The Most Impressive Snooker Records of All Time

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If you enjoy betting on snooker, you might be curious to find out more about the most prominent snooker records and the game’s rich history.

Snooker is one of the most famous cue sports worldwide. It’s primarily dominated by British players and those residing in English-speaking countries but it has been recently popularised in China and several other countries that are hardly anyone’s first association to the word “snooker.”

The game itself was invented in India by British Army officers in the second half of the 19th century. Kicking off as a “gentleman’s sport” played exclusively by upper-class enthusiasts, the game has since been democratised and, in the 1960s, became widely played in snooker clubs.

A Short History of Snooker

In 1875, Sir Neville Chamberlain, an army officer stationed in India, came up with a set of rules that were based on two popular games at the time – black pool and pyramids. He didn’t only establish the rules of the new game but also gave it a name. Chamberlain got the idea from a derogatory term used for rookie cadets studying at the Royal Military Academy at Woolwich – “snookers.”

But how did snooker gain a foothold in Great Britain? Exactly 10 years later, the then British billiards champion, John Roberts, met Chamberlain in India and got interested in the new game. That’s when he decided to introduce snooker in England, but it wasn’t until the end of the 19th century that the new sport became widely accepted.

Some less-known snooker facts inform us that the first official amateur snooker competition took place in 1916 and that the first professional Snooker Championship was held in 1927. The winner was Joe Davis, the legendary conqueror of 15 consecutive championships and a promoter of the sport. After the launch of Pot Black, an annual snooker tournament broadcast by the BBC in colour from 1969 till 1986, the snooker craze began. Nowadays, snooker events abound, and snooker fans can place their bets online and earn some cash without even getting up from their sofa.

Amazing Snooker Facts You Might Not Know About

Maximum Breaks

In snooker, a maximum break (also known as a 147) is the highest break in a single frame of snooker that calls for 15 reds, 15 blacks, and all six colours. That means 36 straight shots without a mistake for a total of 147 points.

Obviously, maximum snooker breaks aren’t easy to achieve. The first to score 147 at an official tournament was the aforementioned Joe Davis in an exhibition match against Willie Smith at Leicester Square Hall, London, in 1955. Davis managed to pot all the balls on the table in a single turn. His record was registered in the Guinness World Records as the first official 147 break in history.

Another UK player, Wally West, achieved the highest break in a single frame when he scored a stunning 151 points in a match at the Hounslow Lucania, Greater London, in October 1976. How is that even possible, you might ask? Well, the break involved a free ball that created an additional, 16th red, while all the other red balls were still on the table.

What about the fastest 147 break in history? That’s one of numerous snooker world records that belong to the one and only Ronnie O’Sullivan, who achieved the impossible in just 5 minutes and 8 seconds. It happened in 1997 at the World Snooker Championship at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield, South Yorkshire.

Century Breaks

In snooker, a century break is a break of 100 points or more during a single frame. That means that players are required to pot at least 25 consecutive balls. It’s a difficult task for any snooker player, except one – you guessed it – Ronnie O’Sullivan.

O’Sullivan is officially recognised as the player with the most snooker century breaks in a professional career. He managed to score 1,000 of them between June 20, 1992, and March 10, 2019. O’Sullivan compiled his first professional century break at the age of 16 and his 1,000th at the age of 43, in the final of the Coral Players Championships in Lancashire, UK, in 2019. On top of that, 15 of these centuries were maximum breaks.

O’Sullivan may have been very young when he achieved his first century break, but not as young as Michael White. White was only nine years old when he scored his first century break and thus became the youngest person to boast this title. It happened at the Empire Snooker Club in Neath, in 2001.


Aside from O’Sullivan, there are some other big names worth mentioning that regularly appear in snooker rankings, such as Stephen Hendry, Steve Davis, Alex Higgins, John Higgins, and many others.
Hendry, for example, is known for having the most century breaks in the same tournament. He had 16 in the 2002 Embassy World Championships.

Five players share the record for the highest number of consecutive century breaks: John Higgins (UK), Shaun Murphy (UK), Neil Robertson (Australia), and Gary Wilson (UK) all achieved four consecutive breaks of 100 or more.

Among other notable snooker records is the one regarding the youngest snooker champion. Namely, Ann-Marie Farren from the UK won the WLBS World Women’s Championship in 1987, when she was only 16.

Finally, there are some records no one should be proud of, such as the one for the longest ban from playing snooker: In September 2013, Stephen Lee was banned from professional games for 12 years by the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association after he was found guilty of fixing seven matches.


Has anyone had a 155 break in snooker?

Yes, although this mind-blowing record is hard to achieve, some players boast a 155 break. Among them is the UK professional player Jamie Cope who became the first player to score this record in 2006. The highest snooker score was also achieved by Thai-born Thepchaiya Un-Nooh, who managed to hit a 155 break in just seven minutes.

Who has won the most world titles in snooker?

Stephen Hendry surpassed Ronnie O’Sullivan when it comes to the world titles. He has accumulated seven victories in the World Snooker Championships, while O’Sullivan currently holds six titles.

What is the longest snooker match ever?

The final of the World Snooker Championship in 1985 was the longest snooker match ever held. It had 35 frames and lasted 14 hours and 50 minutes. According to the Guinness World Records, the longest snooker marathon for singles lasted 85 hours, 19 minutes, and 4 seconds.

Who holds the most records in snooker?

The absolute champion of snooker records is, without a doubt, Ronnie O’Sullivan, with 37 ranking titles, with the latest one being added to the list in 2020. The 45-year old Brit is a six-time world champion and holds a number of other impressive records, including the fastest 147 break in a professional competition, the highest number of maximum breaks, the most century breaks, and the most Triple Crown event titles (20).

Who has had the most 147 breaks in snooker?

Ronnie O’Sullivan is the player with the most maximum breaks – 15 of them.

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A Short History of Snooker Amazing Snooker Facts You Might Not Know About Maximum Breaks Century Breaks Players FAQ
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