Our Snooker Betting Guide

For many, snooker’s halcyon days occurred during the 1980s, when maverick talents such as Alex ‘Hurricane’ Higgins and Jimmy ‘The Whirlwind’ White dominated the sport while capturing the attention of millions nationwide.

However, players like Higgins and Kirk Stevens often made the front-page headlines as often as the back, and there’s no doubt that the modern game is more professional, global in its outlook and competitive than at any previous point in history.

Forming part of our sports betting guides series, we’ll look at the wider sport of snooker and the tournaments that define its annual schedule, while appraising its core betting markets and the best ways of profiting as a punter!

Best Snooker Betting Sites by Category

Before we consider some top snooker betting tips and take a look at the sport’s ranking and invitational events, it's important to appraise the best betting sites and what sets these operators apart from their rivals. Here’s our breakdown of the top four at Betinireland.

🎱 Best Snooker Betting Site:

Ladbrokes

🎁 Best Snooker Free Bet Offer:

Bet365

📡 Best Snooker Live Betting Site:

Betway

💯 Best Snooker Odds Betting Site:

Bwin

☘️ Best Irish Betting Site:

BoyleSports

Best Snooker Betting Site – Ladbrokes

Snooker is one of 39 sports betting markets available at Ladbrokes, with the operator offering extensive coverage of the discipline and the various tournaments that take place all-year-round.

Ladbrokes is also considered to one of the best snooker betting sites for in-play markets, with a range of updated odds and wagers made available just as soon as the action has started. From the identity of the first century maker to what colour ball will turn up in the front row seats at the table, few operators have leveraged micro betting as effectively as Ladbrokes.

The current Ladbrokes promotional offer sees new players qualify for a welcome bonus of €20, which comprises four free é5 bets and is based on a minimum deposit of €5. This can be deployed across all snooker betting markets and may offer considerable value for money when used wisely.

Best Snooker Free Bet Offer – Bet 365

Next up is Bet365, which is currently running a generous welcome offer that can translate into one or more lucrative free wagers across the full range of snookers betting markets.

More specifically, Bet365 is offering a 100% deposit match up to the value of €50, which could theoretically reward you with €100 with which to wager if you credit your account to the maximum amount.

Qualifying bets must also have at least one selection with odds of 1.20 or higher (which is relatively competitive in the marketplace), while accounts that are dormant for 90 days will see any bonus funds stripped from the balance.

Best Live Snooker Betting Site – Betway

While Ladbrokes may run this operator close, there’s no doubt that Betway offers the broadest and most diverse in-play betting markets for snooker fans.

This is an important consideration given the large percentage of snooker audiences that like to wager on the action as it unfolds, with Betway covering wagers such as who will win the first frame, which player will be the next to get snookered and who will plunder the next 50 or century break. You can even wager on the first colour to be potted (other than red, of course), creating a micro betting landscape that should appeal to everyone.

The welcome bonus at Betway comprises a single free bet up to the value of €30 (depending on your precise deposit amount), while there are no wagering requirements in play here. Similarly, all qualifying bets must have odds of at least 1.75, so this will be a factor when deploying your free wager.

Best Betting Site for Snooker Odds – Bwin

Last, but by no means least, we come to Bwin, which is the online sportsbook that arguably provides the best and most competitive odds to punters.

This rule applies to both ante-post and in-play wagers, while it’s also relevant to outright betting on the outcome of specific tournaments and their individual matches.

The current welcome offer at Bwin is available to new players who credit their accounts with €10 or more. They’ll then have the chance to place a single wager of up to €20 at minimum offs of 1.5 or greater, while even in the event that this is unsuccessful, they can recoup their stake in the form of a free bet!

Snooker Betting Tips - How to Bet on Snooker

Now that you know where to bet on snooker markets and tournaments, the next step is to identify how to make the most of your bankroll and place an effective wager.

So, our team has got their heads together and come up with some snooker betting tips to help you on your way!

