Billiards | Pool
Billiards | Pool
Billiards, often referred to in specific forms such as pool or snooker, is a cue sport played on a rectangular table with pockets at the corners and along the longer sides. The general aim is to use a cue stick to strike billiard balls, either directing them into the pockets (in games like eight-ball or nine-ball pool) or scoring points through various means (as in snooker). Skills involved include precision, strategic planning, and a good understanding of angles and power. Scoring depends on the game variant: in pool, it's typically about pocketing balls in a certain order or quantity, while snooker involves a point system based on ball values.
Billiards is played worldwide, with major leagues and tournaments primarily in Europe, the Americas, and Asia.
Billiards originated as a lawn game similar to croquet in 15th-century Europe and gradually moved indoors on a table with green cloth to simulate grass. It evolved over centuries, with the cue stick introduced to replace mallets. Initially, billiards involved pushing the balls, but striking them became the norm. The game diversified into various forms like carom, eight-ball, and snooker, each with distinct rules and equipment. By the 19th century, billiards became more accessible and popular, leading to standardized rules and professional competition. Advances in table design, ball materials, and cue technology enhanced the game's precision and skill level, making it a popular sport and leisure activity worldwide.
Billiards is likely to grow in popularity and accessibility, thanks to technological innovations and digital platforms. Virtual and augmented reality technologies are introducing new ways to play and learn, making the game more interactive and appealing to younger audiences. Online streaming and global competitions are bringing players from different countries together, increasing the sport's international presence.
The emergence of more diverse billiards clubs and informal leagues indicates a growing community interest. These developments, alongside the continuous refinement of equipment and playing techniques, suggest that billiards will maintain its status as a beloved pastime and competitive sport, appealing to both casual players and professional athletes.
There are many variations of pool with differing play styles and strategies, but the most common games are straight pool, rotation games, and eight-ball. Straight pool games allow players to shoot openly at any ball on the table to earn points. Rotation games (nine-ball) require that players shoot at balls in order from one to nine. Eight-ball is played with each player shooting at either the striped or the solid balls until they have successfully made them all and can then shoot the eight-ball to win.
The two most common racks for pool are the diamond rack used in nine-ball pool and the full triangle rack used for eight-ball pool. Nine-ball pool is racked with the one ball at the apex and the nine ball in the center. Eight-ball pool is racked with the eight ball in the center and the other balls organized at random with a stripe and a solid at each of the back two corner locations.
Pool is a general term referring to a variety of different pool games, with the most popular games being nine-ball and eight-ball pool. Nine-ball is played with nine balls in a diamond rack labeled one through nine. Eight ball is played with fifteen balls in a full triangle rack.