Snooker’s Rule Guide – The Most Popular Cue Game

Snooker is one of the most well-known billiards game in the world. The sport originates in England, and it’s played on a rectangular table with hand-held cues. They are used to direct 22 balls one by one into pockets that are on the corners and sides of the table. The two players take turns potting different valued balls into the pockets, and whoever wins more games, wins the match. In this article, we’ll explain Snooker’s rules, features and terms in detail.

The Setup of the Billiards Table and Balls

Snooker balls
A snooker table is rectangular, has a slate base and a top covered in green baize. There are six pockets in total, one at each corner and two in the center of its long sides. There are two ends of the table. The first is the ‘baulk end‘ which is 29 inches wide, its border marked by a ‘baulk line‘. There is also a semicircle called a ‘D‘ drawn behind the line. The cushion on the other end of the table is called a top cushion. Professional tables are a standard size of 12 x 6 feet while amateur ones can be smaller.

The game’s balls vary in color. There is a white ‘cue-ball‘, 15 red balls and 6 ‘colored balls‘ which are а green, yellow, brown, blue, pink and black one. All balls except the white one bring a different number of points that depends on their hue. They have specific places on the table. Here are their positions and point value:

  • The green ball stands on the baulk line where the ‘D‘ meets the line on the left. It brings you 3 points.
  • The yellow one is where the ‘D‘ meets the line on the right. It’s worth 2 points.
  • The brown ball is between the green and yellow ones. Its value is 4 points.
  • The 5 point blue ball is right in the middle of the table.
  • The pink one is further ahead almost touching the red balls. It gives you 6 points.
  • Right after this come the red balls which are packed together in a triangle shape. The apex is pointing towards the pink ball. Each red ball is worth one point.
  • Placed some distance away from the butt of the triangle of red balls is the black one which brings you 7 points.
  • The ‘cue ball‘ is placed in the D’s area right before the start of the game.

How the Game Is Played

Snooker is a game that’s usually played by two people or in pairs. The cue-ball plays a central role in the game as each of the players takes turns hitting it with the tip of their cue. The aim is to ‘pot‘ the other balls with it by directing them into a pocket to score points. Every time a player visits the table, he must start by trying to pot a red ball. If he succeeds then, he has to hit a colored ball to add more points to their total number. In case a second ball is potted, it’s put back on the table, and the process repeats itself. If the player makes a mistake or fails to pot a ball, then it’s their opponent’s turn. Once all of the red balls go into the pockets, the participants must aim for the rest in ascending order. The playing session known as a ‘frame‘ ends once the black ball is potted. The competitor with the highest score wins the frame, and the one with the most won frames wins the entire match. In professional snooker, players play best of 11, 15 or 17 frames.

Basic Snooker Gameplay Terms

Because snooker is a very strategic game, there are various moves a player can make during gameplay. There are specific terms for each of them:

  • The break-off – the initial shot of the game.
  • A break – a series of successive pots done by a player during a single visit. The break is also considered to be the player’s total of points for his/her turn.
  • A free ball – if a player fouls and then leaves the cue-ball in a snookered position, he can declare ‘a free ball‘. He is then allowed to pot аny colored ball and is awarded a single point regardless of color. The competitor makes this move to stay on the table.
  • Foul and a miss – when a player does not succeed in hitting a ball, the referee can consider the inefficient shot ‘a miss‘. In this case, the sitting player may choose to call this ‘a foul‘ or have the balls put back into their original positions and require that the striker tries the shot again.
  • Snookered – hitting the cue-ball in a way that blocks the opponent’s shot to the next ball he needs to strike.
  • A maximum break – The maximum score of 147 points a player can achieve in the game. He does it in a single turn by potting a red and a black 15 consecutive times and then potting the rest of the balls in the right order without making mistakes.
  • A touching ball – when the cue-ball is touching any other ball.
  • A cannon – a shot where the cue-ball bounces off of more than one ball.
  • Conceding – If you don’t think you can win, you can choose to surrender the game verbally or by not going back to the table. As a result, you lose the frame instantly, and a new one starts.

Fouls Will Get You Penalized

When you’re in the middle of a game certain actions are prohibited:

  • Touching any of the balls other than the white one with the cue tip.
  • Handling any of the balls in play with your hand
  • Potting the cue-ball.
  • Missing to hit a ball.
  • Executing a ‘push stroke‘. It happens when the cue tip remains in contact with the cue-ball after it starts moving.
  • Hitting the wrong colored ball out of turn.
  • Playing a ‘jump shot‘ by making the cue-ball jump over another ball.
  • Moving a ball that is touching your cue-ball.
  • Performing a stroke with both feet off the ground.

If you break any of these rules, you get a foul. Your opponent will receive 4 points and the next stroke. Fouls related to the blue, pink or black ball award 5, 6 or 7 points, respectively, to your adversary. (check out the event calendar for this year)

Have a Nice Game

We hope that you’ve found our tutorial informative. Snooker is a game that has grown into a popular international sport with various championships and is a fun pastime for fans. Now that you’re acquainted with its rules, you can watch or play a game to get a better feel for it.

Successful Snooker Players

Snooker is a game first invented in India by the British army in the 1870s. In 140 years, it has become a worldwide sensational sport that has produced many generations of talented players. However, only a handful of people have managed to stand above the rest. These people have earned countless titles and have entered Snooker’s hall of fame.

Joe Davis

Joe Davis snooker player
Some consider Joe Davis as one of the pioneers of professional snooker. His career as a player took off in the 1920s when he challenged the number one spot of the 1927 World Professional Championship and won it. He defended his title for 20 years until retirement. Davis is the first competitor to have achieved a 147 maximum break and has an impressive score of 687 centuries with only four defeats in total.

Guide for Snooker Betting

Snooker has come a long way from its humble beginnings in the nineteenth century. Today, the game has gained a strong following, with over 50 international and local events organised per year, many of them televised. As a result of the sport’s growing popularity, snooker betting has become widespread and quite profitable. To help you place some effective wagers, we’ve created this guide for you.

Common Betting Terms

Betting markets – Bookmakers offer a variety of bets, all classified under betting markets that offer you different odds for each stake. For example, snooker frame markets give you the chance to guess frame related results in each match.