sullivan you might not expect him to win but with a +2.5 handicap the bookmaker still pays out if he loses 6-4.
- 147 Break – The holy grail of snooker, you can bet on a single player to get one or simply for there to be one in a single match or tournament, regardless of who gets it. There have only been just over 100 in professional snooker since the 1980s so it’s not that likely.
Here are just a few rules to be aware of when placing your bets, see the websites of specific bookmakers if you want more detailed rules. Most snooker bets will be placed and settled with the minimum of fuss but the below are worth knowing should anything slightly out of the ordinary occur.
- Re-rack – In the event of a re-rack, where the balls are placed back in the rack after mutual abandonment of a frame, the first time the balls were played counts for bets on who will pot first ball, which ball it will be and other markets that had already definitely settled.
- Highest Break – This is the exception to the previous rule, only officially scored frames will count towards the highest break.
- Highest Break Dead Heat Rules – Note that dead heat rules will almost always apply to the highest break, meaning a reduced payout if your selection shares the highest break with one or more other players.
- Abandonment – If any game is started but not finished most bets will be void. If the outcome of the markets has already been determined, for example a bet on the first frame when it’s abandoned in the second, then it should still stand.
- Statistics – If statistics are needed to settle a bet, such as highest average break through a tournament, the statistics of the tournament website will be used where available. Otherwise the bookmaker may keep independent statistics. This one could be worth checking with whoever you choose to bet with.