Use In-Play Snooker Betting Wisely

We’ve already touched on live snooker betting, which offers you access to unusual and potentially rewarding micro wagers that may translate into relatively large returns.

However, the sheer range of in-play betting markets and micro wagers available in the sport of snooker is vast and constantly growing, creating an immersive environment in which players can lose relatively large sums of cash incrementally over time.

So, be sure to leverage live snooker betting wisely, by apportioning a fixed percentage of your bankroll to such markets each day, week or month. Ultimately, the amount that you wager should never be more than you can afford to lose, while it’s also important to identify in-play bets that allow you to leverage your knowledge of the sport or two participating players.

Make the Most of Outright Betting

In terms of ante-post snooker betting markets, backing the outright winners of tournaments offers particular value to punters.

Major tournaments such as the World Championship, Welsh Open and the UK Championship are particularly popular due to their high profile and the quality of the participating players, while sportsbooks look to compete by offering the best ante-post prices and releasing their odds as early as possible.

Certainly, early outright betting offers you access to slightly extended ante-post prices, while we’d also recommend that you compare the market in-depth in order to identify the most competitive odds in real-time.

Utilise Winning Margin Betting Carefully

As betting snooker men, we can also recommend winning margin wagering during individual matches. This manifests itself as an ‘over/under’ market, where the sportsbook sets a theoretical value and asks you to wager whether the actual winning margin will be higher (over) or lower (under) than this threshold.

For example, let’s say that Judd Trump and Mark Allen are competing in the first round of 'The Masters’ tournament. The match is a best-of-11 frame encounter, so operators may set a virtual margin of 2.5 frames and ask you to wager accordingly. You can then place your even money wager at the listed price, based on your knowledge of the two players, their form and head-to-head record.

You can place this wager without backing a particular player to win, affording you a 50% of your bet coming in. However, if you want to access lengthier prices and create a more complex wager, you can back one of the two competing players to win by your chosen margin.

Snooker Betting Offers

BookmakerFree Bet TypeValue
BetVictorMatched DepositUp to €100
betwayMatched DepositUp to €30
bet365Matched depositUp to €100
BetitonFree bet sign up offerBet €15 and get a €10 free bet
888 SportFree bet sign up offerBet €10 and get €30 in free bets
William HillFree bet sign up offerBet €10 and get €30 in free bets
LadbrokesFree bet sign up offerBet €5 and receive €20 in free bets

Ranked Snooker Events

The snooker calendar runs throughout the year, with a growing number of ranking and invitational tournaments hosted across the length-and-breadth of the globe.

Of course, ranking tournaments provide players with the opportunity to win trophies, collate points and compete to become the best in the world, whereas invitational competitions allow for conditional entry as laid out by the organiser or a sponsor.

Regardless, you’ll find popular and coveted tournaments in both categories, so we’ve created a brief list to describe each one and a little insight into what makes it so special.

World Snooker Championship

The professional sport’s longest-running and most prestigious honour, the snooker World Championship has been contested as a ranking event since 1974 (although the very first iteration of the tournament was held in Birmingham back in 1927). Stephen Hendry (who recently rejoined the tour) is the tournament’s most successful player, having won on seven occasions, appeared in a record nine finals and reached 12 semi-finals in just 27 outings overall. This previously nomadic championship has been held at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield since 1976.

UK Championship

While the UK Championship was only initiated in 1977 as an invitational tournament (it became a ranking event in 1984), it has since evolved to become one of snooker’s three ‘Triple Crown’ competitions (along with the World Championship and the Masters). Usually held at the Barbican Centre in York, the tournament has been won on a record seven occasions by Ronnie O’Sullivan. Steve Davies has six UK Championship titles and Hendry five, while defending champion and Chinese star Zhao Xintong had the honour of winning his first such crown in the 2021 iteration of the tournament.

