Billiards Basic Play, Rules, Accessories and Equipment

Okechukwu Solomon June 18, 2017
Billiards is a traditional tabletop game played with balls, sticks called cues and a specialized table. Pool is a common nickname for the game pocket billiards. These two games use similar hardware but are different due to the objectives of each game and the number of balls used.


Basic Play: Each turn is called a "break" and consists of a series of strikes of the cue ball that come to an end when a player makes a non-scoring strike or a foul stroke. Scoring is achieved by "potting" balls, by "cannons", and by going "in off". A ball is "potted" when the cue ball knocks it into a pocket. A "cannon" is when the cue ball strikes first one ball and then the other. A player's ball goes "in off" when it falls into a pocket having first "kissed" (struck) another ball.

Foul shots: A foul occurs when a player's ball hits no other balls in which case 1 point is added to the opponent's score or when the player's ball goes directly into a pocket without hitting any other ball whereupon 3 points are given to the opponent. It will quickly be seen, however, that the size of these penalties are trivial compared to the injury suffered merely as a result of allowing the opponent onto the table.....

Pool and billiards are two versions of the same game. Each of these sports focuses on the idea of hitting small balls with the end of a narrow stick called a cue with the object being to accrue more points than the opponent.
It is most common in traditional billiards to use only three balls. All of the sides, or rails, of the table are bound in cushions and no pockets are present. The goal is the strike one ball and bounce it off the sides, hitting the other two on the rebound.

Pool: is a common name for pocket billiards and is found in many American sports bars and recreational halls. It features a table the same size as a billiards table but with less cushioning on the rails and pockets set at the corners and midpoints of the longer edges. There are 18 balls in this game and one white cue ball, which is the only ball the cue ever contacts. Winning requires putting more balls into pockets or completing a colored set before the opponent.

Basic Play: Each turn is called a "break" and consists of a series of strikes of the cue ball that come to an end when a player makes a non-scoring strike or a foul stroke. While there are reds on the table, a break must always start by potting a red. When a red has been potted the player must next pot a nominated coloured ball (if it is not obvious which colour is being aimed at, the player is required to orally make this clear). A coloured ball that has been potted after a red is immediately returned to the table on its home spot. After a coloured ball, another red ball must be potted followed by a colour and so on until there are no red balls left. After the final red ball and its accompanying colour have been potted, the balls must be potted in order starting with yellow and finishing with black.

Billiards is an age-old game and to some, a serious sport. While you're idea of fun might involve a casual game of snooker or eight ball, you should also possess a general knowledge of the grand old game of billiards.

The rules of billiards are quite simple, and not too unlike the barroom sport you're more inclined to play.

► In billiards, all of the balls within the racking triangle must be touching. If you take the break shot, strike the cue ball with your cue stick to initiate play of the game. Anything other than a direct strike of the cue ball can result in your disqualification.

► In regulation billiards, it is essential to call every shot. If you are playing under these rules, you must call the shot out loud before the stroke of the cue stick, indicating the ball you are shooting for and the pocket or combination you are attempting to hit. If you do not pocket your shot, your turn comes to an end. Any extra balls that are pocketed however, are credited to you.

► A billiards ball is only considered pocketed when it falls into the pocket and stays there. This includes balls that may fall through the pocket onto the floor. If the billiards ball bounces out of the pocket and back onto the table, it is not considered pocketed and the ball is still in play.

► Each of your shots must be made with both feet set firmly on the ground. Any billiards shot that you make with one foot raised off the ground, even slightly, is cause for disqualification.

► As the shooter, you can also be disqualified from the billiards game if you make a shot while one or more balls are still in motion. Billiards players must wait for all of the balls to come to a complete stop before taking the next shot.

► At any time, if the cue ball is pocketed on a shot, that player's turn is over.

► If a billiards ball jumps off of the playing surface as a result of a shot, that shot is considered foul. The ball can jump, but not leave the playing surface (rail or floor) without penalty. If your ball lands on the floor or rail, it is considered foul and must be replaced after all other billiards balls from the shot have stopped moving.

You never know when a new opponent might challenge you to a game of billiards. If you know the rules you'll be ready to join in the fun. Besides, having an understanding of proper billiards might just help you to become a better pool or snooker player.


There are a ton of billiards accessories for you to choose from today, and therefore it can be difficult to find the right ones. Very simply, when choosing pool and billiards equipment, you have your choice of which billiard chairs to pick from, billiard tables, billiards cues, balls, gloves, etc.

Therefore, it can be very easy to get lost in the clutter and end up purchasing the wrong accessories, or simply overpaying for ones you could have found much more cheaply elsewhere.

First of all, before you even begin looking for the right accessories, here is an important tip: try to find all the billiards supplies you purchase used, to save some money. Yes, you can still find very high quality pre owned equipment that comes minus the newer equipment price tag. Here is some important information to help you locate these bargains and great deals quickly.

