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Pool, or pocket billiards, falls under the cue sports category. The sport has generated quite a name for itself, with players practicing their very own royal styles. The game of Pool is well-known and loved all around the globe. Playing Pool is conducted on a specially designed table that consists of the rails and six pockets. Players play intending to hit other balls into the pockets with the cue. However, the sport has since diversified into different forms with its own set of rules.

Pool balls lit up on tableA Brief History of Pool

Cue sports have been living amongst us for over two centuries. In 1885, the UK became home to the first governing body known as the English billiards association. In the olden days, the cue was made from clay and wood and was hardly ever strong enough to last through several games. Players would begin to play only to have the cue becoming smashed on its surface.

Artisans soon realized that they needed to find a new material to make the cues, and this left them using ivory. Playing Pool, Billiards or Snooker involves the use of pockets. The main goal of the game is to sink the balls into the pockets. However, there are some differences between the different versions.

Related: Read about Slate vs Non-Slate Pool Tables


Snooker is played using a cue and 22 additional balls and is comprised of 15 red balls and one ball each of pink, blue, brown, yellow, green, and black. The aim is to sink one colored and one red ball into the pocket.

The winner is usually decided based on the number of points. Sinking one red ball into the pocket counts as one point. The other scores come from the colored balls in values of least to most. The game requires the player to shoot from the lowest to the highest.


Billiards requires its players to only use three balls, one red, one white, and one yellow. However, the cue can be either yellow or white. Two teams or two persons can play the game. Players are only able to rack up points through winning hazard, cannon, and losing hazard.

These are as follows:

Cannon – In the instance of cannon, the cue is hit with the hopes of contacting the other cue and then the red ball to reward two points.

Winning Hazard – When a player sinks the red ball, that player scores three points.

Losing Hazard – If the cue hits and sinks the red ball, three points are awarded. If the red ball hits a cue, then two points are given to the player. Two points are awarded in the case when the cue is hit, but the red ball is not sunk. If the red ball and the cue are hit at the same time, two points are scored.


Eight ball near pocketEach variant of the game of Pool is simply based on the number of balls involved. Three-ball Pool requires three balls, nine-ball uses nine balls, and eight-ball requires 15.
The most common form of Pool is 8-ball. In 8-ball, after breaking, players then decide if they want to play as the striped or solid colors. After sinking all other balls, the last ball to drop is the 8-ball.

From a general point of view, a person can win if the following occurs:
* He pots the 8-ball after the other seven
* His opponent pots the 8-ball by accident
* The eight ball is knocked off of the table

Variants of Pool

Each of the three cue sports previously mentioned has specific ball sizes and colors unique to that sport. However, the most common size of the ball is 2.5 inches. Usually, the cue is white, and the others include seven stiped and seven solid-colored balls that are purple, brown, red, yellow, green, orange, and blue.

The last of the eight is a black ball that has the number colored in white. Each variant of Pool is known for having its own set of rules.


This form of Pool is widely played in the United States and in pubs all around the United Kingdom. With practice, players can even compete in leagues and famous sporting events. Some of these events are hosted in parts of South and North America and even in Africa.

Before the game begins, the balls are arranged using a triangular rack. The rack usually holds all 15 balls while the striker has the cue. The striker’s primary goal is to sink the 8-ball before his opponent. However, the rules tend to vary slightly from one place to the other.


This cue sport is usually played by those competing professionally. The game requires a cue for the striker and nine numbered balls. The game is played on a rotation basis while the serving player has to hit the lowest number. The winner is usually the player who has pocketed all the balls according to the rules.


In this instance, the serving player plays until he pockets all the balls. The winner is declared when all balls are pocketed with the least attempts.


One pocket only allows two players to play during a game. Unlike the others, most tend to express just how crafty the game is. The striker is assigned to one corner, and he is only allowed to pocket his ball into that corner. The winner is determined when the majority of the balls are sunk; however, both players need to act defensively since each opponent tends to have balls in each other’s corner.

Bank Pool

A game of bank pool is typically played with nine balls and can even be played with up to 15 balls. If the game starts with nine balls, then the first to pocket 5 wins. In the case of 15 balls, the winner needs to pocket 8.

The game of Pool has several different types and versions to play that can suit anyone’s tastes. Since each is different from the other, the winner is declared through the strict game and scoring rules. If you’re interested in learning, you’re bound to have fun along the way.


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