14 Different Types Of Billiard Games | LoveCueSports (2023)

Billiards is a collection of skill games that originated in England during the reign of the British Empire. Although it was previously played in Commonwealth countries, the game has spread worldwide, with countries such as Russia developing their unique iterations.

Want to know more about the different types of billiard games? Allow me to fill you in a little on the basics before you watch:-

Billiard games are a variety of games played on a rectangular table, with a defined number of small balls together with a cue stick.

14 Different Types Of Billiard Games | LoveCueSports (1)

All types of billiards are considered cue sports, as they are all played with a cue.

I have detailed many of the different types of billiards below – be sure to give some of the videos a watch, this way you can really appreciate at the skill some of these players possess.

Different Types of Billiard Games

What are cue sports and what are the different types of billiards?

There are a number of different types of billiard games and they fall under two broad categories of cue sports, Carom Billiards and pocket billiards. Carom billiard games are played on pocketless tables, while pocket billiard games are played on tables with pockets.

As depicted in the graphic below:8 ball, 9 ball and snooker fall under the category of pocket billiards and carom and three-cushion fall under the category of carom billiards, or simply billiards

If you are interested to know in more detail about the differences between pool, carom and snooker then i recommend you check out this article i wrote.

14 Different Types Of Billiard Games | LoveCueSports (2)

Types of carom billiards

Carom billiards refers to games played on pocket-less tables that measure 10 feet in length.

There are many different types of billiards under the carom billiards umbrella, such games include:

  • artistic billiards
  • balkline and straight rail
  • cushion caroms
  • four-ball
  • three-cushion billiards.

Artistic Billiards

Artistic or fantasy billiards is a cue sport in which players compete by hitting the ball for 76 shots of differing difficulty. Each shot has its point value ranging from four for the ‘simplest’ shot and twelve for the ‘most challenging’ shot.

If you were to attain a perfect score for all 76 balls, you would get 500 points.

Balkline and Straight Rail

Balkline is a general term used to refer to carom billiards played with a red object ball and two cue balls. The playing table measures ten feet by five feet has no pockets but has divisions called balk spaces that are demarked by balklines.

Before the introduction of the balklines, spectators complained that the game was too easy that top players scored many points. As a result, balklines were added to make the game more challenging to players and exciting to the spectators.

The game, initially known as straight rail, had no balklines. To score a point, you had to hit both object balls with the cue ball after a single stroke. A player wins if they attain the number of points agreed upon by other players.

Cushion Caroms

Cushion caroms were previously known as the indirect game. It is played on a table similar to balklines’, and it also has two cue balls and one red ball. In this game, you have to hit the cue ball against both object balls and hit the rail at least once before the second object ball gets hit. If this happens, you get a point; when no ball gets hit, a point gets deducted. The first player to reach the agreed number of points is the winner.


The game draws its name from the number of balls used to play it; two red and two white. One of the white balls is usually spotted to make it distinctive (in some cases, a yellow ball is used). The players use the white (or yellow) balls as the cue balls.

You score a point if the cue ball strikes and rebounds on any two of the other three balls on the playing table. If the cue ball hits all the other three balls, you get two points. If you only strike one object ball, you get zero points and hand over the cue stick to the next player.

Three-cushion Billiards

In three-cushion billiards, the goal is to rebound the cue ball away from the object balls and contact the rail cushion three or more times before it hits the final object ball. Each player has their cue ball (white and yellow) with the neutral being red. You have to hit an object ball first, after which the order of striking the cushions and the other ball does not matter.

Pocket billiards – Pool

Pool is a form of pocket billiards and has many different types of billiard games.

The table used for pool usually measures between seven, eight or nine feet in length.

It has quite a few variations, namely:

  • 8-ball pool
  • 9-ball pool
  • 10-ball pool
  • one-pocket
  • bank pool
  • straight pool.

Have you ever wondered why people call it pool? It might surprise you to find out the reason why – You should definitely check that article out.

8-ball Pool

There are many different types of billiard games out there to choose from, but the most played type of billiard game would be 8 ball.

8-ball pool, also known as stripes and solids, is a popular variation of pool played by both amateurs and professionals.

The playing table has six pockets. The game starts with sixteen balls – a white cue ball, seven solid balls, seven striped balls, and a black 8-ball.

In the beginning, the balls are grouped, and one player scatters them by hitting a break shot. Once a player legally pockets a solid ball, the other player gets assigned stripes. The reverse is also true.

The objective of the game is to pocket the 8-ball in a called pocket once a player clears all of their legally assigned balls. If you pocket the black ball before clearing your balls, the opponent wins. The same applies if you have cleared the table but pocket both the cue ball and the 8-ball during the final shot.

