What is Snooker?

The sport of snooker was originally derived from two gambling games played on billiards tables. While serving in an Army unit stationed in India in 1875, Sir Neville Chamberlain combined aspects of black pool and pyramids to form snooker, which was named after the first year recruits at the academy. The sport spread to England but was not widely played nor commercially promoted until the end of the 19th century.


A snooker game consists of 15 red balls, 6 coloured balls (1 yellow, 1 green, 1 brown, 1 blue, 1 pink, 1 black), and a white cue ball. A player wins the game by scoring more points than their opponent by potting the balls into the pockets of the table using a cue stick.

Rules and Regulations

Each game is known as a frame, and snooker matches can have any number of frames, with the snooker world championships having 19, 25, 33 and 35 frames depending on the round.

Each ball has a corresponding point number. The player who breaks first must place the cue ball inside the half circle and the straight Baulk line. In order to not commit a foul, a player must begin their turn by hitting a red ball first, as long as there are still red balls on the table. If a red ball is to be potted, then the player must attempt to score a coloured ball, alternating between red and coloured until he misses or until there are no red balls left on the table. The player must designate which coloured ball he is targeting but does not have to do so when aiming for a red.

Coloured balls will be spotted (reset) after being scored if not all of the red balls have been potted yet. However, once all of the red balls are pocketed, the object of the game is to score each coloured ball in the order of their point value. The game is over once the black ball is potted or if a foul is committed when the black ball is the only one remaining.


Common fouls are potting the cue ball, hitting the incorrect colour, or missing a ball entirely. These fouls carry a penalty equal to the value of the ball the player was supposed to have acted on correctly.