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A Guide to Scottish Open Snooker

/ January 15, 2021
Snooker Scottish Open

The Scottish Open is back for another instalment in December, with the world’s best players converging in Glasgow for a week of high-quality snooker action. Marco Fu is the defending champion having beaten John Higgins in the final last year, and the patriotic Scot will be desperate to go one better this year, in what is a gruelling test of snooker stamina with a field of 128 whittled down to just a single champion all in the space of just one week.

With plenty of coverage and a top-quality field, this year’s Scottish Open looks set to be the best ever, and with so many players to choose from, here is all you need to know with our Scottish Open Guide.

A Brief History of the Scottish Open

The Scottish Open, in name, has only been around sporadically since 1998, with the event itself having gone under many guises and moved from pillar to post before settling down as part of the now named ‘Home Nations’ series of snooker, with the event forming a series with the English, Irish and Welsh Opens on the main tour.

The original Scottish Open was actually first known as the International Open and began in 1981 in Derby (not so Scottish after all!).

After moving from Derby through Newcastle, Stoke, Plymouth and Bournemouth, the tournament found its eventual home in Scotland and was renamed to the current ‘Scottish Open’ in 1998 (although it was also named ‘The Players Championship’ for a year in 2004).

It’s not been simple for the Scottish Open, and after having been cut from the national tour in 2004, the competition eventually returned as a minor rankings event in 2012, before being placed back onto the main tour as a ranking event last year.

Scottish Open, part of the Home Nations Series

As part of the Home Nations series, the Scottish Open has become one of the most highly anticipated snooker tournaments on the circuit and looks set to finally end its nomadic past and settle for good north of the border, with this year’s event coming from the Emirates Arena in Glasgow.

  • 1981-82: The International Open begins, held in Derby
  • 1983-84: The event moves to Newcastle
  • 1985: The event is moved to Stoke-on-Trent and renamed the ‘Goya Matchroom Trophy’
  • 1986-89: That name change clearly was unsuccessful as it was changed back to The International Open - still held in Stoke
  • 1993: After a three-year hiatus, the International Open return in Plymouth
  • 1994-96: The International Open moves to Bournemouth
  • 1997: The International Open migrates north of the border to its new home in Aberdeen
  • 1998-2002: Rebranding as The Scottish Open
  • 2003: Moves to Edinburgh for a single tournament
  • 2004: Moves to Glasgow and becomes The Players Championship for a single edition
  • 2012: After many years off the circuit, The Scottish Open returns for a single year as a minor ranking event in Ravenscraig
  • 2016-present: The Scottish Open returns as a major ranking event in Glasgow

How to Ensure Betting Success at the Scottish Open

The Scottish Open trophy

The task for the top players in the world will be tough in Scotland, with plenty of difficult matches against the world’s elite, all in a short period of time.

That gives us plenty of opportunities to bet on a huge number of games all in a very short window, so the Scottish Open provides a great betting platform for us to hopefully make some money at the expense of the bookmaker.

Betting on The Scottish Open will be mainly based around choosing the player you expect to win each individual match; however, there will also be the chance to back an overall tournament winner or even certain scorelines in each game. Because of the number of matches each day (particularly during the opening rounds), there are plenty of chances to make accumulator bets by putting together your best bets for the Scottish Open.

The Scottish Open is an interesting event because while it features a number of matches in a short period of time, each individual match is only the best of 7 frames until the quarterfinals, and the final itself is only a best-of-17 match, making it very short in comparison to other major tournaments such as the World Championship in Sheffield.

The shorter the length of each game, the more potential there is for an upset, and the more impact luck can have on the outcome of a game. A good Scottish Open betting tip would be to look for some underdogs to pull off a few shocks based on this.

The relatively short, best-of-7 matches will also play into the hands of players who are better in short bursts, rather than those who wear opponents down and are better able to concentrate. However, it is also worth considering that a player who plays in spells (i.e. goes through spells of fantastic snooker and spells of terrible snooker) will be less able to turn the tide if they make a bad start to a game.

This is all worth considering when you are making your Scottish Open bets.

Recent Winners and Trends

It’s difficult to read too much into an event that has moved from England to Scotland, and was ditched and then reintroduced on a periodic basis since the 1980s.

The only real form we have to go on in this tournament is actually from last year’s event, the first since its reintroduction into the main tour and the first time as a ranking event since 2004.

The Scottish Open winner in 2016 was Marco Fu, who beat home representative John Higgins in the final after coming from 3-0 and 4-1 behind to win 9-4 in an emphatic performance.

Marco Fu

Fu had a fantastic tournament with some sparkling snooker, including 7 of the top 10 shots of the 2016 Scottish Open:

Even though we have little in the way of relevant tournament history to go on, it is worth considering the former Scottish Open winners and finalists to see if there are any trends to be found.

1981: Steve Davis beat Dennis Taylor

1982: Tony Knowles beat David Taylor

1983: Steve Davis beat Cliff Thorburn

1984: Steve Davis beat Tony Knowles

1985: Cliff Thorburn beat Jimmy White

1986: Neal Foulds beat Cliff Thorburn

1987: Steve Davis beat Cliff Thorburn

1988: Steve Davis beat Jimmy White

1989: Steve Davis beat Stephen Hendry

1993: Stephen Hendry beat Steve Davis

1994: John Parrot beat James Wattana

1995: John Higgins beat Steve Davis

1996: John Higgins beat John Lawler

1997 (tournament moved to Scotland): Stephen Hendry beat Tony Drago

1998: Ronnie O’Sullivan beat John Higgins

1999: Stephen Hendry beat Graeme Dott

2000: Ronnie O’Sullivan beat Mark Williams

2001: Peter Ebdon beat Ken Doherty

2002: Stephen Lee beat David Gray

2003: David Gray beat Mark Selby

2004: Jimmy White beat Paul Hunter

2012: Ding Junhui beat Anthony McGill

2016: Marco Fu beat John Higgins

There isn’t much of a trend to take away from the previous results, with the one exception being perhaps that there have been finalists from Scotland in a half of the tournaments since the event was moved to Scotland.

Looking for potential Scottish winners, the most obvious candidate would be John Higgins, who also has the best record in the tournament of all active players who are potential candidates in this tournament, with two victories and a further two finals including last year. Steve Davis is the most successful player in the history of the tournament with six wins, but he retired last year (and his last victory in this tournament was in 1989!).

John Higgins

Take Advantage of the Best Betting Offers

With an exciting week of snooker action on the horizon, there is plenty of reason to be excited ahead of a fantastic opportunity for snooker betting starting in Glasgow on 11th December and finishing with the final on 17th.

With so many matches on offer, you will want to make sure you are using only the leading snooker bookmakers who will offer the most consistently good Scottish Open betting odds, as well as giving you fantastic Scottish Open offers and promotions ahead of the big tournament. It's also worth reading up on the Snooker UK Championship.

By using our ratings and the reviews of snooker bookmakers by our team, you can find the best Scottish Open betting site for you, and with plenty of exclusive betting offers as well, Top 10 Sports Betting Sites has everything you need to have a successful Scottish Open.


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