Snooker Rules – How to Play the Right Way

Snooker is a popular billiards game that is similar to pool. The object of snooker is to score more points than the opposing player. Sounds simple right? Points are scored by pocketing balls in the correct order using a numerical sequence. Here’s all the Snooker Rules that you need to know!

Pool vs Snooker – What’s the Difference?

Many people confuse the two games or think that they are simply different names of the same game. The truth is, snooker and pool are two very different games. Pool popular in the United States while Snooker is played more commonly in countries where Great Britain historically held colonial control. This includes areas like Europe, Canada, and the Middle East. Here’s the main differences between pool and snooker.

  • Snooker tables are larger (12’ x 6’) and taller than pool tables.
  • Snooker pockets are narrower.
  • Snooker balls are smaller, 2 1/8” in comparison to 2 ½” pool balls.
  • Snooker cues are 10mm while pool cues are 14mm.

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The Rules of Snooker

Snooker is played with 15 red, 6 colored, and 1 cue ball. The goal is to pot a red ball first followed by a colored ball then red then colored, and so on and so forth. This red-colored sequence continues until all of the balls have been pocketed. If you fail to pocket the right ball, then it becomes the opposing players turn. Add up the points using the values listed below to find out who the winner is.

  • Red ball = 1 Point
  • Yellow Ball = 2 Points
  • Green Ball = 3 Points
  • Brown Ball = 4 Points
  • Blue Ball = 5 Points
  • Pink Ball = 6 Points
  • Black Ball = 7 points
How to Play Snooker

Snooker Rack Set Up. Image via Billiard World.

You can decide who goes first by tossing a coin. If there is a tie, you can break this tie by flipping a coin and re-spotting (explained below) the black ball. The player who wins the coin toss has the choice of going first or deferring to allow the opposing player to initiate the tie breaker. The player who pots the black ball wins.

Set the rack by placing 14 red balls in a pyramid with the pink ball at the point and the black ball behind the pyramid. The blue ball is placed in the middle of the table. The brown, yellow, and green balls are placed in a line across from the pyramid. Refer to the diagram below to see how to set up snooker game.

Foul Balls

Jump shots are illegal in snooker. If you pot the incorrect ball in the wrong sequence then this shot is considered a foul. It then becomes the opposing players turn and no points are scored. Foul red balls are left off the table but foul colored balls are re-spotted on the table.

Mark Selby playing Snooker

Mark Selby playing Snooker. Image via Wikipedia.

Re-spotting Balls

Color balls are placed in the same position that they were in at the beginning of the game. If this spot is occupied by another ball, the ball is placed on the spot of the highest value color that is vacant. If all of these positions are occupied, snooker rules state that you are to place the re-spotted ball as close as possible to its original starting position on a straight line between its spot and the nearest point on the top cushion.

What is Snooker in 8 Ball Pool?

Snooker is a term used to describe a certain scenario. Snooker is when there is no direct path between the cue ball and the ball you’re trying to hit. In order to make this happen, you’ll usually have to make a kick shot where the cue ball bounces off one or more rails before it actually hits the targeted ball.

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