Snooker is a cue sport which belongs to the group of billiards sports. It originated among British Army officers stationed in India in the later half of the 19th century. The sport is played on a rectangular table covered with a green cloth. There are pockets at the four corners of the table and two in the middle parts. Having pockets instead of holes is the first difference between snooker and regular billiard. The gameplay is vastly different as well.

Snooker Intro
Welcome to Snooker

There is a cue white ball and 21 colored balls. The players must strike the white ball (or “cue ball”) to pot the remaining balls in the correct sequence, accumulating points for each pot. An individual game, or frame, is won by the player scoring the most points. A match is won when a player wins a predetermined number of frames. Keep reading to learn more about snooker and it’s origins.


The initial version of snooker appeared somewhere around 1870 among British officers in India. They combined two pocket billiards games, pyramid and blackpool. The game developed its own identity in 1884 when its first set of rules was finalised by Sir Neville Chamberlain, an English officer who helped develop and popularize the game at Stone House in Ooty on a table built by Burroughes & Watts that was brought over by boat.

Snooker History

The word snooker was at that time used as a slang word to refer to first year cadets and inexperienced military personnel. However, Chamberlain often used the term to refer to the bad performance his officers would supply at the table. By 1887, the word started being used to refer to this sport. It started growing in popularity as well, all around India. It quickly spread to the United Kingdom as well. However, for a long time, snooker was a sport for the gentry. You had to be a member of gentleman’s clubs that had tables in order to play.

After that, the sport spread all over the world; however, it’s a major sport only in the United Kingdom. With time some of the rules were changed a little bit. By the end of the 19th century, the modern game of snooker, as we know it today, was created. Nevertheless, towards the end of the 20th century, the sport took a huge decline. In 2010, promoter Barry Hearn gained a controlling interest in World Snooker Ltd., the professional sport’s commercial arm, pledging to revitalize the “moribund” professional game. Since then, the number of tournaments increased and the prize money doubled.

Snooker Rules & Regulations

The objective of snooker is to have more points than the other player at the end of a frame. The frame is basically like one set in tennis. To win a match, you need to win a certain amount of frames. The way you play it is very simple. You need to put the colored balls in the pocket by hitting them with the white “cue” ball. However, there is one rule that must be followed. You need to pocket one red ball and then you have to pocket one of the colored balls.

Snooker Rules

You do this, until you run out of red balls. Once that happens in snooker, there is a special order in which the rest of the colored balls have to be pocketed. There will be six remaining colored balls and they are pocketed in order of value. The order is as follows: yellow, green, brown, blue, pink, and black. The red balls give one point, while the others give out different amounts. The yellow one is 2 points, green is 3, brown is 4, blue is 5, pink is 6, and the black one is 7 points. The highest possible frame can be 155 points. That’s achieved only if you pocket a black ball after every red ball.


Sometimes when players don’t have a clear shot at anything, they try to hide the ball, so their opponent can’t pocket any balls as well. However, there are cases where a player misses a ball, while trying to hide the white ball. This leads to a foul in snooker, which means he will lose a couple of points. There is a referee who watches for fouls. He also puts back the colored balls on the field and calls out how many points the players have.

Organisations and Tournaments


The World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association (WPBSA), also known as World Snooker), founded in 1968 as the Professional Billiard Players’ Association, is the governing body for the professional competition. The amateur game (including youth competition) is governed by the International Billiards and Snooker Federation (IBSF). You can learn more about the sport on their official website.


This is where sports betting comes into play with snooker. There are several different tournaments that are very popular. The way it works is similar to tennis. Players take part in masters tournaments and earn points which determines world rankings. The top 16 players on that list don’t have to qualify for some of the tournaments. The most famous tournaments in snooker are the Shangai Masters and the Australian Open. However, the biggest and most important tournament is the World Snooker Championship.

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