9-ball Pool

Another type of billiard game is 9 ball. This popular game gets played on a six-pocket billiards table with ten balls – one cue ball and nine object balls. The objective of the game is to pot the 9-ball legally.

A legal shot occurs when you hit the cue ball into the lowest numbered object ball and driving either of the two into the rails. You do not have to pocket the balls sequentially provided you hit the lowest numbered ball first.

If you pot the 9-ball while other balls are, nonetheless, on the board, you win the game. Because it takes a short time to complete, 9-ball pool is mostly played in a race to set of games, such as best of five.


10-ball Pool

This type of billiard game is considered a more challenging alternative of 9-ball pool.

The rules are similar, with the only difference being that all shots besides the break shot have to be called. For this reason, it is mostly played by professionals.

One-pocket Pool

One-pocket pool is different from other types of billiards in that only two pockets are active, with each player having their designated pocket.

Every time you pot a ball into your pocket, you earn a point. You can hit any ball regardless of its colour or number, and the first person to pocket eight balls wins the game. Potting a ball into the wrong pocket is a foul, and three consecutive fouls mean that the opponent wins the game.

Bank Pool

This is another variation of cue sports is slightly different from its pool bothers.

Bank pool requires players to bank called shots into called pockets after striking it against the cushion.

There are no combo shots, kick shots and kiss shots in this variation of pool; the cue has to hit the object ball directly.

To win, you have to be the first to bank five or eight balls, depending on the type of rack you are playing.

Straight Pool

This is another type of billiards that has somewhat different rules.

In straight pool, you can strike any ball on the table since the aim is to reach a set number of points.

Each ball that gets legally potted earns you a point, and you have to do it until you reach the agreed-upon maximum, say 125.

The player has to call the ball they intend to hit as well as the pocket they are targeting.

Cutthroat Pool

Cutthroat is a different billiard game to the others as this is more for fun.

The above games are also for fun, but they also have a profecional element.

At the start, each player gets five consecutively numbered object balls or less, depending on the number of people playing. The aim of the activity is to be the final player to have at the minimum, one of the assigned object balls remaining on the table. A player gets eliminated if they pot all of their balls before the game ends.

Pocket billiards – Snooker

Snooker is a type of billiard game that fulls under the pocket billiard side of cue sports.

It’s played on a six-pocket table called a snooker table which measures twelve feet in length and six feet in width. Its the cue sport that uses the largest table to play on.

The difference between snooker and pool is in their history, culture and terminologies and size of the tables.

The game starts with 21 balls – one cue ball and twenty object balls. The goal is to pot all of the remaining balls in the correct order. Each of the balls has a designated number of points, and the player who scores the highest number wins.

Other than caroms, pool and snooker, there are different types of billiard games such as English billiards and Russian pyramid.


As you can see, there are quite a few different types of billiard games out there. Some fall under the carom billiards catagery and other fall under the pocket billiards one.

Similar to other disciplines, cue sports are under constant evolution. You should expect to see new variations of billiards in the future as players attempt to make the game more challenging and exciting.

14 Different Types Of Billiard Games | LoveCueSports (3)


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Rob is an avid player and fan of all cue sports, particularly 8-ball, and snooker. He has competed in a few local 8-ball tournaments and although he is not a professional, he can compete with the best of them.


How many types of billiard games are there? ›

There are two main varieties of billiard games: carom and pocket. The main carom billiards games are straight rail, balkline and three cushion billiards. All are played on a pocketless table with three balls; two cue balls and one object ball.

What are the different types of 8-ball pool games? ›

The game has numerous variations, including Alabama eight-ball, crazy eight, last pocket, misery, Missouri, 1 and 15 in the sides, rotation eight ball, soft eight, and others.

What are pool billiards games called? ›

Each specific pool game has its own name; some of the better-known include eight-ball, blackball, nine-ball, ten-ball, seven-ball, straight pool, one-pocket, and bank pool. Eight-ball is the most frequently played discipline of pool, and is often thought of as synonymous with "pool".

What are the different types of pool tables? ›

Different Types of Billiard Tables
  • 7 foot billiard tables: This is the most common size for billiard tables. ...
  • 8 foot billiard tables: If you want to play competitively, we recommend getting an eight-foot billiard table. ...
  • 9 foot billiard tables:

What are different names for billiards? ›

Snooker, pool & billiards.

