Rules of Snooker

Snooker is a non-contact cue sport that was originated among British Army officers stationed in India in the latter half of the 19th century. It is a popular game worldwide, but many people will be wondering, what actually are the rules?

The main objective of snooker is to score more points than the opposing player by potting object balls in the correct order. Snooker is played with fifteen red balls, six object balls of other colours and a cue ball (commonly known as the white ball).

The player who starts the game has the aim of potting one of the red balls on the table. If the striker pots a red ball, he or she must then pot one of the other six “coloured” balls (blue, green, brown, yellow, pink and black). If the player successfully pots a coloured ball, the numeric value of that colour is added to the player’s score, and the ball is returned to its starting position on the table.

The player must continue to do this until they next fail to pot their desired ball, at which point the opponent comes to the table to try and achieve the same feet. The players will then alternate between each other until all of the red balls have been potted, and only the six coloured balls are left on the table. At this point, the colours must be potted in the correct order – from least to most valuable. The numeric value of each ball is as follows:

When the final ball has been potted, the player who has accumulated the most points over the game wins. If the scores are level after the final ball has been potted, the black ball is placed back on its spot as a tiebreaker.

Points can also be awarded to a player if their opponent fouls. A foul can occur for various reasons, with the most common reason being hitting the incorrect ball (e.g. hitting a colour first instead of the intended target of a red), or for potting the cue ball. Points gained from a foul vary from a minimum of four to a maximum of seven if the black ball is involved.

The total number of consecutive points (excluding fouls) that a player amasses during one visit to the table is known as a “break.” The highest possible break is a 155 break, also known as a "super maximum". This is achieved via the opponent leaving a free ball, with the black being potted as the additional colour, and then potting 15 reds and blacks with the colours.

The sport is played with a cue, which is a long, tapered stick usually made of wood, and is used to strike the ball during snooker. The full size snooker table that the game is played has a playing surface of 356.9cm (11 feet 8.5 inches) by 177.8cm (5 feet 10 inches) and has 6 pockets.

At Hamilton Billiards, we have a wide range of snooker tables and snooker accessories, including snooker balls, snooker cues, and many other accessories to help you become a professional.

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