How Do You Play Billiards

Billiards is a game that is popular in England and the rest of the world. The game gained popularity during the time of the British Empire and has become a favorite sport with competitions held in various countries every so often. The game is usually a two-player cue sport that utilizes two cue balls (white and yellow) and one object ball (red). Learning how to play billiards is not as complex as many people think.

How Do You Play Billiards

In this article, we’ll discuss how to play billiards and point out some of the rules involved in the game. We’ll cover everything from the object of the game to players and equipment as well as scoring and winning the game.

How Do You Play Billiards
How Do You Play Billiards

Played on a pool table, each of the players uses a different color cue ball and wins the match by outscoring their opponent and reaching a previously agreed total. It is important to know pool table basics as there are several forms of billiards, but English billiards is one of the most common and most popular.

The Object of The Game

The object of a Billiards game is to score more points than your opponent to reach the agreed amount needed to win the game. The game, like chess, is quite tactical, requiring players to think both on the attack and defensive at the same time. The game is not physically demanding but requires a great deal of concentration and mental dexterity.

Players & Equipment

Billiards can be played two-vs-two or one-vs-one with the latter version of the game being more popular. A Billiards table has similar dimensions as a snooker table and they’re often played on the same table. Three balls of the same size (52.5mm) must be used: one white, one yellow and one red.

Each player has a cue that is either wooden or made from fiberglass and is used for striking the balls. The game also features the use of chalk. Each player will occasionally chalk the end of their cue during the game to ensure there’ s good contact between the cue and the ball.


In English Billiards, scoring is as follows:

A cannon: this is a two-point score where the player strikes the cue ball so that it hits the red ball and other cue ball (in any order) on the same shot.

How Do You Play Billiards
How Do You Play Billiards

A pot: This scores three points when the player’s cue ball strikes the red ball so that the red ball ends up in a pocket. A pot scores two points if your cue ball strikes your opponent’s cue ball so that it goes down the pocket.

In-off:  This occurs when you or your opponent strikes their cue ball then hits another ball before entering the pocket. This scores two points if the opponent’s cue ball was hit first and three points if the red ball was hit first.

A player can play combinations of the above shots in the same shot and get awarded a maximum of 10 shots.

Bottom Line

A player wins a game of English Billiards when he/she reaches the agreed-upon amount of points needed to win the game (often 300). Learning how to play billiards requires a tremendous degree of tactful thinking and savvy gameplay. You need to think ahead in terms of attacking and scoring points to keep ahead of your opponent. Regardless of how often you decide to play, make sure your table is properly maintained, leather pockets are repaired, and the pool balls are cleaned

How to Clean Yellow Pool Balls 

Pool balls need to be cleaned every now and then so they can be free of smudges, stains, chalk marks and won’t get an old, yellow shade. A game of pool will be much better if you have shiny pool balls that roll on green, well-kept felt. So when you feel that your pool accessories and things have that tired, worn out look, here’s what you can do to make them shiny again. This article will go into how to clean yellow pool balls so that you can always keep your balls in good condition. 

How to Clean Yellow Pool Balls 

Don’t know how to clean yellow pool balls? You can try some DIY methods such as using soapy water or use professional pool ball cleaning products to maintain your pool table

DIY or Professional Cleaning Product?How to Clean Yellow Pool Balls

Are DIY methods such as soapy water better than professional pool ball cleaning products, or is it the other way around?

As it turns out, there’s a difference between them in terms of application. Regular soap and water can only be used on phenolic or plastic resin balls and not those that are made of ivory or wood. Plus, water and detergent can only clean the balls and not get rid of the yellow stain that shows up over time.

If you’re looking to remove the yellow hue out of your pool balls, then it’s best to use a professional pool ball cleaner. Most of the time these products double as a felt cleaner for an all-around pool cleaning treatment.

Cleaning Using Soap & Water

Heat up a pot of water, grab two buckets, a dish soap, a microfiber cloth and a towel.

Mix soap and water on one bucket, then soak your pool balls in it for about 5 to 10 minutes. Prepare lukewarm water on the other bucket. After the time is up, take out the pool balls and use a microfiber cloth to ‘buff’ them up for 20 to 30 minutes.

Then, rinse out the soapy pool balls by dunking them on the bucket of lukewarm water. Once you’ve taken out the soapy residue, use a clean towel to dry off each ball before returning them to the table or their respective container.

Cleaning Using Professional Products

If your pool balls have that yellowish look and you want them to be like new again, then a professional cleaner should do the job quite nicely.

A word of caution, as the chemicals can be too strong for materials other than phenolic resin balls. That said, follow the instructions on the label for the best results.

First, shake the bottle thoroughly before use. Get a microfiber cloth and put a few drops of the cleaner on it. Wipe a yellowing pool ball and polish the whole ball for about half a minute or so. Using another microfiber, wipe the same ball until there’s no trace of the chemical on it.

Do this on all the balls until you achieve the desired result. 

You can even use pool tables and the game of pool as a different way to fundraise for your organization. 


It’s easy to learn how to clean yellow pool balls when you have the right products, tools and know the right pool table basics. Gather a few microfiber cloth, your preferred restorer and professional cleaning product and half an hour or so to get rid of the yellow age spots and make them look like new again. For maintenance, regular cleaning with soap and water works in removing dirt and chalk marks. While your pool balls may be clean, it’s equally as important to maintain other parts of your pool table such as the leather pockets and more. 


