Billiards or cue sports are a wide variety of games of skills which is popular not just in England but around the World. The game is generally played by two or more players with a stick which is used to strike billiard balls which makes them move around a cloth-covered billiard table which remains bounded by elastic bumpers known as cushions.
The familiar name of the game is still employed by some as a generic label for all such games. In British and Australia English, billiards refer to the game of English billiards while in countries of American and Canadian English it refers to a particular game or class of games, or to all cue games in general which depend upon dialect and context. The term billiards in colloquial usage is used to refer to pocket billiards games, such as pool, snooker or Russian pyramid.
Subdivisions of game
The games have three major subdivisions within cue sports which have been discussed below-
- Carom billiards refers to games played on a table without pockets, which is typically 10 fit in length which includes backline and straight rail, cushion caroms, artistic billiards, three-cushion billiards and four-ball.
- Pool, covers numerous pocket billiards games which are generally played on a 6- pocket table of either 7,8 or 9-foot length which includes eight-ball, nine-ball, ten-ball straight-pool Bank-pool and one-pocket
- Snooker, Russian pyramid and English billiards games are played on a billiards table which has 6 pockets known as a snooker table, all of them are classified separately from the pool based on a separate historical development, along with a separate culture and terminology that characterize their play.
The sports have other variants too that make use of obstacles and targets and table-top games played with disks instead of balls.
As a Sport
Since 1893 the games with regulated International professional competitions, have been referred to as ‘sports' or ‘sporting events’ but not simply ‘game’. There are a variety of particular games with a set of rules and equipment, including many of those already mentioned with the competition especially being broad in nine-ball, snooker, eight-ball, and three-cushion.
Snooker, which technically is a variant of pocket billiards is a professional sport which is organized at the international level, and the rule of the game bear little resemblance to those of Pyramid, modern pool, and other such games of billiards.
In 2005 world games featured “Billiards” category encompassing pool, snooker and carom which was held in Duisburg, Germany. In 2006 Asian games also had a cue sports category.
There are mainly two varieties of period games namely: carom and pocket billiard.The main carom billiard games are straight rail, backline and especially three-cushion billiards. All the games are played on a particular pocketless table with three balls, two cue balls and one object ball. In the games of billiards players shoot a cue ball so that it makes contact with the opponent's cue ball as well as the object ball. Four-ball and five-pines are the other of multinational interest.
The most popular games globally in pocket games are pool and snooker.
List of cue sports and games
- Artistic Billiards
- Backline Games
- Three-Cushion Billiards
- Target Carom Games
- American Rotation
- Artistic Pool
- Bank Pool
- Baseball Pocket Billiards
- Equal Offence
- Fifteen -Ball
- Kelly Pool
- Speed Pool
- Straight Pool
Non-Pool Pocket Games
- Golf Billiards
- Russian Pyramid
- Six-Red Snooker
- American Snooker
- Brazilian Snooker
- Volunteer Snooker
- Snooker Plus
- Power Snooker
Hybrid carom and pocket games
The combination of carom and pocket billiards is played on tables pockets
- Bottle Pool
- Cowboy Pool
- English Billiards
- Five-Pin Billiards
- Poker Pool
Obstacles and target games
- Bumper Pool
- Danish Pin Billiards and others
- Bar Billiards
- Devil's Pool and Victory Billiards
- Bottle Pool, Pun Pool (Skittle pool) and Italian Five-Pin Billiards Goriziana
These games are variations and are played using small disks instead of balls and light-weight cue sticks.
These games have been developed from cue sports and are played with the hands directly.
- Finger Billiards or Hand Billiards
*Boccette (an adaption of Five-Pin Billiards)
- Finger Pool
- Bocce Billiards or Bocce Pool
Facts about Billiards
Given below are the facts about the games of Billiards
- The game of billiards or pool gets involved from a law game that was similar to croquet played sometimes in Northern Europe during the 15th century.
- Before the cue stick was developed, billiards was played with a mace which consisted of a carved wooden head which was used to push the ball forward and was attached to a narrow handle.
- The games of billiards in history has bridged the gap between the aristocracy and the masses. The game was played by both gentleman and street toughs
- The first-period room was built in 1765 A.D. in England.
- In the 19th century, the pool room was a place where horse racing betting was done. Billiards table was installed for patrons to pass the time between races. But today the pool room means a place where billiards is played.
- Billiards is considered one of the safest sports in the world.
- The billiard cloth has remained unchanged for over 400 years. In the 1500s wool was used as the fabric which also remains the fabric of choice today just with some development.
- In the year 1873 billiards was the first sport to have a world championship.
- During the golden age, the world's largest billiards hall was built.
- During the Civil War, billiard results received wider coverage than war news and cigarette cards were issued featuring the renowned players.
Rules of Billiards
- The games of billiards shall be played with three balls, consisting of a red, yellow and white
- Both the player has got their cue balls, one has the white ball while the other has a yellow ball.
- The players must decide who is to break off first and is done by both of them simultaneously hitting the cushion and returning to them. The player who gets their cue ball nearest to the baulk cushion gets to choose who breaks first.
- The players then take their turn to attempt to score the most amount of points and eventually one with the highest wins the game. The score can be made in three ways.
Score of 2/3 points is achieved by the player when his cue ball hits one or more balls and then goes down a pocket.
A score of 2/3 points is what the player gets when any bol other than his cue ball goes into a pocket.
A score of 2 points is gained when the cue ball hit both the other balls.
- Until a player fails to make a scoring shot he remains on the table and continues to play.
- When a foul occurs, the opposing players have the option to have all the balls placed on their side or can leave the table as it is.
- The winner of the game is the first player who scored the winning point which has already been declared as the total winning point before the game starts
Read More: Top 10 health benefits of playing billiards