Q & A: Answers

Snooker Cue

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Posted on 1st July 2000 by Brian T. Buchan of Aberdeen.

Could you please help me with the ruling to settle an argument with a mate. I had 36 points on the board my mate had 40, I potted the blue and pink giving me 47, I then went in off the black, leaving the black over the pocket, score now 47 each, I say that my mate plays from the D, he says the black is respotted who is right?

You are both half right. In the situation you describe the black is respotted and the next player plays from the 'D'. Toss a coin to decide who takes the next stroke and then continue alternately. The next pot or foul on the black ends the game.

Posted on 27th June 2000 by Sunitha d'Silva.

I'd like to know the difference between Billiards, Snooker and Pool.

Billiards (or more correctly - English Billiards), and Snooker are both played on the same table, measuring approximately 12 feet by 6.

English Billiards is played with only three balls, two cue-balls, and one red object-ball. Each player is allocated one of the cue-balls to use throughout the game.

Points are scored by either potting or going in-off the red, scoring three points, potting or going in-off the other player's cue-ball, scoring two points, or by a cannon, where the player's cue-ball strikes the other two, scoring two points. The game is either played over a set period of time, and is won by the player scoring the most points; or is won by the first player to reach a predetermined number, say, 100, 200, or 10,000.

Snooker is played with fifteen reds, six colours and one cue-ball. The players score by potting the balls. When a red is potted it is not replaced, and the player may then pot a colour, which is replaced. The player then continues potting reds and colours alternately until he misses a pot, fouls, or plays a safety stroke.

When all fifteen reds have been potted the six colours must be potted in sequence, yellow, green, brown, blue, pink and black. The player who scores most points wins that frame, but most matches are played as a best of 'so many frames'. Ranging perhaps from the best of three for early rounds in amateur play, to the best of 35 in the final of the World Professional Championships.

Pool is a little more complicated to describe, there being so many variations. They are all played on a small table, the largest perhaps being 10 feet by 5, more usually 9 by 4½ or 8 by 4. Even smaller tables are found in pubs and clubs here in the U.K.

The most popular variations at this time are 9-ball & 8-ball, both are potting games with each having its own set of rules.

There is also another form known as Carom - or Carombolage, played on tables without pockets. This game is hardly known in the U.K. but is popular in America and Europe. Three balls are used as in English Billiards and 3-Cushion is the variation most widely played. It is a game in which cannons are the only method of scoring, and for a cannon to count 3 cushions and the first object-ball must be struck before the last object-ball. This may be:- ball, cushion, cushion, cushion, ball - or cushion, ball, cushion, cushion ball - or cushion, cushion, ball, cushion ball. The winner being the first to reach a set number of points, or who scores most points during a set period of play.

Posted on 16th May 2000 by Sushil Rijal of Nepal.

I have just started playing snooker and some people have told me that when aiming the ball you should look at the reflection of light on the cue ball and the object ball and try to match the lights depending on the angle. Is this true?

No!   It may be that they coincide occasionally, but different tables with different lighting arrangements throw different reflections. You should ignore this advice. For better advice on aiming see the Tuition section.

Posted on 6th May 2000 by Yohan Smith of Tanzania.

I am new to the game of snooker. I would like to find out how to calculate angles and the relation of getting the cue ball to come back where you want it for the next shot. Is there anything to read or on the internet.

The theory of calculating angles is fairly straightforward as far as potting goes. As the cue-ball strikes the object-ball both balls must be pointing towards the pocket.

Regarding position for the next shot this is far more complicated. There are so many positions that you might wish the cue-ball to go to. The basic methods of control and angles will be covered in my tuition section over the coming months, but I doubt you want to wait so long.

I believe you are far better off buying a book on the subject than searching the internet. You will find the information conveyed in greater detail, which you can study at leisure and perhaps take with you to the table. There are two I would recomend, both by the American author Robert Byrne, one of the greatest living writers on cue sports.

"The New Standard Book of Pool and Billiards" and "Advanced Technique in Pool and Billiards" will give you all the information you require - and far, far more besides.

These are not about snooker as such, but the balls don't care what game you play or what size the table is. Their movements are governed by the same laws of physics, whether you play snooker or pool.

Unfortunately you then have to practice what you have learned and transfer your knowledge into actual play.

On a more practical note, you will learn far more in five minutes playing the same stroke over and over again than you will in several months of actual play. If you can practice alone make it worthwhile. Place an object-ball right over a pocket and the cue-ball a couple of feet away. Play the pot and repeat the shot over and over, each time trying to get the cue-ball to a different part of the table. Use top, bottom, screw, and side-spins and see how much you learn.

When you feel more confident move the object-ball further away from the pocket, or move the cue-ball further away from the object-ball, and start again. But always concentrate on what YOU are doing - your approach to the table, pushing the cue through straight, keeping your eyes on the object-ball to see if you hit it where you aimed, not moving on the shot, etc.

Posted by - snookergames - 6th March 2000.

In which year was the first match of the 1927 World Professional Snooker Championships held?

1926. The answer of course could be found in the Calendar section. The match began on November 29th and ended on December 6th, as Melbourne Inman beat Tom Newman 8 - 5.

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Snooker Cue