• The Snooker World Championship draw takes place a couple of days before the tournament gets underway in April

  • Only 32 players enter the main draw after a competitive period of qualification

  • Read below for more on the format of the competition, prize money and important dates

Joining the list of snooker world champions is the pinnacle of the sport. It is the holy grail for any aspiring player, though it’s an honour that has alluded some generational talents.

The Crucible has been home to many snooker betting shocks. While the World Championship draw can look easy to project on paper, it is seldom so straightforward.

A favourable path isn’t a guarantee of success, and earning a high seed doesn’t mean a player will cope with the incomparable pressure of the tournament.

There’s more money on offer than any other event. The Snooker World Championship captures devout and casual fans alike.

We’ve put together all you need to know about the World Championship draw. From format to important dates and television coverage – here’s the key information about snooker’s showpiece fortnight.

World Snooker Championship Format

The main Snooker World Championship draw features just 32 players. Prior to the draw, though, there is a 128-player qualifying draw.

The highest ranked players in the qualification phase are seeded, and some are given byes to later rounds. It’s a four-round process, with the final players earning a spot in the main draw.


Of the 32 players, 16 automatically qualify. Being in the top 16 in the World Snooker rankings guarantees a place in the first round of the World Championship, and the reigning champion is automatically installed as the top seed.

The other 15 seeded places are handed out based on the world rankings. This can obviously provide a significant advantage in the early stages of the competition.

The format of the Snooker World Championship has changed over the decades. Its 32-player main draw will continue for 2022 and it looks set to stay that way for the foreseeable future.

Match length has also been altered. To win the final back in the 1970s, players like Ray Reardon needed to win 30 or more frames. In 1964, John Pulman defeated Rex Williams 40-33.

The players in the 2021 World Championship draw were not in for such marathon matches. With the final the longest potential match, it was still only a best of 35 frames. Earlier rounds were shorter.

The semi-finals were a best of 33, the last eight ties were best of 25, as were the second round matches.

First round matchups were a best of just 19 frames – shorter matches like this make upsets more likely and helps to speed the tournament along.

World Snooker Championship Coverage

The BBC and Eurosport share broadcasting rights for the Snooker World Championship in the United Kingdom.

BBC split their coverage across live television and online streaming, while Eurosport offer comprehensive access on their channels and through the widely used Eurosport Player.

DAZN has the rights to broadcast the World Championship in Brazil, the USA and Canada. NowTV was showing the action in Hong Kong, and several channels had live action in China, including Superstars Online and Youku.

This was a breakthrough tournament for the sport. Fans returned to watch the matches in person. Beginning with a third of capacity, they ramped up attendance to have a packed Crucible for the final.

Snooker is constantly wrestling with new ideas like a snooker shot clock to increase the sport’s popularity.

Accessibility to its most high-profile tournament is vital to growing the fan base worldwide, however. There’s no shortage of ways to keep up with the Snooker World Championship.

World Snooker Championship Prize Money

The most lucrative event on the tour, the Snooker World Championship awards a useful half a million pounds to the winner.

The runner-up faces a nice consolation of £200,000. Only two events – the Masters and China Open – give more than £200,000 to the winner.

With a total prize pool of comfortably over £2 million in the 2019/20 season, the World Championship hands out over double as much money as any other event on the calendar.

If a 147 is completed in the main draw, the player wins an additional £40,000 on top of their prize money. The highest overall break, including the qualifying stage, receives £15,000.

Here’s the complete prize money list for the 2021 Snooker World Championship:

  • Winner: £500,000

  • Runner-up: £200,000

  • Semi-finalists: £100,000

  • Quarter-finalists: £50,000

  • Last 16: £30,000

  • Last 32: £20,000

  • Last 48: £15,000

  • Last 80: £10,000

  • Last 112: £5,000

  • Highest break (qualifying stage included): £15,000

  • Maximum break (main stage): £40,000

  • Maximum break (qualifying stage): £10,000

World Snooker Championship Dates

The 2021 Snooker World Championship took place between 17th April and 3rd May. The tournament generally happens around the same time of year, though there was a change for 2020.

Shunted to late-July and early-August in 2020, the event has returned to its usual slot in 2021 and beyond.

Fans of snooker live betting will be able to lock in for the World Championship between 16th April and 2nd May in 2022.

Qualification for the 2021 Snooker World Championship was between the 5th and 14th of April. The draw for the tournament itself was announced the day after qualification was completed.

This gives bettors a couple of days between the Snooker World Championship draw and the first round to research and place their wagers.

2022 World Snooker Championship Draw

The 2022 World Snooker Championship draw will be available here once complete. Going by the 2021 schedule, this should be announced around the 14th April 2022.

Mark Selby, Judd Trump, Neil Robertson, Ronnie O’Sullivan and Kyren Wilson are the top five in the world rankings as of September 2021. Selby is assured of the top seed having won his fourth world title in 2021.

*Credit for the main photo belongs to Aijaz Rahi / AP Photo*

Sam is a sports tipster, specialising in the Premier League and Champions League.

He covers most sports, including cricket and Formula One. Sam particularly enjoys those on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean – notably MLB and NBA.

Watching, writing and talking about sports betting takes up most of his time, whether that is for a day out at T20 Finals Day or a long night of basketball.

Having been writing for several years, Sam has been working with 888Sport since 2016, contributing multiple articles per week to the blog.