You have probably heard about billiards as it is a type of game well known throughout the world. A type of sport that is played both professionally and recreationally . It is a sport that is based on introducing a series of balls into the holes placed on a table but it is not that simple, as it has a series of fundamentals and rules that must be applied.


What is billiards?

The pool is quite popular worldwide game that is played on a table that has six different holes , two in the corners and two in the center of the long rails of the table where the ball should der be introduced.


What does it consist of

Billiards basically consists of hitting and propelling a ball through a cue on the surface of the pool table . The fundamental part of the sport is to be able to make the blow to achieve little by little to introduce the rest of the balls.


Billiard history

Although the history of its origin is not very clear , many attribute it to China , however, studies have shown that in the 1st century BC this sport was played by Cleopatra but not on a table but on the floor. Other documents place billiards in the 15th century , when a cabinetmaker who worked for King Louis XI devised a simpler way to practice the sport, a table .

Little by little, billiards was passed from generation to generation and was increasing considerably in popularity. Currently, various tournaments and championships are held in the world and it is one of the games most acclaimed by young people and adults as a means of entertainment.

Billiard features

Some of its main characteristics are mentioned below:

  • It is a type of sport of precision and dexterity .
  • It must be played on a pool table.
  • The balls are made of polymers or synthetic compounds .
  • The instrument with which the balls can be struck is known as the cue .
  • There are three types of pool tables, the English or snooker , the French or carom and the American or pool .
  • At the beginning of the game the players should greet each other as it is a fundamental part of the sport.
  • Finger snaps or some symbolic gestures are used to refer to a good shot .

Who invented it

Billiards was invented by Cleopatra in the 1st century BC when they played the game on the ground. The pool table was finally invented by a cabinetmaker working for Louis XI of France in the year 1469.


There are several types of billiards around the world, these are:

  • Artistic : this is considered the most striking variant of all and at the same time the most complicated . It is based on a series of 100 figures which must be made by the player and each of them has a specific score.
  • Carambola : in this type of billiards the main objective is that the player manages to touch two more balls with his ball to try to position them so that, in a next play, he can touch them easily.
  • American billiards : better known as pool , it uses balls with numbers and is based on the fact that the cue ball must hit the ball with the lowest number so that it enters the pocket and then the balls continue to be introduced in an ascending and successive way .
  • Snooker : it is done on a table of larger dimensions and uses balls of different colors. It is a type of game that requires a lot of skill and precision and the red ball must be introduced after attempting a shot over the others. The points are added as the player does not miss the shots.
  • Free : it is based on placing the balls in a triangular shape so that they cannot follow the same direction.
  • Keels : the player must strive to obtain the highest number of points by driving the ball contracted.

How to play

Billiards is basically played by propelling the balls through a cue into a pool table. It is based mainly on the collisions that occur between the balls and the rails of the table. Depending on the type of billiards, the rules of the game or the order of the game may vary.


The basics of billiards are as follows:

  • Grip : it is the way in which the cue must be held to achieve a correct grip. It should be held firmly with the hand but at the same time relaxed.
  • Bridge : the bridge that is made by hand to hold the cue should ideally be open to achieve better support for the cue. The hand must be placed open and the fingers apart on the table and the palm of the hand must also make contact with it, two fingers are placed up and to the right.
  • Body position : the feet should ideally be open at a 45 ° angle and the left foot should be placed in line with the shot. The legs are placed slightly bent and the weight is dropped on the feet to find better stability.
  • The right arm : it must be strained in line with the cue and with the elbow , forearm and wrist , the latter being the one in charge of meeting the firing line. Its position must also be perpendicular to the ground.
  • The shooting line : refers to a type of imaginary line drawn by the player looking straight ahead in order to calculate the place where he will send the ball. It is made up of the heel, the chin, the right shoulder, the right arm, the elbow and the forearm.

Billiard rules

The most important rules of this type of game are the following:

  • The opening shot is chosen at random , if the player who makes this shot manages to get a ball without committing a foul, he must continue playing.
  • An opening shot is legal when it is possible to hit at least one ball other than the white ball or when it is possible to touch the band with a minimum of four balls except the white one.
  • If the 8 ball enters one of the holes during the opening shot, the play must be made again.
  • After the opening shot , each of the players must try to introduce one of the balls into the holes avoiding the black ball.
  • Players can continue playing as long as they manage to introduce a ball and when they do not commit fouls .
  • When the player manages to introduce all his balls, he can proceed with the 8 ball to win the game .
  • Faults pool are committed when: it introduces the first white ball and throws off the table , when playing one of the balls of the opponent or ball black , when the cue ball or the first with which contact is made not manages to touch any of the bands , when the player cannot touch any ball or when either of them falls off the table.


Some of the most important billiard competitions are:

  • Ball World Cup
  • Eurotour Albanian Open
  • World Open (Snooker)
  • China Open
  • Paul Hunter Classic (Snooker)
  • National Championship Tour Spain


There are several techniques that can be implemented to play billiards, some of them are:

  • Walk and observe the table carefully to be able to find possible plays .
  • The correct position must be assumed , the foot that is on the same side as the dominant hand must be advanced and the other must be placed behind.
  • Remember to put chalk before each shot and the cue should be held parallel to the table to improve control.
  • The gaze must always be forward.
  • The hand and back should be kept relaxed to avoid applying extra stress to the hand holding the cue.
  • You must hold fast the taco to improve the coup.
  • Analyzing the failures is important to reconsider the problem.
  • The calm should always be present, get nervous not help you win the game.


The important measurements of the billiard tables must be taken in the internal part that corresponds to the area of ​​the game. Measurements may vary depending on the molding. Seven-foot tables are typically 2.13 meters long , 1.07 meters wide, and 0.78 centimeters high, and feature a 1.93 x 96.5-centimeter playing surface. Snooker pool tables are 3.60 meters long by 1.80 meters wide . In the French modality , the table measures 2.85 meters long by 1.42 meters wide .


The main equipment to be able to play billiards is the table , the balls and the cue . Depending on the type of billiards, there can be 21 balls with different scores or there can be 9 balls between smooth and striped. They are also necessary leading taco , the chalks and traqueras . Triangles , mats and pool sticks are also part of the team .

Famous billiard players

Among the most famous billiard players are the following characters:

  • Niels Feijen of Dutch origin and who has been European champion on several occasions .
  • Shane Van Boening known as “The South Dakota Kid” who is considered the best billiard players in the United States .
  • Darren Appleton also called “Dynamite”, a player who has a lot of self-assurance and who also has incredible ability.
  • Alex Pagulayan , a Canadian known as “The Lion.”


In billiards there is a ball that contains six red dots so that the spectator can better see its rotation . In the beginning, billiard balls were made of ivory , then the material was exchanged for phenolic resin . The mats of the pool tables are colored green by tradition and to prevent chalk stains. The only pool where the balls have numbers is the American pool.

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