Billiards- How to Play It

Billiards- popularly known as pool is an indoor game and is played throughout the world. You can see billiards tables in many bars, pubs and restaurants. The popularity of this sport has urged many sport enthusiasts to bring the pool table to their homes.

Though you have not played this game or even tried, this game has some commonly used equipment that includes a billiards table. Let us find out the key equipment of billiards.


The basic equipment of billiards

Any game being played with a cue and a ball on a table is known as billiards. Physics and geometry are the two key fundamentals that this game relies on. And getting expert at this game depends on skillful mastery of the equipment of this sport. Let us know about the equipment.


The table is the playing surface where the ball moves on. The table may have or may not have pockets for the balls to fall in. Well, this depends on the game type.


Though each ball carries a different point and each variation has a different rule, the objective is to hit the ball and move it in some style.


A long sharpened rod with a cushioned tip on the top is the cue. It is used to hit the ball.

Billiards being played with pockets is sometimes defined as snooker or pool. And the game being played without pocket is known as carom.

Let us find out how the game is played

Billiards offers a great opportunity to play a variety of games. There are actually two categories of the game– pocket billiards and carom billiards.

Pocket billiards

Most people call this game as a pool. There are six holes on the billiards table. Every corner of the table has one pocket and the middle of the long wood bar has one pocket on each side.

There is an interesting fact how the pocket billiards has come to be known as a pool. A pocket billiards has become popular in the late 18th century and 19th century in England when gambling houses were installed with pool tables as another form of entertainment. These gambling rooms were called pool rooms because players would keep betting into a common fund that was used to pay the triumphant. Gradually, the pool tables became so popular that the gambling houses started using these tables in their establishments and from then pool room came to be known as the place where the pocket billiards could be played. Therefore, pocket billiards became “pool.”

Let us know about the variants of this indoor game


9-ball billiards is known as one of the quickest and easiest types of the billiards. This form has 9 numbered balls and a cue ball. One needs to start from the lowest numbered ball to the highest number ball. And anyone who hits the 9 numbered ball into the pocket, wins the game.


It is known to be one of the popular forms of gaming in the United States of America. This format uses 15 numbered balls and a cue ball. One player tries to put 1-7 balls into the pocket and another player will pocket 9-15 balls.

The moment a player will pocket all of his seven balls, he will try to hit the ball number 8 in a particular pocket.

If the player can make the cue ball or even if he does, he will be declared winner.


English players like this format of billiards. This form has 21 colored balls and a cue ball. The 15 balls amongst the 21 balls are red colored and each ball includes 1 points each when pocketed. And the rest of the balls such as yellow, green, brown, blue, pink and black hold from 2-7 points respectively. When a player starts hitting the balls, he has to first pocket all the red balls, then only he can attempt other colors. However, the color balls must be pocketed as per their value. When a player cannot make a clear shot, he will be regarded as ‘snookered.’

Straight pool:

This format uses 15 numbered balls and a cue ball. In this format, a player can hit any ball into the pocket. But, before he hits the ball; he has to specify which color of the ball he wants to hit and in which pocket. When only one ball is left on the pool table, another 14 balls will be put back to the table once again. Players need to break the setting of the ball while hitting the other ball. A player is declared winner when he wins normally set at 150.

Carom billiards

As far as carom billiards is concerned, this game is played without any pocket. This includes two variations- French and Custom billiards.

Whenever you think to buy your own billiards, try to have a solid wood billiards. Get it and enjoy your spare time with your family and friends with billiards.

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