What Are The Rules of Billiards?
The Origins of Billiards
Billiards was first played in Britain and across its empire during the 1700s. It is a two-player game using cues and three balls. Billiards is also occasionally referred to as "the common game" or "the English game".
How Do I Play Billiards?
So, you want to know the rules of billiards: how do I play billiards, you ask.
Each player chooses a cue ball to play with. That player is then only permitted to strike that one cue ball directly. Originally one cue ball was white and the other was yellow, but in the modern game of billiards it is more common to find one ball white and other also white but with a black spot on it.
The next part of the rules of billiards is to "string" in order to determine which of the two billiards players gets to play first. You string in billiards by both striking the cue ball at the same moment such that it rolls all the way up and all the way down the table. The winner is the player whose ball comes to a rest closer to the bottom cushion. Under the rules of billiards this wins you the right to play first.
The third part of the rules of Billiards is to place the third ball, which is commonly red coloured, on the spot. This is in the same location usually occupied by the black ball in a game of snooker. The player who is to go first then places his or her ball within the D-shaped mark at the far end of the table and strikes it towards the third ball. At this point the opponent's ball is not on the table. The opponent then takes a turn in the same fashion.
The next part of the rules of billiards is to take alternate turns striking your cue ball. Points are awarded for hitting both the red ball and your opposition's cue ball with your own cue ball during the same shot. This is awarded two points. Three points are awarded for pocketing the red ball or for pocketing your own cue ball after first hitting either of the other two balls.
Under the rules of billiards penalty points can also be awarded. Penalty points are dished out for hitting your opponent's cue ball directly with your cue, missing both other balls when playing a turn, double hitting your cue ball, making your ball or any other ball jump in the air, or bizarrrely for putting a ball into a pocket 15 times in sequence without making any points from canons.
The rules of Billiards dictate that the game continues until either a set period of time or a set number of points has been reached- which of these is agreed by the players before they start to play.