Billiards: history and rules of the sport

Billiards is a fascinating game that has existed for several centuries. During this time, it has undergone serious changes. Many varieties of billiards have appeared. The characteristic feature of the game is the movement of balls with a cue on the surface of the table. It is played all over the world by men and women both at professional competitions and in entertainment places.

Billiards: history and rules of the sport

History of origin

The history of the beginning of this sport is quite difficult to determine. Many sources claim that billiards originated in 15th century Europe, where it evolved from outdoor games such as croquet. Originally, aristocrats played it in large outdoor courts, but gradually the game moved indoors. A wooden table covered with a green cloth simulating grass became the new field of play. It was made in France during the reign of Louis XI. Henri de Winema created this piece of entertainment in 1469. At that time, players used clubs to disperse the balls. However, the 17th century saw a major change when the cue was introduced, which revolutionised the game and paved the way for modern billiards.

As the game gained popularity, it became a favourite pastime of members of the royal family of Europe. Famous players such as Willie Hoppe and Minnesota Fats brought more and more attention to the sport, and historic venues such as the London Billiard Club raised the status of the new game. Queen Catherine de Medici played a significant role in popularising billiards by organising a tournament in memory of her late husband Henry II. Over time, the game spread beyond Europe, reaching the United States and other parts of the world.

Among other things, among the fans of the game were famous people of different epochs: Mozart, Louis XIV, Marie Antoinette, Catherine II, Immanuel Kant, Napoleon, US presidents George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt, French president Jules Grevy, writers Charles Dickens and Mark Twain, poet Alexander Pushkin, mathematician, philosopher and writer Lewis Carroll, Count Grigory Orlov, scientist Mikhail Lomonosov and many others.

But how did the game appear in Russia? In 1698 Peter the Great visited Holland. The tsar became fascinated by billiards and on his return to his homeland contributed to its development. A little later, each of the noble family had to possess the skills of the game. Alexander Sergeevich Pushkin's contemporaries recalled his serious success in billiards. Over time, the game began to play in clubs, inns, hotels, the new entertainment became really popular. But when exactly the game was considered a sport? In the 19th century billiards moved from the category of fun entertainment to the category of sports, which already implied serious skills and abilities. Competitions began to be held, in which people of different estates could take part, which was unimaginable at that time. In Russia, the first mass competition was held in 1935.

Today, billiards is recognized as a sport with a global following, played in countless venues from casual bars to high-stake tournaments. For enthusiasts looking to dive deeper into the world of billiards and explore related areas such as online gaming, accessing a platform like Wanted Win is made easy and secure through the Wanted Win casino review. This gateway not only connects users to billiards-related content but also expands their experience to include a variety of online entertainment options, blending the historical richness of billiards with the modern convenience of digital access.

Types of billiards

Currently, there are several types of billiards, among which the most popular are Russian, American, and English. Each game has its own features and rules. Billiards is a popular sport and entertainment for many. It promotes the development of movement coordination, logical thinking and strategic planning.

1. Russian billiards

This version of billiards originated in the Russian Empire in the 18th century. This version uses large balls that are slightly inferior to the size of the pools. There are four disciplines: free pyramid (American), combined pyramid, dynamic pyramid (Nevskaya, Peter's) and classical pyramid.

2. Snooker

A version of billiards invented by Neville Chamberlain in the late 19th century. Snooker uses 15 red balls, 6 coloured balls and a white bat. Players must score the red and coloured balls into pockets by following complex rules and making a series of shots.

3. American billiards (pool)

One of the most popular varieties of billiards. In American pool the shaft of the corner hole is wider than the diameter of the ball, which makes the game technically easier. There are many varieties of American pool, including pool-8, pool-7, pool-9, and others.

4. Carambole (French billiards)

An unusual variety of billiards in which players use a cue and balls to make different shapes. Carambol has several varieties such as single-board, three-board and open game.

5. English Billiards

Combines features of different types of billiards. A snooker table and three balls (two white bits and one red aiming ball) are used. The player's task is to score the highest number of points by making successful hits in a series.

Correct technique

Anyone can learn to play billiards. The sport combines skill, strategy and entertainment. Whether you are an amateur player or aspire to become a professional, a proper understanding of technique is essential, which includes:

1. Hand position:

Hold the thick end of the cue in your dominant hand with the palm facing up. Find the balance point on the handle and grasp the cue 5 centimetres down from this point. Use your non-dominant hand to create support.

2. Stance:

Stand comfortably, putting one foot forward to provide stability. Position yourself close to the table, but not too close. Hold the cue directly under your chin while hitting to give it the correct shape.

3. Hitting the ball:

Before each shot, chalk the tip of the cue as if you were running a brush over it. When chalking the shot, aim for the centre and turn your hand depending on where you want to hit.

4. Holding the cue:

Hold the cue with your thumb on top and the rest of your fingers around the bottom of the cue.

5. Completing the strike:

Complete the shot when the cue reaches the desired point on the table.

Remember, constant practice and determination are essential to improving your pool skills. Whether you are just playing with friends or playing in tournaments, mastering these techniques will improve your accuracy and control of your game!

Competition formats

Billiards is a fascinating game that is played in different formats, each of which has its own peculiarities, rules and structure.

1. Single qualifying tournament:

In this format, players compete head-to-head. The loser of a single elimination is eliminated from the tournament. It is best suited for fairly large tournaments with short time limits.

2. Double elimination tournament:

Contestants start on the winners' grid. After losing, they move to the losers' grid. To be eliminated, they must lose twice. Many billiards tournaments use double elimination.

3. Round robin tournament:

Everyone plays their opponent once. This allows you to choose a wide variety of opponents and helps you evaluate your performance compared to everyone else. It is best played in league or small groups.

Having said that, all competitions will consist of several stages:

  1. Qualification:Competitors will be divided into groups based on age and skill level, where they will play each other to determine the finalists.
  2. Final stage: the finalists will compete against each other in skill play. The winner will be the one with the best performance.
  3. Awarding: the winner and runners-up will receive medals, certificates and valuable prizes.

The choice of format depends on the number of participants, available time and the desired level of competition.


To summarise, billiards has come a long way from its humble beginnings on grass courts to the felt-covered tables we see today. Its evolution reflects not only the changing times, but also the passion and skill of those who played and shaped this timeless game. Today, billiards is hugely popular and attracts more and more people around the world into its circle.

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