Welsh Open

Held annually at the Celtic Manor Resort in Newport, the Welsh Open has been a high-profile ranking event ever since its inception in 1991/92. Replacing the Welsh Professional Championship, which had started in 1980 and was only open to Welsh players, the title has been won on a record five occasions by Scottish star John Higgins. O’Sullivan and Hendry have won four and three Welsh Open titles respectively, while 34-year-old Jordan Brown in the reigning champion. Interestingly, Mark Williams is the only Welsh player to win the championship since its rebrand (in 1996 and 1999), although he also reached the final in 2003 before losing 9-5 to Stephen Hendry.

Players Championship

The ‘Players Championship’ has known three iterations since its inception in 2011, although it has always been a nomadic ranking event with a total prize fund of around £385,000. It’s now contested between the top 16 ranked players on the tour based on the previous 12 months’ performance, although it has continued to see format and qualification changes over the course of the last decade. Ronnie O’Sullivan and Judd Trump have won the tournament twice each, with these two players actually claiming four consecutive titles between 2017 and 2020. However, John Higgins thrashed O’Sullivan 10-3 in Milton Keynes to end this sequence in the 2021 final.

English Open

The English Open was introduced to the circuit in 2016/17, with World Snooker chairman Barry Hearn unveiling this as part of his new ‘Home Nations Series’ alongside the Welsh, Northern Ireland and Scottish Open tournaments. Held at the Marshall Arena in Milton Keynes since 2020/21, the tournament has been won by six different players dating back to its highly anticipated debut in 2016, with Australia’s Neil Robertson the defending champion following a thrilling 9-8 win over John Higgins last year. Ronnie O’Sullivan, Judd Trump and Mark Selby are also among the previous winners.

Championship League Snooker

Not to be confused with the strikingly similar Snooker Champions League, this tournament has run since the 2007/08 season and officially became a ranking event in September 2020. Adopting an unusual format that initially sees players compete in eight groups of seven before the knockout stages and earn money for every frame won, the competition has a generous prize fund of £200,000 and often sees less well-known names win the ultimate prize. To this end, recent winners include David Gilbert, Kyren Wilson and Belgium’s Luca Brecel, although the popular Judd Trump is the tournament’s most successful player with three titles overall.

Gibraltar Open

Launching as a minor ranking tournament in 2015/16, the Gibraltar Open became a fully-fledged ranking event the following year. Held exclusively at either the Tercentenary Sports Hall or the Europa Point Sports Complex in Gibraltar until 2021, the event has helped to extend snooker’s reach across mainland Europe and boasts a more than respectable prize fund of £251,000. Once again, England’s Judd Trump is the tournament’s most successful player with two titles (in 2020 and 2021), with the ‘Juddernaught’ whitewashing countryman Jack Lisowski 4-0 in last year’s final in Milton Keynes.

Northern Ireland Open

Another leg of Barry Hearns ‘Home Nations Series’ that commenced in 2016, the Northern Ireland Open is usually held in Belfast and has already made history despite its relatively short lifespan. To this end, the 2017 final saw 17-year-old Yan Bingtao become the youngest ever player to reach a ranking final, while he also fell one frame short of breaking Ronnie O’Sullivan’s record as the younger player ever to win such a tournament (which had stood for 24 years). Since then, Judd Trump has gone on to win three titles consecutively between 2018 and 2020, with these wins' notable for the fact that he beat Ronnie O’Sullivan on each occasion and by the same scoreline (9-7). Mark Allen is the defending champion.

Scottish Open

While the Scottish Open is also part of the Home Nations Series, it’s actually a longstanding tournament that has known many different iterations since emerging as the International Open in 1981. In its various forms, the tournament has remained a ranking event every year apart from 2012/13, while it boasts an array of winners that reads like a world snooker’s who’s who. The legendary Steve Davis is the tournament’s most successful player with an impressive six titles, while the defending champion is Belgium’s number one Luca Brecel.

World Grand Prix

Starting out as an invitational tournament in 2015, the World Grand Prix became a prized ranking event just 12 months later (and has remained that way ever since). Featuring the top 32 players in the world on the one-year ranking list, the tournament was also incorporated into the newly-created ‘Coral Cup’ series in 2019. A prize fund in excess of £380,000 is available here, while defending champion Ronnie O’Sullivan has two titles to his name (rival star Judd Trump currently has three).