How do you play 15 ball pool? ›

How does the 15-ball-rotation player rating drill work?
  1. Rack all 15 balls. ...
  2. Break.
  3. Player can take as many ball in hands each rack until all balls have been made.
  4. Player does NOT have to take ball in hand immediately after the break.
  5. Player can use a ball in hand at any point during the rack.
  6. Play a total of 10 racks.

Is there a pool game called 10 ball? ›


Ten-Ball is a call shot game played with ten object balls numbered one through ten and a cue ball. On each shot, the first ball the cue ball contacts must be the lowest numbered ball on the table, but the balls need not be pocketed in order.

What is the game of 9-ball pool? ›

It is played on a rectangular billiard table with pockets at each of the four corners and in the middle of each long side. Using a cue stick, players must strike the white cue ball to pocket nine colored billiard balls, hitting them in ascending numerical order.

Is there a 9-ball pool? ›

9 Ball Pool is played with nine object balls numbered one through nine and a cue ball. On each shot the first ball the cue ball contacts must be the lowest-numbered ball on the table, but the balls need not be pocketed in order.

What is a good pool player called? ›

Most billiard players are called exactly that - “billiard players”, or sometimes “pool players” or even “players” when the context is understood. A really good pool player, however, is often referred to as a “pool shark”.

What are the 8 ball pool rules? ›

Eight Ball is a call shot game played with a cue ball and fifteen object balls, numbered 1 through 15. One player must pocket balls of the group numbered 1 through 7 (solid colors), while the other player has 9 thru 15 (stripes). THE PLAYER POCKETING HIS GROUP FIRST AND THEN LEGALLY POCKETING THE 8-BALL WINS THE GAME.

What is the first shot in billiards called? ›

Break Shot - The first shot of a game. Bridge - The support for the cue shaft as it slides back and forth during aim and execution. Call Shot - A game rule requiring the shooter to indicate the ball to be pocketed, the pocket it is to be made in, and all cushions in-between.

What is a 9 foot pool table called? ›

Most carom billiards and pool games are played on either a seven-foot table (also known as a bar table), eight-foot table (sometimes called a home or recreational table), or nine-foot table (known as a pro or tournament table).

What game is played on a pool table with 15 balls? ›

Rotation, sometimes called rotation pool, 15-ball rotation, or 61, is a pool game, played with a pocketed billiards table, cue ball , and triangular rack of fifteen billiard balls, in which the lowest-numbered object ball on the table must be always struck by the cue ball first, to attempt to pocket numbered balls for ...

What is the blue pool table called? ›

You've probably seen the distinctive blue color blue pool tables getting called 'TV blue' or 'tournament blue', due to their use in televised pool tournaments.

What is billiards called in Japan? ›

Yotsudama is a form of four-ball billiards that is played in Japan. In this form, the four billiard balls used are, two red object balls, one white cue ball, and one yellow cue ball. Sometimes games are also played with a second white cue ball with a visible red dot. Each player assigned to use one cue ball.

Where is billiards most popular? ›

Pool is most popular in America, whereas snooker is most popular in the United Kingdom. Pocket billiards are also popular in other countries such as Canada, Australia, Taiwan, the Philippines, Ireland, and China.

What is a pool table without pockets called? ›

carom billiards,, also called French billiards, game played with three balls (two white and one red) on a table without pockets, in which the object is to drive one of the white balls (cue ball) into both of the other balls. Each carom thus completed counts one point.

Is there a 7 ball in pool? ›

The 7-ball must be pocketed in the called side to be a legal win. Scratches on any object ball allow the opponent ball-in-hand, but the sunk ball remains potted. Scratching on the 7-ball is a loss. Pocketing the 7-ball in any other pocket than the called side is a loss.

Is there a 16 ball in pool? ›

Kelly pool (also known as pea pool, pill pool, keeley, the keilley game, and killy) is a pool game played on a standard pool table using a standard set of 16 pool balls.

What are 10-ball rules in pool? ›

Ten-ball (10-ball) is a pool game played with ten balls (1-10) racked in a triangle pattern with the 10-ball in the center. The lowest numbered ball must always be hit first, and all shots must be called (i.e., slop doesn't count). The person who pockets the 10-ball wins the game.

What is the toothpick pool game? ›

This pool game only requires a toothpick and several swimmers. Line up your swimmers on one edge, and when ready, a non-contestant dives into the deep end and releases a toothpick. Quickly swimming out of the way, and yelling “toothpick” when he surfaces.

What are the balls in 8-Ball Pool called? ›

The game of 8-ball pool consists of playing with 1 white cue ball and 15 numbered balls called object balls. The balls numbered 1 through 7 are called solids. The balls numbered 9 through 15 are called stripes.

