Cue Sports Games: Carom, Snooker and Pool

Cue sports Can be Subdivided into Three Main Games

We call it pool but the real name of the game is pocket billiards which is one of the three main subdivisions of the gaming world called cue sports or more commonly billiards. This is because all three subdivisions of the game are played with a cue which is the term players use for the pointed often tipped stick they use to strike the balls

(1)   Carom Sports:

(a)    These are played on a pocketless table.

(b)   Played on a 5 by 10 ft table often with heated slate.

(c)    The balls are heavier then pocket pool balls.

(d)   Invented in the 1800’s somewhere in France

(e)    In its simplest form, the object of the game is to score points or “counts” by caroming one’s own cue ball off both the opponent’s cue ball and the object ball(s) on a single shot.

(f)    Examples:

(i)     Cushion Caroms

(ii)   Balk Line

(iii) Straight Rail

(iv) Three cushion Billiards

(v)   Artistic Billiards

(2)   Snooker

(a)    Played on an oversized table that measures 12 by 6ft. it like a regular pool table has six pockets, one in each corner and two in the middle.

(b)   It is played using a cue and snooker balls: one white cue ball, 15 red balls worth one point each, and six balls of different colours: yellow (2 points), green (3), brown (4), blue (5), pink (6) and black (7).

(c)     A player (or team) wins a frame (individual game) of snooker by scoring more points than the opponent(s), using the cue ball to pot the red and coloured balls.

(d)   Thought to be invented by British officers in India

(3)   Pool

(a)    Played on a pocketed table but much smaller then a snooker table

(b)   Tables have no regulation size but are standards of seven, eight, and nine feet.

(c)    Played with a while cue ball and numbered balls 1-15 and broken up equally into “solids” and “stripes” though not all balls are used for all pool games.

(d)   Pool is called “pool”, due to perhaps an association with the “poolrooms” where gamblers “pooled” their money to bet off track on horse races. These poolrooms often had billiard tables (though most likely carom tables at first) the term “pool” became synonymous with billiards.

(e)    Examples of “pool” games:

(i)     Eight Ball

  1. The most popular cue sport game in the world.

(ii)   Nine Ball

(iii)  Straight Pool

(iv)  One Pocket

(4)   Hybrid games

(a)    There are some cue sports games that combine two of the major subdivisions of cue sports together

(b)   Examples:

(i)     English Billiards

  1. Also called the All in game or common game
  2. Combined carom and pool

(ii)   American Four Ball Billiards

(iii)  Cowboy Pool

  1. Combination of English Billiards(Its self a hybrid game) and another hybrid game called 38.

(iv)  Bottle Pool

  1. A leather bottle is used as a target and placed on the table
  2. Combination of carom and pool
  3. Still played by several staff members of the University of Michigan
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