Tour Championship

Another of the new intake of snooker tournaments, the Tour Championship is a fully-fledged ranking event that was first held in Wales in 2019. This tournament features the highest ranked eight players in the world according to the 12-month ranking list, while it also features a coveted prize fund of £380,000. Neil Robertson is the defending champion having won his first such title in 2021, while Ronnie O’Sullivan claimed the inaugural title after beating Robertson 13-11 two years before.

European Masters

Like the Scottish Open, the European Masters has known numerous iterations since its inception in 1989 (as the European Open). Almost exclusively played as a ranking tournament, it was discontinued in 2018 before being reintroduced in its current form in 2016. Throughout its entire lifespan, Stephen Hendry is the sport’s most successful player, winning the title on four occasions and appearing in another three finals. Mark Selby is the defending champion, having beaten Martin Gould 9-8 in a thrilling finale in Milton Keynes towards the end of last year.

German Masters

The German Masters has been held at the Tempodrom in Berlin since 2011, although last year’s iteration was hosted in Milton Keynes due to Covid-19 restrictions. Interestingly, the tournament started in the German Open in 1995, before being rebranded and becoming an invitational event in the 1998/99 season. The championship was disbanded at the turn of the century, before re-emerging as a ranking tournament 10 years ago. Perhaps

unsurprisingly, Judd Trump is the tournament’s most successful player, having won two titles consecutively since 2020.

British Open

Starting out life as the British Gold Cup in 1979, this tournament was an invitational event until 1985. It then ran as a ranking event until 2005, at which point it was discontinued before being suddenly reintroduced after a 17-year hiatus in 2021/22. Given this, it should come as no surprise that the sport’s most successful ever player is the ‘Golden Nugget’ Steve Davis, who won five separate titles between 1981 and 1993. The defending champion is Mark Williams, who won in 2021 after the resumption to claim his second title and first since 1997.

International Championship

The world’s first major overseas ranking event, the International Championship made its tour debut in 2012/13. With a total prize fund in excess of £800,000, this tournament is the third most lucrative in the world and one that’s incredibly popular with the sport’s global player base. Interestingly, the championship wasn’t hosted in 2020 and it’s not immediately clear whether it will remain a permanent fixture on the calendar, with Judd Trump remaining the defending champion following his 10-3 win over Shaun Murphy in the 2019 final.

China Championship

In 2016/17, the China Championship started out life as a non-ranking event. The following year, it emerged as a ranking tournament, running from 2017 to 2020 before being temporarily removed from the calendar in 2021 as a result of the coronavirus. There have been four separate winners of the championship since its inception, namely John Higgins (2016), Luca Brecel (2017), Mark Selby (2018) and Shaun Murphy (2019).

Indian Open

The Indian Open was the first ever snooker tournament to be held in India, as part of the global expansion and popularisation of the sport. It has always been a ranking event, with the inaugural tournament held between October 14th and 18th 2013 and won by Chinese prodigy Ding Junhui. Despite an expected hiatus in 2014, the tournament has remained a highly popular feature on the calendar, with Matthew Selt having won the last iteration at the end of 2019.

Riga Masters

The Riga Masters launched in 2014 as part of the Players Tour Championship, as a minor-ranking event that would help to extend the sport’s reach in Eastern Europe. It subsequently became a major ranking tournament in 2016, held annually at the Arena Riga in Latvia and contested by the sport’s leading players. The defending champion is China’s Yan Bingtao, while Australia’s Neil Robertson has won the tournament twice since its inception (in 2016 and 2018) and is the Riga Masters’ most successful player.

Alternative Snooker Betting Sites

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Invitation Snooker Tournaments

As we can see, some of these prestigious ranking events started out life as invitational tournaments, which have much less stringent and flexible criteria in terms of qualification and participation.

Despite not offering ranking points, many of the remaining invitational events on the calendar boast a rich heritage and significant appeal in their own right, among both players and fans alike.

