Know the Difference between Billiards, Snooker and Pool

January 24, 2023 8:24 am41 commentsViews: 423

Billiards, snooker and pool are some of the popular table games across the world, but very few people know that they are different games. “Pool”and“billiards” are usually used interchangeably but mistakenly. Here we will discuss the difference between them and how to play 8-ball pool.

Know the Difference between Billiards, Snooker and Pool

The term “billiards” originally described a game known as carom billiards. Over the time, people started using “billiards” to refer to several other games too played on a table with balls and a cue stick.

However, even though the same playing equipment is used for carom billiards and pool, the rules of the two games are different. Snooker also differs from them though played with same equipment. It has its own set of rules.

Let us have a look at the difference between these games in terms of equipment and rules.


Billiards is played with three balls while snooker with 22. In pool, the number differs from one variant to another and the maximum number of balls in a set is sixteen.

The three balls in billiards are white, yellow and red in color. In snooker, one ball is white, called the striker ball, and fifteen balls are red.There is one each of green, black, pink, blue, brown and yellow. In 8 ball pool,there are seven single-color balls (numbered 1 to 7) called solids, seven striped balls (numbered 8 to 15) called stripes and one white ball called the cue ball.


Billiard tables have no pockets while pool and snooker have pockets. The height of billiard and pool tables are seven foot (called bar table), eight foot (called home/recreational table) and nine foot (called pro/tournament table). American snooker tables are ten feet high while English ones are twelve feet high.

Game Rules

All the three table games have their own sets of rules. In billiards, points are scored by bouncing a cue ball off the other balls.

In snooker, frames are organized and players compete to score the most points to win a frame. The cue ball is used to pocket colored balls. Pocketing the black ball gets a player seven points while pocketing the pink one gets them six points. Similarly, pocketing red, yellow, green, brown and blue balls gets one 1-5 points, respectively. However, balls cannot be pocketed randomly. Rules govern pocketing, for example pocketing a colored ball should follow pocketing a red one. Pocketing a wrong ball leads to a foul.

The objective in the simple pool game is shooting the balls into pockets and scoring points. Players pre-agree on the number of points required to win the game. Usually it is 100 or 150 points. Each pocketed ball grants one point and players can pocket any number of balls in a series without a miss.

Another common variant of pool is known as the call-pocket game. Ahead of pocketing, players need to declare which ball is intended to be pocketed. A successful shoot carries one point.

Lately, online pool has gained great popularity and its most played variant is online 8 ball pool game. The rules for playing the game online are the same as for playing it on a real-world table.


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