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

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.