Pool Table Basics – What the Pros Want You to Know

When you’re learning how to play pool, you’ll likely come across different terminology, strategies and variations of the game. For you to become an expert in pool, you need to master the game’s principles and equipment. However, let’s start with some pool table basics.

Pool Table Basics

Some pool table basics include knowing how to play and to position your body, how to hold the cue stick, and how to hit the ball.

A Step by Step ApproachPool Table Basics

The basic principles are quite simple and easy to understand. You can start by following a simple step by step approach, as that’s the best way to learn more about the game of billiards.

  • The body position
  • Holding the cue stick
  • Hitting the cue ball
  • The Body Position
  • Your body position must be comfortable yet stable. Be sure to wear comfortable clothes as the dress code is rather casual.

    Mastering the Stroke

    Ensure your feet are a little wider than shoulder-width apart.

    Each person has a different preferred hand position. If you’re right-handed, hold the cue stick’s base with your right hand and rest the narrow end on your left. Do the opposite if you’re left-handed.

  • How to Position Your Leaning Hand
    • Put a beer cap on the pool table
    • Hide it with your hand
    • Open your three external fingers
    • Lift your thumb forming a V shape
    • Place the cue stick between your thumb and the knuckles of your index finger

    Experiment with a few hand positions to get one that’s most comfortable for you. For instance, some people prefer to rest the cue stick in between their fingers in a flat style while others prefer to rest the stick on their index finger. Alternatively, you can try curving your index finger on top of the stick and put your thumb at the bottom of the stick. Some people find that this technique allows them to have better control of the cue stick.

    When practicing your strokes, switch your eyes from the point you’re aiming for on the object ball to the contact point on the cue ball.

  • Hitting the Cue Ball
  • Hitting the cue ball shouldn’t be difficult once you’ve got everything else right. Place the cue stick’s tip about four inches away from the ball. Then position the cue on your leaning hand. Move only your back arm when shooting and the rest of the body should stay still.

    It’s also crucial that you don’t twist your wrist when hitting the cue ball.

  • Making Shots
  • When you’re just starting out, try to hit the cue ball straight and with power.

    You should also experiment with slow, easy shots. A softer touch will sometimes help your ball to ride the edge of the table and stay in a more defensive position.

  • Focus
  • Pool requires you to focus and pay attention to the overall game. So, keep your eye on the ball and try to tune out distractions the best you can.

    Don’t get too frustrated or overly confident – the tables can turn in a second. Focus on improving your shots and things will turn out just fine.

      Bottom Line

      Like all types of cue sports, pool takes some practice to get the hang of. There are various types of games but once you know the pool table basics and practice your shots, you should have an easy time playing most types or variations of pool games. If you decide to invest in a pool table of your own or maybe try to hold a fundraising pool tournament, be sure to maintain it in order to play your best as well.


    How to Maintain a Pool Table

    A well-maintained pool table will not only play better, but also last longer than one that’s neglected. The most important thing about getting the most out of your pool table is to keep it in good condition. Whether you’re a competitive player, or a casual player who enjoys the game only over the weekends, here are a few tips on how to maintain a pool table.


    Start by giving your pool table the best protection when it’s not in use by covering it with a specially designed cover. Vinyl covers protect your table from dirt and dust, the damaging rays of the sun, kids, spills, pets, high levels of humidity and moisture and other random contaminants. Be sure to choose the right size of cover for your table.

    Table Position

    Pool tables are best kept away from sunlight. Avoid positioning your pool table near windows as the rays of the sun can easily fade the wood and damage the felt. Similarly, wooden pool tables shouldn’t be placed in rooms with high humidity levels. You wouldn’t want the wooden surface to get mold or dry either.

    Safe Playing PracticesHow to Maintain a Pool Table

    You can prolong the useful life of your table by taking a few precautions when playing pool games. For instance, avoid chalking the tip of your cue on the table to prevent the dust from damaging the felt. That helps to protect the cloth from dust that can affect its smoothness. Similarly, you want to avoid shots that involve digging the cue’s tip into the cloth as that may cause small scratches can lead to major tears.

    Another useful tip is to take off or avoid playing with loose jewelry as they can prick the cloth and eventually damage it. Loose watches and bracelets can also scratch and dent the rails of your table.

    Ball Cleaning

    Every now and then, clean the balls with a soft cloth and billiard ball cleaner, or some warm water and soap. Properly cleaned balls will keep the cloth, cues and cushions in better condition.

    Cloth Cleaning

    Keep a soft bristle brush handy and use it to sweep chalk, talc and dust away from the table. You can also use it to clean the table after every game or during gameplay, if necessary. The trick here is to sweep gently yet briskly in one direction, preferably towards the pockets, which can be clean with a soft piece of damp cloth. It’s also advisable to give the cloth a proper cleaning by vacuuming it regularly. Set the vacuum cleaner on a low setting and avoid using an attachment with a brush.

    Frame Cleaning

    Clean the area under the rail with a soft bristle brush and clean the rail, legs and cabinet with a dry soft piece of lint-free cloth.

    Bottom Line

    All these tips on how to maintain a pool table should help you to get the most out of your pool table and extend its useful life. Have a rule that there’s no drinking or eating at the table, and chalk your cue away from the table. Taking precautionary steps will help keep your pool table in top condition.