Snooker may hog the media limelight here in the UK, but betting on the baize can also include pool — from popular 8-ball pool (the kind you might have played in the pub) to 9-ball pool (the most dominant type of pool on the professional scene). Here are some of the ways you might be able to place wagers at some of the best UK bookies out there.
Outright Match or Tournament Winner
Who’ll walk away from the pool table a winner? That’s what you’ll be predicting with this perpetually popular pool market. You can also put money on which player or team will win an overall tournament, such as the Mosconi Cup.
An each way bet is effectively two bets in one. You’ll be wagering that a player or team will either win a tournament outright or place in a certain position.
When one player or team is a lot better than the other, it can make for pretty unappealing odds when you’re betting on a winner. That’s why the top UK bookies will apply a handicap—a deficit in points or racks—for the favourite to overcome before their victory will count for a winning bet.
In 9-ball pool, a player can win straight away by pocketing the 9-ball with their break shot. This is known as a golden break, and you might be able to bet on whether you think someone will manage it.
Predicting the final score of a match is a tricky business, barring the invention of a magic crystal ball. However, the longer odds on guessing correctly can reward you with a big return.
The top UK bookies offer live, or in-play, betting markets, meaning you won’t be restricted to placing wagers before the first break. This works well for many punters who prefer to bet on the live odds while they fluctuate in response to how the match is going, and in-play bets can provide far better value compared with betting beforehand. For example, the favourite may have disappointingly short odds to start with, but their odds will lengthen if they start lagging during the match. Bet at this point and you’ll get a better return if they do go on to win it.
What does it mean to cash out a wager? Well, it’s a very simple and appealing option for punters who feel like a bet isn’t destined to go their way. Rather than having to shrug and accept defeat, you can cash out. This means settling the bet and drawing whatever money you can before the outcome has actually occurred. How much you’ll get depends on the odds and your initial stake, and it’s an effective way to limit potential losses. You might also want to cash out if a bet is going according to plan. For example, if your player is ahead in a match but you’re concerned the opponent may be poised for a comeback, cashing out in this instance might be particularly appealing.
Mix things up—literally—by placing an accumulator bet. Popularly known as an acca bet, this involves stacking several different selections together on the same bet slip. The advantage here is that, if the acca wins, the separate odds will be multiplied to give you a larger payout than you’d have otherwise received from individual bets.
Accas are particularly good if you’re betting on favourites with short odds, as they can significantly boost what would otherwise be pretty paltry payouts. However, one losing selection can mean a total loss for the acca. This is why some UK bookies offer acca insurance, returning your stake as free bet credits if you miss out because of one lost bet.
Whether you’re keen to bet on pool or any other sport, choosing the right UK betting site is important. The welcome bonus can be the deciding factor here, and some of the most popular types include:
- Matched deposit bonuses, where the bookmaker will match your first deposit up to a certain percentage and limit (for example, if the offer is ‘100% up to £200’, and you deposit £40, you’ll have a total of £80 to bet with)
- Free bets, where the bookmaker will give you a certain amount in free bet credits if you make a qualifying first bet with your own funds (for example, ‘£10 in free bets when you bet £10’)
Whatever welcome bonus you’re tempted by, remember to check the small print. There will almost certainly be terms and conditions to bear in mind, such as minimum odds you have to bet on and wagering requirements you have to fulfil before you can withdraw winnings.
After becoming a member of a betting site, you can look forward to regular promotions beyond the welcome bonuses. Here are some that are commonly available:
- Money back offers, where your losing stake is returned as free bets, up to a cap
- Enhanced odds, where the given odds for favourites and other lower risk selections are artificially boosted for a short time.
Prefer one payment over all the others? No problem — the top UK bookies will support a range of ways to deposit money, including:
- Debit cards
- Prepaid cards
- Pay by phone
- Bank transfer
Mobile sports betting is skyrocketing in popularity, and you can try it for yourself using your smartphone or tablet. Look up your betting site on the web browser, log in and navigate your way to the betting markets just as you would on a computer. Native apps are even more convenient, and these can be downloaded onto your device from the App Store or Google Play if your betting site offers its own dedicated app. With a native app, you can have a flutter on pool with a few taps and without having to open your browser at all. Plus, you can be kept in the know about the bookmaker’s latest promotions with push notifications.
Betting Tips for Pool
It’s important to know exactly what kind of pool you’re betting on. Many of the bigger, more well-known competitions involve 9-ball, which has very different rules to the more familiar 8-ball variation that’s played in pubs across the country. Getting a handle on the rules will let you make a better informed choice on how to bet, as will researching the head to head statistics of the players. Have they competed against each other before? What’s their recent form been like? Look at their playing styles as well. A particular individual may be a hot favourite, but he may also be known to be a rough and ready player whose fortunes fluctuate during the course of a match, meaning some good prop bets can be placed on his longshot opponent.
Major Pool Tournaments
The World Pool Billiard Association, or WPA, is the official governing body for the sport. One of the most prestigious sanctioned events is the WPA World Nine-Ball Championship, which typically takes place every December in Doha, Qatar.
Then there’s the World Cup of Pool, which is also held annually but at different locations around the world. Meanwhile, the US Open 9-Ball Championships is a particularly popular and hotly-contested tournament which usually takes place annually at various locations across the US.
Another major 9-ball event is the Mosconi Cup, which sees Team Europe and Team USA do battle in a Ryder Cup-like fashion every year. You might also be able to bet on 8-ball events, such as the annual WEPF World Eight Ball.
Ready to Place Bets on Pool?
It may be a bit of an outlier in the betting world, but pool can still prove a fruitful sport for gamblers to explore. If you’re tempted, check out our list of the best UK bookies, compare welcome bonuses and sign up today!
Frequently Asked Questions
This really depends on what competitions are coming up. There’s no denying pool betting is a niche activity, so you may only be able to bet on match or tournament winners, but have a good look at the betting sites on our list to see what’s on offer.
Absolutely, as long as you ensure you stick to betting sites licensed by the UK Gambling Commission. At Compare.bet, we only recommend these sites as they have to adhere to strict guidelines on fair play, online security, and ethical behaviours.
Many top UK betting sites offer acca bets, but double check whether pool is included so you know what to expect when signing up.
Betting tips are all over the Internet, and yes they can be useful when researching players and tournaments. Just be sure to not get swept away by any site’s hype, as they’re not fortune tellers and tips can only provide rough pointers, not foolproof paths to success.