Snooker has come a long way since the game’s first world championship was held in 1927 and Joe Davis collected the equivalent of £6.50 for winning it. The 2010 winner Neil Robertson trousered a cool £250,000 after he overhauled Graeme Dott in a compelling final earlier this month.
Snooker betting too has developed from being literally a ‘shilling on the side’ (the old shilling (5p) coin was left on the side of the snooker table to signify a bet had been made, hence the phrase) to become one of the most competitive and liquid markets available at a raft of online bookmakers. Recently, world championship snooker betting surpassed all previous levels after six-time world champion Steve Davis managed to raise the game’s profile following his defeat of ex-world champion John Higgins.
“Steve’s success meant everyone was suddenly betting on snooker,” said one online bookmaker, “although predictions that he would win the tournament proved a bit wide of the mark. Nevertheless, the ‘Davis Factor’ resulted in a surge in snooker bets and an increase in demand for snooker betting tips.”
One fancies that snooker’s authorities should welcome the self-deprecating Davis back to Sheffield’s Crucible Theatre with open arms every year. He’s already made 30 appearances in the world championships, but his impact this year was nothing short of phenomenal. His manager, Barry Hearn, was astonished that it “took an old geezer of 52” to put snooker back in the public’s eye, but it also did wonders for the volume of snooker betting that took place.
Placing a bet on snooker is as easy as staking any other wager, although unlike say, boxing, there’s enormous scope for the snooker bet to be as complex as punters’ require. Snooker betting odds are available on a variety of markets, with online bookmakers offering everything from straight forward win-only snooker betting odds, live snooker betting, prices on who will score a century or make a 147 break and a host of other options, many of which are often wrapped up with the ready availability of free bets.
In fact, the internet has transformed betting on snooker because when combined with the ready availability of a free bet, snooker betting markets have expanded to a point unimaginable just a few years ago.
UK-based punters have always enjoyed a modest amount of snooker betting, not least because so many world champions hail from the British Isles, but as snooker’s world championships have regularly caught the attention, so the scope for having a bet on snooker has expanded as the number of tournaments has also increased.
Predictions that the game would wither if it relied too heavily on the high-profile world championships prompted the game’s authorities to approve other tournaments, all of which are popular with punters who enjoy their snooker betting.
Today, it’s possible to place snooker bets on the game’s Champions League, its Premier League and its World Seniors tournament.
The game is no longer just about world snooker championship betting. As an indicator (some would say predictor) of the internet’s enormous power, snooker betting continues to grow at a phenomenal pace – something Joe Davis would no doubt applaud.