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Billiards is a classic indoor game enjoyed by millions of people worldwide. Also known as pool, this game is played on a table with six pockets, and players use cues to strike balls into the pockets. If you’re new to the game, understanding the rules is essential. In this blog, we will look at information related to billiards game: its rules & objectives, table and equipment, famous Indian players, gameplay, etc.
The primary objective of the game is to score points by pocketing balls. The player who pockets the most balls within the given number of turns or who pockets the 8-ball last wins the game.
Billiards: Table & Equipment
A billiards table has six pockets, which are located at the corners and the middle of the long sides of the table. The table is rectangular and has a felt-covered playing surface (dimension- 9.3 by 4.7 ft). The playing surface is usually green, but it can be other colors as well.
There are 16 balls in billiards, including one white cue ball and 15 numbered balls. The numbered balls are divided into two groups: solids, which are numbered 1 to 7, and stripes, which are numbered 9 to 15. The 8-ball is solid black and serves as the game-winning ball.
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To start the game, players rack the balls in a triangle formation, with the 8-ball in the center of the triangle. The first player breaks the rack by hitting the cue ball with the cue stick. The break shot is crucial, as it can determine the outcome of the game.
After the break shot, the players take turns striking the cue ball with the cue stick, attempting to pocket the numbered balls. Players must first hit a ball of their group, either stripes or solids, before attempting to pocket the 8-ball. If a player pockets a ball, they continue their turn. If they miss, the turn passes to the other player.
Fouls & Penalties in Billiards
Several fouls can occur in billiards, and understanding them is crucial to the game’s fair play. Some common fouls include:
- Scratching: This occurs when the cue ball is pocketed along with the ball the player intended to hit. When this happens, the opposing player can place the cue ball anywhere on the table.
- Failing to Hit a Ball: If a player fails to hit a ball on their turn, the opposing player can place the cue ball anywhere on the table.
- Wrong Ball First: If a player hits a ball of the wrong group, they lose their turn.
- Moving Balls: If a player touches a ball with their hand, they lose their turn.
- Double Hits: If a player strikes the cue ball twice during their turn, they lose their turn.
If a player commits a foul, the opposing player can place the cue ball anywhere on the table. In some cases, a player may also be penalized by losing a turn.
Rules of Billiards
Billiards is a fun and challenging game that requires skill and strategy. Knowing the rules of the game is essential to play fair and enjoying the game to the fullest. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced player, following these rules will help you become a better player. You will also have more fun while playing billiards.
- The game is played with two players or teams, each using a cue stick and a set of balls. There are typically 15 colored balls in the game, including one white cue ball and one black eight-ball.
- At the start of the game, the colored balls are arranged in a triangular shape at one end of the table, with the eight-ball in the center. The white cue ball is then placed behind a line at the other end of the table.
- The objective of the game is to use the cue stick to hit the white cue ball and make contact with the colored balls, trying to pocket as many balls as possible before sinking the eight-ball.
- If a player fails to pocket a ball or hits the eight-ball into a pocket before all of their other balls have been pocketed, they lose the game.
- If a player commits a foul, such as hitting the cue ball off the table or hitting the wrong ball first, the other player is awarded a “ball in hand” and can place the white cue ball anywhere on the table for their next shot.
6. If a player sinks the white cue ball or the eight-ball on their turn, it is considered a scratch, and the other player is awarded a “ball in hand.”
7. In some variations of the game, players must call the ball and pocket they intend to shoot before taking their shot. If they successfully sink the ball in the called pocket, they earn additional points.
These are the basic rules of billiards, but there are many variations of the game, such as 8-ball, 9-ball, and straight pool, each with its own specific rules and strategies.
Scoring in Billiards
In English Billiards, scoring is done as follows:
- A cannon: This is where the cue ball is hit so that it hits the red and other cue balls (in any order). This gives you 2 points.
- A pot: This means that when the red ball is hit by the player’s cue ball, the red ball ends up in the pocket. This gives you 3 points. If a player’s cue ball hits another cue ball and falls into the pocket, he gets 2 points.
- In-off: This occurs when a player hit their cue ball, hits another ball, and then goes into the pocket. You will get 3 points if the red ball was the first ball hit and two points if it was the other player’s cue ball hit first.
Some Famous Billiards Players From India
- Pankaj Advani
- Aditya Mehta
- Geet Sethi
- Chitra Magimairaj
- Revanna Umadevi Nagaraj
- Michael Ferreira
- Subhash Agarwal
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Billiards is played on a rectangular table with a designated number of small balls and a long stick called a cue.
Billiards is not yet an Olympic sport. However, the game is enjoyed by many.
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.
The inventor of the modern form of Billiards is Michael Phelan.