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Snooker is a billiards game, played on a special table, with one white cueball, 15 red balls and 6 balls of various colours (the 'colours'). It is particularly popular in the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Canada. Of the players to regularly make televised tournaments, the only other countries to be represented are Australia, Hong Kong, Malta and Thailand. The intention of the game is to score points by causing the red and coloured balls to be played into the pockets along the edge of the table (in all 4 corners and the middle of each of the long cushions).

Table of contents
1 The Game
2 Tournaments
3 Players
4 Glossary
5 External Links

The Game

Snooker is played on a 6' X 12' table with six pockets, one at each corner and one in the middle of each long side. At one end of the table is the so-called 'baulk line'. On this line the yellow ball (2 points) is on the right, the green ball (3) on the left and the brown ball (4) in the middle. At the exact middle of the table starts the blue ball (5), and yet further down the pink one (6), followed by the red balls, touching each other and placed in a triangle behind the pink, and finally the black ball (7). The white cueball starts on the baulk line, between the green and the brown balls.

The game consists of two phases. In the first phase, the players have to play a red ball (that is, play the cueball so that it is a red ball it first touches). When they succeed in potting a red ball, they get another shot, now at a colour. When this colour is potted, it is replaced on the table - if possible on its own spot, otherwise on the highest remaining spot, or if all spots are occupied, as close to its own spot in a straight line as is possible without touching the ball sitting there. After this another red has to be played, etcetera.

After the last red and the following colour have been played, the second phase begins. In this phase, all colours have to be potted in the correct order (yellow, then green, then brown, then blue, then pink, then black).

One scores points by potting the correct ball - 1 point for each red, the ball's value for the colours. One also scores points if the opponent makes a mistake such as:

Penalty points are 4 points, the value of the ball that should be hit or the value of the ball that was faulted with, whichever is highest.

The highest possible score in a break that can be achieved without receiving penalty points is 147; in that case, the player must pot the black ball after each red ball in the first phase of the game. The event that a player scores the 147 points consecutively (in a single break) occurs only rarely in match play.

The highest possible score achievable (in a single break) is 155 points. That happens when an opponent fouls before any balls are potted and snookers the player on the reds. The player nominates and sinks a colour which is scored as a red, then sinks the black for a total of 8 points. He then clears the table to score the 147 points mentioned in the previous paragraph, and adds that to his 8 points for 155 total.


The most important event in professional snooker is the World Championship, held annually since 1927. The tournament has been held at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield (England) since 1977.

The group of tournaments that come next in importance are the so-called invitational tournaments, to which most of the highest ranked players are invited. The most important tournament in this category is the Benson & Hedges Masters.

Third in line are the nine ranking tournaments, which includes the World Championships. Players can score points here for the ranking. A high ranking ensures qualification for next year's tournaments, invitations to invitational tournaments and an advantageous draw in tournaments.


Some famous snooker players are


External Links