Q & A: Answers

Snooker Cue

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Posted on 24th March 2001 by Natalie Bower, or Truro, N.S., Canada.

Given a billiard table and two balls on it, from which direction should the first ball be struck, so that it rebounds off the rim of the table, and then impacts the second ball?

Could this apply to both rectangular and circular tables?

There is no simple answer to your question. The direction would depend on the positions of the two balls, the strength used in playing the shot, and any side-spin that was given to the cue-ball.

Posted on 24th March 2001 by Ken of Taiping, Malaysia.

I was planning to buy a snooker cue and don't know what kind or brand of cue I should buy. Is price a good judge of a cue and what cue weight is normally suitable?

Look at as many cues as you can, and then buy the CHEAPEST one that you like!

When you become familiar with it you'll find that it's either too long or too short; too thin or too thick; too light or too heavy; or too stiff or too whippy. You will then have enough knowledge to choose a cue that suits you perfectly.

Regarding price, a more expensive cue may be better made, but if you don't like the feel of the cue - for whatever reason - then you'll have wasted your money!

Posted on 6th March 2001 by John Straiton of Corby.

Can you let me know the rules of uk pool.

No, sorry. They are protected by copyright.

They are on the web though, on the website of the English Pool Association

Posted on 6th March 2001 by Craig Nunes of Hersham.

I really enjoy the game of snooker and I am a young player of 14. I would now like to become an amateur snooker player and then hopefully a professional. How would I go about doing this?

Firstly you are an amateur already - and that's the easy part. To reach professional standard takes an enormous amount of hard work and natural talent. If you're not already playing competitively try and find a league that will allow those of your age to take part.

There may also be snooker clubs in your area that encourage youngsters, some having junior competitions and coaching facilities. This may be the best way for you to start. You will find out how well you cope with competitive play and how difficult the game really is.

Don't expect too much too soon, and always concentrate on your technique. Try to learn something from every frame you play, and you should steadily progress. You may never reach a professional standard but you will have great times along the way and make many good friends, even in the amateur game.

Posted on 6th March 2001 by Don Bucher of Brantford, Ontario.

I played a game in Florida some years ago and have forgotten the rules. The far two end pockets had values of 3 and 5, the centre side pockets 15 and 10, and the nearest end pockets a value of 1 and 2. Any ball pocketed was scored according to the pocket value.

A score of 101 wins. A score of 102 takes you back to 0. I think only the 10 ball can be pocketed in the designated #10 side pocket and the same for the 15 ball and #15 pocket. Can you send me the name and any missing rules. Thanks

Added 22nd January 2005 by Blair Mahaffy of Lorette, MB, Canada.

My Dad and I used to play it, so I can add to the rules but I don't remember all the fine points. Maybe someone else can fill in the blanks:

The pocket values for the game of "One Hundred and One". The pockets are numbered 1, 2, 3, 5, 10, 15 starting at left behind the D and going clockwise around. The red balls, the black, and a cue ball are used. Red balls are worth the pocket value, the black is double the pocket value.

You have to sink a red before sinking the black, and you have to score exactly 101 to win.

The red balls are put back on the table at the end of each turn. I think the black is replaced immediately after it is potted.

You must sink a red before proceeding to the black (not unlike snooker). What I'm uncertain of is if the black ball is "required" on the second shot or if you can also shoot red. So is it red, black, red, black; or red, anything, red, anything?

I'm also not clear on the scratch rules. Oh, and we used to rack the balls in a diamond with the black in the 3rd row from the back.

(Two full sets of rules of different versions of this game can now be found within the Games section.)

Posted on 6th March 2001 by Robbie Gardner of Liverpool.

I need help with my game - I just seem to be inconsistent If I play on my own.

I seem to get frustrated and will miss pots that are over the pockets. When playing against another person I seem to play as well as I need to. My highest break is 46 and I think it should be higher, how can my game change so drastically?

It's as though when I am playing well I see the pot so clear, long pots seem closer to the pockets, and near pots seem difficult, further away! If that makes sense.

It would seem as though you need an opponent to bring out the best in you, many do. Practice can become boring if you simply play frame after frame on your own.

Go to the Practice section, and study the first two diagrams of the 'Line-up' routine. Practice these instead of solo frames, and you should see improvement. Always take a pen and notebook to record your scores and after 5 attempts take the total score and the average. Imagine these personal targets to be the 'opponent' you must beat.

To steadily improve you must concentrate on what YOU are doing, finding your line of aim before you take up the playing position, pushing the cue through straight, and keeping your eyes fixed on the object-ball until the cue-ball makes contact - do not look away before this, you must see if you contacted the object-ball where you aimed.

Posted on 6th March 2001 by George Sinclair of Fort Macleod, Canada.

I'd like to find a full set of (22) Ivory snooker balls. If I find a set outside of Canada I would need full details so I can negotiate with customs, as Ivory is allowed into Canada only with special permission.

Full sets of Ivory snooker balls are few and far between, and are probably now classed as antiques. You may find them in specialist auctions but you would be bidding against collectors. Try the billiards/snooker section at ebay.

As to the Canadian Customs requirements, it would be worthwhile contacting them now so you'll know how to comply when the time comes.

Posted on 24th February 2001 by Michael Andersen of Tannum Sands, Australia.

My father-in-law has recently refurbished a strange looking mahogany table and is interested in knowing about the game for which it was designed.

The table is suspected to have been built in the early 1900's.

It measures 2000mm x 1500mm and features four pockets. Two are at either end of one 2000mm side, however the other two are set in 308mm from each end of the opposite 2000mm side.   Can you help please?

This is the M.I.P. Table* introduced by Thurstons during the 1930's, and was designed to be nothing more than a practice table.

When new it would have had three baulk lines drawn on the cloth, and was intended for home use by the serious player. It allowed all the principle strokes of the game to be practiced (or so they claimed), but it never became commercially successful and very few are now known to exist.

It is mentioned and illustrated in Norman Clare's Billiards and Snooker Bygones pub. 1996.

* (From the Latin 'Multum in Parvo' - meaning 'much in little')

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Snooker Cue