Snooker Betting Strategy: Match Format and Player Styles

Snooker Betting Strategy: Match Format and Player Styles

Contributor | December 4th, 2012

Snooker is a sport that has been steadily growing in worldwide popularity over the past few years. Expanding outside its traditional UK base, it is creating a strong fan base in China and certain areas of Europe. Snooker betting can also be a profitable activity once you have all the facts that you need to spot the bookmakers’ weaknesses.

There are a number of different options when it comes to snooker match betting. As well as the standard 'match winner' market, there are 'next frame winner' markets, 'handicap' markets, and even more obscure ones such as 'first colour in the next frame', and whether there will be a 'century break'.

Match Format

As with any sport, the key to snooker match betting is information. The first factor to bear in mind is the format of the matches. Different snooker matches can be different lengths, ranging from a single frame in the Snooker Shootout to a mammoth best-of-37 frames in the World Championship final.

Single Frame

Clearly, the length of the match should have a big influence on the odds. In a single frame shootout, it is difficult to justify any player being a particularly short favourite. In such a competition, there is an argument to blindly back all of the outsiders, particularly if the odds are greater than around 11/10.

Match-Play

However, in longer match-play situations, the better player is far more likely to prevail, hence we would expect shorter odds in snooker match betting. This format allows a player to drop a number of frames, but still play his way back into the match. It also opens the door for dramatic comebacks. For example, in a 2005 World Championship match, Peter Ebdon pulled off a memorable comeback, beating the great Ronnie O’Sullivan 13-11, having been 8-2 behind.

The key to this outcome was that Peter Ebdon, whether consciously or not, considerably slowed his play, taking a huge amount of time over each shot. This methodical and grinding style of play affected Ronnie O’Sullivan, who appeared to implode mentally as the night wore on.

Style of Play

This leads onto another important factor, which is style of play. Some tournaments now have a shot-clock, where a player has a limit on the time that they can spend per shot. The Snooker Shootout is one particular tournament, as is Premier League Snooker. There is an argument that a shot-clock gives an advantage to certain players, due to the speed of their play.

The likes of Ronnie O’Sullivan and Judd Trump are rapid movers around the table, taking their shots quickly. As a result, the shot-clock does not really impact them. However, at the other end of the spectrum, the likes of Peter Ebdon and Rory McLeod are very slow, methodical players. They tend to be more cautious and analyse each possible shot being playing it. Thus, a shot-clock can seriously impact their style of play, forcing them to rush and not play their natural game.

Therefore, the format of a match as well as the styles of the two players can be crucial pieces of information. Visit Betfair Sports today and keep these points in mind when trying to find the value in your snooker betting.

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