So, here’s our breakdown of the leading invitational tournaments on the world snooker tour and a brief look at their individual histories.

The Masters

Arguably the quintessential invitational event, ‘The Masters’ is the sport’s second-longest running tournament and one that has been held every year since 1975. Part of the aforementioned ‘Triple Crown’ events, this iconic tournament now invites the world’s top 16 players and two or three wildcards to compete for their share of a cumulative £725,000 prize fund. Ronnie O’Sullivan remains the most decorated Masters Player, with 13 final appearances in total and seven titles to his name. Stephen Hendry has won six Masters titles during his career.

Champion of Champions

The so-called “Champion of Champions” event was first held in 1978 and 1980, before being revived as an invitational tournament in 2013 by Matchroom Sport. This championship features the winners of selected World Snooker events during the previous 12 months, while offering a total prize fund of £440,000 and a winner’s cheque £150,000. Ronnie O’Sullivan is the event’s most successful player with three titles, while Judd Trump is the defending champion after his 2021 win.

Shanghai Masters

The Shanghai Masters event started out life as a ranking event in 2007/08, before being reimagined as an invitational tournament in 2018. Ronnie O’Sullivan has won the tournament four times (twice as a ranking event and twice since it became invitational) and is the defending champion at present, while Ding Junhui has two titles to his name (won in 2013 and 2016). Interestingly, Judd Trump has appeared in three finals and lost them all (in 2012, 2015 and 2017).

Paul Hunter Classic

The Paul Hunter Classic is so-named after the former snooker star of the same name, who tragically lost his life to cancer just before his 28th birthday during the noughties. This tournament used to be known as the Grand Prix Furth, while it has existed as a Pro-am, minor ranking and ranking event before becoming invitational in 2019. Open to 16 players from the professional circuit, Hunter was the winner of the inaugural Grand Prix Furth event in 2004, while Mark Selby is the tournament’s most successful player overall with three titles.

Romanian Masters

The Romania Masters has only been held once (in 2018), as a non-ranking and invitational event that featured 16 professional players. Ryan Day won the title after beating Stuart Bingham 10-8 in the final in the Bucharest Metropolitan Circus to win the £50,000 first prize, with this representing Day’s third title of the 2016/17 season.

World Seniors Championship

Known under different guises since its inception in 1991, the World Seniors Championship is an invitational event that’s currently open to competitors aged 45 and older. After Cliff Wilson won the initial iteration of the tournament in 1991, the event took an extended hiatus before returning in its current form in 2010. Since then, Jimmy White has proved most successful with three titles overall, despite the fact that he never won a World Championship and lost six such finals during his career.

Hong Kong Masters

We close with the Hong Kong Masters, which is a professional invitational event that was initially held for eight additions in the 1980s and early 90s before being revived by Matchroom in 2017. The final of the recent 2017 iteration saw Aussie Neil Robertson take on ‘Rocket’ Ronnie O’ Sullivan at the Queen Elizabeth Stadium in Hong Kong, with the former prevailing 6-3 in a high-quality contest.

Complete Snooker Tournament Calendar

These ranking and invitational tournaments take place all year round, with events typically packed into two busy periods between January and May and August and December.

Obviously, ranking events dominate the calendar, although invitational tournaments to look out for include the World Seniors Championship (starting on 4th January) and the Cazoo Masters (which will run from January 9th and January 16th in 2022).

We’ve broken down the full world snooker calendar below, so that you can earmark the key events and those that you’re most likely to bet on. We’ll also continue to update this table in instances where tournament dates or venues are liable to change.

