Snooker Cue

This is a variation of snooker that allows 3 or 5 players to play individually against each other. There is no upper limit on the number who play, but 3 is probably best. 5 is just about acceptable but any more and you wait far too long between shots.

The object of the game is to score more points than you concede. In other words you must score as many points in the frame as possible while minimising the number of points the player following you scores.

The normal rules of snooker apply except the frame continues until all the balls are potted or there is a foul on the final black.

Additional equipment required: Pen and Paper.

First, agree an order of play which changes each frame. The game ends after each player has followed every other player an equal number of times; or, an agreed time for play has elapsed. This keeps everything consistent.

With 3 players you only have 2 combinations for the order of play: ABC and CBA.

So the first frame plays out as ABCABCABC etc, with B following A, C following B, and A following C. The second frame order is CBACBACBA etc, with B following C, C following A, and A following B.

So over the two frames each player has followed the other two.

With 5 players you have 4 combinations: ABCDE, CEBDA, BECAD, and DCBAE.

In either format there will always be one player who does not break, but this is unavoidable.

Each player keeps a running total of their points scored:

Example: Alan pots 3 reds and blacks, his score is +24. He then goes in-off (Foul 4) on his next shot and his score is amended to +20. If he then pots a red followed by blue his score becomes +26.

If player A fouls and player B following him asks player A to play again, any points player A scores are subtracted from player B's total.

A player can have a negative frame score e.g. Alan's current frame score is 1 and he fouls the blue, his current frame score is changed to -4.

An example frame with 3 players:

Alan ends the frame on +36

Brian ends the frame on +62

Clive ends the frame on +14

The overall scores are:

Alan -26 (Scored 36 but conceded 62)
Brian +48 (Scored 62 but conceded 14)
Clive -22 (Scored 14 but conceded 36)

The sum of all the scores for the frame is Zero
(Brian's +48 minus Alan's -26 and Clive's -22)

Another frame begins and the playing order is changed. Each player's score starts again at zero, and the player who potted (or fouled on) the black in the previous frame breaks.

Final scores of the 2nd frame:

Alan ends the frame on +86

Brian ends the frame on +6

Clive ends the frame on +27

The overall scores become:

Alan +54 (Started on -26 then scored 86 and conceded 6)
Brian +27 (Started on +48 then scored 6 but conceded a further 27)
Clive -81 (Started on -22 then scored 27 but conceded a further 86)

Again the total of the overall scores is zero (54+27-81=0)

If played for money, the stakes are normally on a per point basis. If the above game had been played at 10p per point, Alan would be up by £5.40, Brian up by £2.70 and Clive down by £8.10.

Snooker Cue