Difference between Billiards And Snooker

Love billiards or pool or snooker? Is there any other name of games like these that you have heard? These are games played both at casual lounges and also at the highest professional level where the stakes run into millions of dollars. Many of you have wondered about the real difference billiards and snooker, right? Or you must be using the terms interchangeably. However, let’s walk you through the real differences between these games so as to clear the air about the much-coveted games like these.

Billiard refers to the game which is essentially played with three different colored balls in the tray. These colors include red, yellow, and white. White and yellow balls are the cue balls belonging to the competing opponents respectively. The entire goal of the match is to score set target points and whoever reaches the target first is the winner of the game. Both games use a Pool Cue or Cue Stick 

Coming to snooker, it is a game popularly played in bigger tables and by players who have more skill sets. It consists of 15 reds balls, 6 colored balls, and 1 cue ball. You are required to score the red balls first which carry 1 point each. Once you have pot one red ball, you are required to aim for the colored ball and then again a red ball and this continues alternately. Yellow balls carry 2 points, green carry 3, brown carry 4, blue carry 5, pink carry 6, and the black ball carries 7 points. Once all the red balls are pot, you are supposed to pot the colored balls in the ascending order of their values. In the end, the player with the highest number of points wins the game.

Here Are Some Rules To Be Followed While Playing Snooker:

  1. If a player legally pots a ball, then he/she is entitled to continue with the next shot until he/she was unable to officially pot the ball.
  2. The failure to contact a legal ball object first is counted as a foul. Furthermore, it is not necessary that the prompt ball otherwise the object ball must touch the cushion or drop in a pocket after touching an authorized object ball.
  3. Until all the red balls have been potted, the player captivating first shot of the proceeding inning must hit the red ball as his object ball or her object ball only.
  4. The striker is not required to specify which red ball or pocket or how the pot which will be eagerly played as any red ball potted legally counts as the legally potted ball.
  5. When the striker has one of a red colored ball as his permissible purpose ball, the first contact of the cue ball must be with the red ball otherwise it is counted as a foul.
  6. Once a striker has scored one of a red ball, he is supposed to pot a colored ball, and then again a red ball and this alternate pattern continue.
  7. If your entity ball is red and you pot a color then it is foul.
  8. Similarly, if your object ball is color and you pot any other ball, then it is a foul.
  9. In International Snooker, jump shots are considered illegal. If the player intentionally makes the ball jump by any means in an effort to clear obstructing ball, then it is considered as a foul.
  10. Where are no more red balls left to table, the striker’s object balls become the color balls in the ascending order of their values?


Now, Let’s Take A Look At Some Of The Rules Followed While Playing Billiards:

  1. First and foremost, the game has to be played with only three different colored balls such as yellow, red, and white. Any other combination does not go with the standard rules followed globally.
  2. The opponents have their unique cue ball. Namely one has a white ball, and the other has the yellow ball.
  3. In order to decide who is to break off first, both players simultaneously hit their cue balls hitting the cushion and returning backwards, the one whose cue ball reaches nearest to baulk cushion at the end of the shot is the player who breaks.
  4. Now the opponents will try to score the most amounts of points to win the game. The scores can be gained in three ways as indicated below:
  • In-off: It happens when your cue ball strikes on to one or more balls and then goes into a pocket.
  • Pot: This is the case when balls other than your cue ball go into the pocket.
  • Cannon: Cannon occurs when cue ball hits both the other balls on the table.


  1. Both the players are required to remain at the table itself until they fail to make a shot which pots the ball.
  2. After a foul is committed, the beneficiary is free to place the ball at any spot on the table or leave the table as it is and carry on with the shot.
  3. The player who reaches the target score set before starting of the match is the winner of the match!

Please note that there are various kinds of Billiards played around the globe but the most popular one is the British Billiards, and the above rules are followed while following British standards. A game without rules is very boring. Thus, snooker and billiards are ancient games played by millions of players following a set of rules and regulations decided by their clubs. It is believed that Snooker was devised somewhere around in 1875 by the Indian Army officers who were experimenting with various possible variations on billiards. Interestingly, ‘snooker’ happens to be a military slang term which refers to someone who is naïve. With advancement in technology, the Cues and their tips have undergone various changes. The Snooker players used to rub chalk on cue tips to improve the control, but nowadays the chalk does not contain any chalk rather it has fine abrasives.


About the author


Self Professed Geek , into all kinds of tech including search engine optimization , Computer networks and more. I love playing pool ( eight ball , nine ball and snooker) I own my own pool table a play daily. I love to try out new pool cues and accessories. read my review of actual pool cue i have used and use often.