What is the 3 foul rule in 10-ball? ›

The opponent legally pockets the 10-ball. If a shooter commits a foul three times in a row without making an intervening legal shot, the result is a loss of game. The three consecutive fouls must occur in the same game.

What is the 3 foul rule in pool? ›

Three-foul rule

After three consecutive fouls, the game is considered lost. However, as in rotational games, a player must be advised by the referee or opponent that he already has two fouls before taking the next shot and committing a third foul. In practice, the three-foul rule is often waived if both players agree.

What is the 3 foul rule in 8-ball? ›

The opponent legally pockets the 8-ball. IMPORTANT: This rule is not utilized in amateur league play. If a shooter commits a foul three times in a row without making an intervening legal shot, the result is a loss of game. The three consecutive fouls must occur in the same game.

What is the 3 point rule in pool? ›

The 3-point break rule is in effect. For a break to be legal a player must drive 3 object balls past the head string, or a combination of 3 pocketed balls and balls above the head string. Failure to execute a legal break is not a foul.

What is the 3 foul rule in 9-ball? ›

If a player fouls three consecutive times on three successive shots without making an intervening legal shot, he loses the game. The three fouls must occur in one game. The warning must be given between the second and third fouls. This rule is optional for local league and tournament play.

Is 8ball pool real? ›

Eight-ball (also spelled 8-ball or eightball, and sometimes called solids and stripes, spots and stripes or rarely highs and lows) is a discipline of pool played on a billiard table with six pockets, cue sticks, and sixteen billiard balls (a cue ball and fifteen object balls ).

What is a golden duck in pool? ›

Golden Break – Similar to American 9-ball Pool, a player can win the frame off the break. They must pot the 8-ball from the break and win it outright. This rule was formerly used in the Taom Shootouts. Golden Duck – Undesirably, if the breaking player pockets the 8-ball and cueball they lose the frame outright.

What is a pool guy called? ›

Pool service technicians, also known as swimming pool maintenance technicians, are trained professionals who treat and maintain swimming pool water. They are mainly responsible for testing the pH of the pool water, treating the water with chemicals and fixing any major cracks or leaks in the swimming pool structure.

What is the ball called in billiard? ›

The game is played with 22 balls, made up of one white ball (the cue ball), 15 red balls, and six numbered coloured balls including one yellow 2, one green 3, one brown 4, one blue 5, one pink 6, and one black (valued at 7 points).

Is playing pool a talent? ›

So, Is it a Skill or an Innate Talent? Well, it can be both. If you're someone that knows how to practice a skill until you can master it, then you have a good chance of learning to master the game in your own right. Skill can do enough to help you become that expert.

What is the 2 shot rule in pool? ›

No such thing as 2 shots.

This rule is new to 8-ball and has been borrowed from 9-ball. Combination shots are legal – taken from Blackball rules, a player can legally pot any opponent's ball on the basis that they strike a ball of their own first and also pot any of their own balls on the same shot.

What is the two shot rule in pool? ›

Should a foul occur, the opposing player receives two shots, and these shots can be carried on (i.e. if a ball is potted on their first shot, the player still has two shots). When a player gets two shots, they can pick up the white ball and place it anywhere behind the line to gain some advantage over their opponent.

What is an illegal break in 8 ball pool? ›

For a break to be legal, at least four balls must be driven to the rails or a ball must be pocketed. Otherwise, the balls are re-racked and re-broken by the same player. A game not legally broken but resulting in a scratch or foul will be re-racked and broken by the opposite player.

What does 🎱 mean slang? ›

The 🎱 (8 Ball) emoji refers to a game of pool or billiards. The original poster might be bragging on TikTok or Twitter about a great pool game they just played, giving a shout-out on Instagram or Snapchat to an excellent pool player, or texting something billiards-related to a friend.

What is a tricky pool shot called? ›

A trick shot (also trickshot or trick-shot) is a shot played on a billiards table (most often a pool table, though snooker tables are also used), which seems unlikely or impossible or requires significant skill.

What is the triangle in pool called? ›

A rack (sometimes called a triangle) is a piece of equipment that is used to place billiard balls in their starting positions at the beginning of a pocket billiards game.

Is a 7ft pool table too small? ›

Generally speaking, eight-foot tables are considered 'professional' size, whereas seven-foot tables are considered 'bar' size. If you have the space, we recommend the larger size, it generally provides a better playing experience. However, a seven-foot table can be a great addition to a smaller room.

