Snooker Rules, History, Tips & Equipment

A history of Snooker, how to play, tips for improvement & necessary equipment

Snooker Overview

Snooker is a cue sport similar to billiards & pool. However, it is played with smaller balls and different scoring. Snooker is a popular sport in the United Kingdom.

Snooker History

Snooker was first played by British Army officers in India in the late 19th century. The word snooker is a slang term for first year cadets and army personnel. The name is thought to have originated from Colonel Sir Neville Chamberlain of the Devonshire regiment, when he was playing the game and his opponent failed to make a shot, and Chamberlain called him a snooker. The first World Snooker Championship took place in 1927. After the 1978 World Championship of Snooker was televised, the game gained main stream status in the UK. The game has enjoyed success over the last 30 years in the UK, Ireland, and much of the Commonwealth. Today, top players can earn multi-million dollar contracts.

Snooker Rules

Snooker can be played by any reasonable number of players, but two to four players is preferred. A regulation snooker table is 12 ft 6 ft. The object of snooker is to score points by knocking the object balls in order into the table pockets. 15 red bulls are arranged in a triangle at one end of the table. A black ball lies directly behind the triangle. A pink ball rests at the top of the triangle. A blue ball lies in the middle of the table directly in front of the pink ball. A Green, brown, and yellow ball are set up in a line half a table length from the blue ball, perpendicular from the line the blue and pink ball make.

The game begins by one player hitting the cue ball with the goal of hitting a red ball into a pocket. If they are unsuccessful it is the next players turn. If a player successfully knocks a red ball into a pocket they receive one point and a chance to hit one of the other colored balls into a pocket. If they are successful they receive the amount of points for that ball and get to again try to hit another red ball into a pocket. When this happens red balls are left in the pocket, and colored balls are returned to their spot on the table. This repeats until all of the red balls are cleared from the table. Then the players are free to clear the colored balls. At this point, color balls knocked into pockets remain off the table. Once all of the balls are cleared the frame is over and the scores are tallied. A game of snooker consists of a set number of frames. Most professional matches are played best out of nine frames.

Point values for object balls: red-1, yellow-2, green-3, brown-4, blue-5, pink-6, and black-7.

In addition to potting balls, players can earn points when their opponent commits a foul such as, hitting a colored ball first when they were trying to hit a red, or potting the cue ball. The opposing player earns the number of points of the ball that the player was attempting to hit.

Snooker Tips

A good snooker player is balanced when shooting. Good balance comes from having a good stance. Players should observe how top snooker players stand when hitting the ball.

Snooker Equipment

To play snooker one needs a set of snooker balls. A set of snooker balls consists of 15 red balls, six colored balls (Pink, blue, black, green, brown, yellow) and one white cue ball. Snooker balls are smaller than pool balls and are normally 52.5 mm in diameter. Each player requires a cue stick. Many snooker players like to have chalk to rough up the end of their cue sticks, inorder to hit the ball more accurately.

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