In total, there are 69 sports available in the Massachusetts Sports Wagering Catalog. Many of them, like football, basketball and baseball, are well-known to American sports fans. But some may be a mystery.
That’s where the sport of snooker comes in. Snooker is a fascinating billiards-style game that dates back more than a century since it was invented by members of the British Army in India. The name comes from the common term used at the time to describe a rookie soldier in the army: “a snooker.”
Online sports betting in Massachusetts launched last month, and now sports fans in the state can wager legally on a multitude of athletic events. As a result, folks in Massachusetts can now place bets on snooker.
In this guide to betting on snooker, we look at the rules of the game and which tournaments are eligible for sports wagering in the United States.
What is Snooker, and how is it played?
In terms of billiard games, snooker is a relatively recent game. It was devised by the British in the 1870s, as a derivative of billiards, which is a more ancient game.
Snooker is played on a table measuring 12 ft × 6 ft covered in a thin cloth. The table sits 2 ft 10 inches above the floor measuring to the top of the cushions, which surround the playing table. The table is larger than a billiard or common “pool” table that you’ll find in a pool hall.
A snooker table has six pockets, one at each of the four corners, and two on either long side in the middle of the cushions.
The snooker balls are important to understanding the game and strategy employed by the players. Snooker has 15 red numberless balls, six numbered “object balls” of varying colors, and one white cue ball. The 21 non-cue balls are assigned values depending on their color.
A player uses his or her cue stick to strike the cue ball and pocket a red ball (worth one point). If they succeed, players can then attempt to pocket an object ball, which adds points to his total, based on its value. As long as that player continues to pocket balls (alternating between red then an object ball), they maintains their turn. If they fail, the other player gets to strike the cue ball.
Different point values for colored balls
The game continues until all of the red balls are pocketed, leaving only object balls on the snooker table. At that point, a player must pocket (or “pot”) the object balls in ascending order of their values:
- Yellow first (2 points)
- Green (3 points)
- Brown (4 points)
- Blue (5 points)
- Pink (6 points)
- Black (7 points)
If the first player fails in potting the object balls, the other player takes their turn. When the final object ball is potted, the points are tallied, and whichever player has the higher score wins.
A snooker game consists of a series of frames. The player with the most points (earned by sinking balls) wins a frame. The player that wins the most frames is declared the winner.
Fouls can be called on a player for various infractions. The most common is failure to strike a red ball with the cue, this is called a “snooker.” Skilled players can leave the cue ball in a position where their opponent may not be able to legally strike a red ball first with it, as is required.
A snooker tournament can be a long, competitive and grueling game of strategy. Matches could be best of 7, best of 9, or 11 frames. The finals in a tournament are often the best of 17 or 19 frames.
In the World Snooker Championships, matches can be as long as the best of 35 for the final, which could be played over the course of two days.
Betting on Snooker in Massachusetts
Any snooker event sanctioned by one of these organizations can be wagered on in Massachusetts:
- The World Pool Billiard Association
- International World Games Association
- World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association
- World Snooker
Most snooker events involve dozens of competitors in a field, much like you’d see in a golf or tennis tournament.
Competitors play in brackets to advance to finals rounds in various levels of play. Because snooker is played indoors, competitions take place throughout the year.
Odds for snooker tournaments are much like golf or tennis competitions. You choose a winner in a futures bet or you can wager on individual matches within individual rounds.
Consult your Massachusetts sportsbook apps for odds on professional snooker. In addition, you can claim several Massachusetts sportsbook bonuses when creating your accounts.
If you or a loved one is experiencing problems with gambling, call 1-800-327-5050 or visit www.mahelpline.org/problemgambling to speak with a trained specialist for free, 24/7