What is a small pool table called? ›

Typically, bumper pool tables are smaller than a regulation pool table. The table has two pockets, placed opposite one another, located at the center of two of the rails. The surface of the table has the same cloth covering as a standard pool table.

Why is it called pool? ›

The word "pool" means a collective bet, or ante. Many non-billiard games, such as poker, involve a pool but it was pocket billiards that the name became attached to.

What is the 8-ball game called? ›

eight ball, also called stripes and solids, popular American pocket-billiards game in which 15 balls numbered consecutively and a white cue ball are used. Those numbered 1–7 are solid colours; 9–15 are white with a single thick stripe in varying colours; and the eight ball is black.

Is a 7ft pool table fun? ›

Balls bunch up into clusters a lot, so you have to learn how to break with these tight pockets. Players who are really good at bank shots, combos and carom shots might find playing on a 7-foot table to be invigorating. If you play a lot of pool at bars or pubs, then you might want to consider going with an 7-footer.

How do you play killer pool table? ›

Killer or killers is a multi-player folk variant of straight pool in which each player is assigned a set number of "lives" and takes one shot per inning to attempt to pocket ( pot ) a ball, or else lose a life. Usually if the player scratches then an additional life is lost.

What is the oldest pool table? ›

In 1765 A.D., the first billiard room was built in England. Played there was One-Pocket, which was a table with one pocket and four balls. The first coin-operated billiard table was patented in 1903.
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What is the green on a pool table called? ›

Baize is often used on billiard tables to cover the slate and cushions , and is often used on other kinds of gaming tables (usually gambling) such as those for blackjack, baccarat, craps and other casino games. It is also found as a writing surface, particularly on 19th century pedestal desks.

What is the top of a pool table called? ›

Top Rails – The top surface of the table, no covered by cloth, from which the cushions protrude toward the playing surface. The head and foot rails are the short rails on those ends of the table; the right and the left rails are the long rails, dictated by standing at the head of the table and facing the foot end.

What is pool vs snooker? ›

Pool involves a table with six pockets. You need 15 balls, but some people play with just nine. Don't forget the cue ball. Snooker uses a table that has six pockets, but the table is generally larger than pool tables.

Is snooker and billiards the same game? ›

In its original use, billiards refers to any type of cue sport, including carom billiards, pool, and snooker. On the other hand, pool specifically refers to a game played on a pool table.

How many games are in a pool match? ›

4 Person teams round-robin of 8-ball means 16 games of pool per match, and roughly 4 hours of pool playing at an estimated 15 minutes per game average for 8-ball.

What is the biggest billiard tournament? ›

The APA World Pool Championships - The world's largest pool tournament.

What is pool called in Canada? ›

Billiards | Canadian Home Leisure.

Why is it called pool instead of billiards? ›

The other popular game was American Fifteen-Ball Pool, the predecessor of modern pocket billiards. The word "pool" means a collective bet, or ante. Many non-billiard games, such as poker, involve a pool but it was to pocket billiards that the name became attached.

Is the game called 8 Ball or pool? ›

Eight-ball (also spelled 8-ball or eightball, and sometimes called solids and stripes, spots and stripes or rarely highs and lows) is a discipline of pool played on a billiard table with six pockets, cue sticks, and sixteen billiard balls (a cue ball and fifteen object balls ).

What billiards game has red balls? ›

Snooker game is played on pocket tables with sets of 22 balls of 52mm diameter. The balls include: A white cue ball. 15 red balls with 1 point value.

How many games are in each set? ›

There are six games in a set and two or three games in a match.

What are the 8-ball pool rules? ›

Eight Ball is a call shot game played with a cue ball and fifteen object balls, numbered 1 through 15. One player must pocket balls of the group numbered 1 through 7 (solid colors), while the other player has 9 thru 15 (stripes). THE PLAYER POCKETING HIS GROUP FIRST AND THEN LEGALLY POCKETING THE 8-BALL WINS THE GAME.

What pool game uses 10 balls? ›

Ten-Ball is a call shot game played with ten object balls numbered one through ten and a cue ball. On each shot, the first ball the cue ball contacts must be the lowest numbered ball on the table, but the balls need not be pocketed in order.

Who is the strongest in billiards? ›

If you ask anyone who is the greatest pool player in the world, Efren Reyes is the most well-known and top-ranked player. He is also considered the best pool player in the world. He has won over 100 professional tournaments and has earned over 80 international titles, earning him the nickname “The Magician.”

Is billiards a rich man game? ›

Are billiards and snookers very costly games? Not really. People have this wrong conception that these are games for rich people. There are sports which are far more expensive and need sponsorships to travel to different countries and play.

What country is best at pool? ›



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