First of all, billiard chairs are a very important piece of your billiard equipment. They play a very important role in determining how your billiard room will look. Since the chairs is such a vital part of the room, they will really add or diminish the appearance of the overall room look and feel. You don't spend a lot of money getting the perfect billiard room and then simply having the chairs take away from the look of it. It is important the chairs match the overall decor of the room to give it the look you want.

billiard chair

A billiard table or billiards table is a bounded
table on which billiards-type games ( cue sports ) are played. In the modern era, all billiards tables (whether for carom billiards, pool or snooker ) provide a flat surface usually made of quarried slate , that is covered with cloth (usually of a tightly-woven worsted wool called baize), and surrounded by vulcanized rubber cushions, with the whole elevated above the floor.

Keep in mind, these chairs are manufactured both with and without handles and cushions, and which one you decide to purchase is simply matter of how much you are willing to pay. They also come in two different heights; the first site is the counter height and bar height. These are the two most popular kind of billiard chairs purchased, and generally come in about 23 to 25 inches tall.

The ones that come taller than these are known as spectator chairs, and these usually come with a wide seat cushion, arched back, and also beverage holder. Of course, these are more expensive than the regular billiard chairs, but if you do have the money for these top-of-the-line chairs, paying the money it is probably worth it.

Keep in mind, these chairs are generally manufactured from either wood or iron. You can also get them cost designed to match your individual needs. Therefore, if the particular story you are shopping at doesn't have exactly what you want, you can order the chairs to be manufactured specifically for your rooms appearance.

You can generally have a choice between cherry, mahogany, maple, and just about any type of what that you want to chairs to be made of. The bottom line is, if the store doesn't have what your looking for, you don't need to settle for second best; when you pre-order what you want, you can still get the exact chair you want quickly and affordably.

Also, the billiards tables you purchase will certainly be a very crucial part of your equipment as well. When you are searching for billiards tables, there are a lot of different places you can shop as well.

You can find these at cheaper stores such as Kmart, Wal-Mart, and other discount stores. Also, you might try looking in the Internet in places such as the Billiard Zone, Billiard Warehouse, etc. These are two of the most popular billiards websites on the Internet today, and if you do plan shopping online come you should certainly start looking at these sources.

On the Internet there are many different companies that sell billiards tables directly from cheaper countries such as China or other third world countries, you can purchase them for a much more affordable price and if you confine your research to the United States. Also, when looking online, you can generally purchase these a wholesale prices, and sometimes below them. When you look at the store, you will generally full retail price.

Also, you might try looking in magazines for information about the right billiard accessories as well. There are many difficulties that publish these magazines, and therefore finding them really isn't all that difficult.

Here, you can find reviews on things such as McDermott, Predator, HRUSA, etc. Therefore, when you do your research and know what to look for, finding the right billiard accessories really is not that difficult at all. The most important thing is to know is what to look for beforehand, so you don't end up paying higher price than you really have to.


Athletes in every sport seem to have their little quirks.

Basketball players massage the basketball before a game. Batters on deck at a baseball game wait patiently, swinging the bat over and over. While these may look like nervous habits, attention grabbing tactics or ways to entertain the fans, the athletes are really getting in tune with their equipment. By knowing the equipment they use, the athletes are able to play the game to their full potential.

It is no different in the game of billiards. Whether you are a seasoned expert in the game, or a first-time billiards player, you need to know the equipment in order to play the game.

True regulation-size billiard tables are about 4 1/2 feet off the ground, and the length of the table is approximately double that distance. The playing surface of regulation tables measure about 50 by 100 inches. Billiards tables do not share the same dimensions as regular pool tables, so billiards players who like to practice their technique at home or at a pub or community center need to remember these numbers. Some stores that offer billiards tables to rent or purchase might let you come in and pay to play billiards, but even those tables may not be regulation size.

Billiards is a very technical game involving many angles and a great deal of discipline. It's important to know the dimensions of the pockets you're aiming for. The angles of the corner pockets are roughly 142 degrees, give or take a few, and the side pocket angles sit at about 103 degrees. These numbers may seem completely meaningless, but in the game of billiards, understanding the geometry is as important as having the proper cue.

When it comes to the cue, the use of regulation billiards equipment is in the hands of the user. Billiards cues should have a 14mm wide tip, 40 inches long and weigh 25 ounces. The billiards ball should be around 5.5 to 6 ounces in weight and be 2 1/4" in diameter. The playing surface of the billiards table must flat, slightly raised (between .20 and .40 inches), and lightly cushioned to give the ball a little "English" when it's hit just right.

Like any game, billiards can be quite enjoyable when played by the casual observer, but it is serious business to the professional player. Billiards players who know and understand their equipment will surpass all others who play the game. Great billiards players are not created of raw talent, but developed from a true knowledge of regulation equipment.

While you may not see championship players swinging their cues, you can bet that they are perfectly in tune with their billiards equipment.

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