Masters SnookerThe Masters is the second-longest running snooker tournament in the world, behind the iconic World Championship. Top players compete in this invitation event as part of the Triple Crown, and there are plenty of betting markets to discover. Read our guide to betting on the Masters Snooker here.
DateTournamentLocationEvent Type
3rd Jan-3rd FebChampionship League SnookerLeicester, EnglandInvitational
4th Jan-7th JanWorld Seniors ChampionshipHull, EnglandInvitational
9th Jan-16th JanCazoo MastersLondon, EnglandInvitational
26th Jan-30th JanBetVictor German MastersBerlin, GermanyRanking
7th Feb-13th FebCazoo Players ChampionshipWolverhampton, EnglandRanking
21st Feb-27th FebBetVictor European MastersMilton Keynes, EnglandRanking
28th Feb-6th MarBetVictor Welsh OpenNewport, WalesRanking
24th Mar-3rd AprBetVictor Gibraltar OpenGibraltar, GibraltarRanking
28th Mar-3rd AprCazoo Tour ChampionshipLlandudno, WalesRanking
4th Apr-13th AprBetfred World Championship (Qualifiers)Sheffield, EnglandQualifiers
16th Apr-2nd MayBetfred World Championship (Main Event)Sheffield, EnglandRanking
16th Aug-22nd AugMatchroom British OpenLeicester, EnglandRanking
9th Oct-17th OctBetVictor Northern Ireland OpenLeicester, EnglandRanking
1st Nov-7th NovBetVictor English OpenMilton Keynes, EnglandRanking
15th Nov-21st NovCazoo Champion of ChampionsBolton, EnglandInvitational
23rd Nov-5th DecCazoo UK ChampionshipYork, EnglandRanking
6th Dec-12th DecBetVictor Scottish OpenLlandudno, WalesRanking
13th Dec-19th DecCazoo World Grand PrixCoventry, EnglandRanking

World Rankings

As we’ve touched on earlier in the guide, players who automatically place in the world’s top 16 typically qualify automatically for the upcoming season’s ranking events. Arguably, they’re also more likely to earn invites to non-ranking tournaments, while they can avoid the scheduling and financial challenges posed by qualifying fixtures.

Currently, there are a raft of iconic and familiar names featured in the world’s top 16, including the evergreen pair of John Higgins and Mark Williams. Here’s a detailed and up-to-date breakdown of this list as of December 2021.

RankingPlayerPoints Total
1Mark Selby1,049,500
2Judd Trump994,000
3Ronnie O’Sullivan971,500
4Neil Robertson850,000
5Kyren Wilson609,500
6John Higgins421,000
7Shaun Murphy408,500
8Mark Williams335,000
9Zhao Xintong318,500
10Barry Hawkins294,500
11Stephen Maguire284,500
12Stuart Bingham280,000
13Mark Allen277,000
14Anthony McGill271,500
15Yan Bingtao250,500
16Luca Brecel248,500

FAQs

What Are the Most Popular Snooker Bets?

Apart from outright and match betting, handicap wagers are also popular among snooker fans. This is particularly true in the case of mismatches or pro-am contests, as you can theoretically apply a –3.5 frame handicap (or larger) to the betting favorite and lengthen the odds accordingly. In this case, so long as your selection wins by four frames or more, your bet will come in and you’ll bank improved returns.

What’s Over/Under Betting in Snooker?

We touched on over/under betting pertaining to winning margin earlier in the guide, but this type of wager has broader appeal and is ideal when used in close and keenly contested match-ups. For example, in a close, best-of-11 match, you could wager on less than 8.5 frames being played overall. You’ll therefore win if the match is concluded before a ninth frame is required, which is statistically likely and capable of delivering incremental wins.

Should I Place Snooker Accumulator or Combination Bets?

This is up to you, of course, but snooker combination or ‘acca’ bets enable you to group multiple, short-priced selections into a single wager at much-improved and lengthier odds. So, at the beginning of the Snooker World Championship where ranked players are often drawn against unseeded qualifiers, you can select four or more to win and increase your return if they all prevail in their respective games.

Is In-Play Betting for Me?

Live snooker betting is highly popular among the sport’s audience, primarily thanks to the increase in live streaming across various online sportsbooks. Make no mistake; live streaming events allows for more accurate in-play betting, by informing your decisions and helping you to recognise new and exciting markets. So, if you’re an avid fan and student of the sport, in-play betting is definitely suitable for you.