The History of Snooker
The long history of snooker began with billiards and other primitive cue sports. These were recorded as early as the 15th century, and played mainly by aristocrats and noblemen. The earliest versions were played on a table that had no cushions or pockets, and were based on sports such as croquet and golf. By the 19th century, a version of the game called Black Pool had evolved, featuring 15 red balls and a black ball.
It was around this time that much of the British Army was stationed in India, and the officers began playing billiards to pass the time. Legend has it that during a game of Black Pool in Jabalpur in 1875, Colonel Sir Neville Francis Fitzgerald Chamberlain suggested adding some coloured balls to the table. When one of the players missed a shot, he called them “a real Snooker” – Army slang for a novice – and the game we’ve come to know and love was born.
The first UK snooker championship took place in 1916, while the first World Snooker Championship was organised by billiards pro Joe Davis in 1927. However, his talent made the game something of a one-horse race, and he won every World Snooker Championship from 1927 until his retirement in 1946.
Snooker experienced a resurgence in popularity when the BBC launched Pot Black in 1969. This coincided with the advent of colour television that enabled viewers to see the different coloured balls, and the rise of charismatic stars such as Alex ‘Hurricane’ Higgins and ‘Interesting’ Steve Davis.
Today, snooker is one of the most popular non-contact sports in the UK. Amateurs can play at snooker halls and pubs across the country, while snooker championships maintain an avid fan base and strong viewing figures – despite some games lasting over two days. The huge cash prizes at snooker championships add to the excitement; meanwhile, the possibility of a long career has allowed some players to rack up dozens of snooker championship titles.
For viewers, snooker betting has also helped to heighten the tension, and keep them glued to their screens frame after frame. Exciting long snooker odds for championship winners, short odds on match outcomes and a huge range of different aspects to bet on have made the sport very popular with betting fans. Snooker Hall will inform you of all the latest snooker news, as well as snooker betting tips for upcoming tournaments including the World Snooker Championship, Premier League, China Open and Masters. We also have a mobile site so you can read the news or place your bets on the go.