English Billiards simply known as Billiards is a cue sport. It was originated in Great Britain and was originally known as the winning and losing carambole game, combining the name of three predecessor games- the winning game, the losing game and the carambole game which were popular in various countries of Europe.
This game is played using two white balls (one white ball and one spotted white ball or yellow ball) and a red object ball and a stick called a cue is used to strike the balls.
The global governing body of English Billiards is World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association (WPBSA) for professionals and International Billiards & Snooker Federation (IBSF) for amateur players.
To score maximum points by pocketing the balls or by hitting cannons and other shots.
English billiards was initially being called 'the winning and losing carambole game', wrapping in the names of its three forerunner games - the winning play, the losing game and the carambole game - to make a full name.
However, all of these games fall under the general category of cue games (which are also called billiards), and have evolved from some similar ball and stick games like jeu de mail and palle-malle, modern trucco, croquet, golf, bocce, and bowls etc.
The first world governing body of English billiards was the English Billiards Association which was founded in 1885, UK. However, the Billiards Association and Control Council (later the Billiards and Snooker Control Council) assumed control since the mid-twentieth century.
The billiard cue originated from its forerunner - the mace, which was a piece of equipment similar to that of a golf club. It was initially used to push the billiard balls, rather than to strike them. However, players began using the modern day design of billiard cues by 1800.
The early version of the now used modern-day billiards balls were made up of wood and clay. However, the rich also prefered to use the balls made of ivory!
A bridge is a stick with a metal or plastic head which is used to extend a player’s reach on a shot when the ball is too far for the hand to act as a bridge.
Chalk is applied to the cue tip before every shot that avoids slippage between the cue tip and the ball.
Straight rail is a variant of billiards which includes an objective of scoring a count or point by hitting both the object balls with the cue ball in a single stroke. Players win when they reach a score count they mutually agreed upon.
Balkline is a variant of billiards which is usually played with two cue balls and a red object ball. A balkline table is a cloth-covered, 5 foot × 10 foot, pocketless table divided by balklines on the cloth into embossed regions called balk spaces.
it's widely considered as the hardest form of billiards to master as it includes a player making contact with the other two balls on the table and the three rail cushions simultaneously.
Snooker is also a variant of billiards which is played with one cue ball and twenty-two object balls which are then struck in correct order to accumulate points.
Individuals (one player each side) or teams of two players (with the players alternating in each turn) compete to win the game.
When the cue ball hits both other balls on the table, it is known as cannon. It scores two or three points based on the order of hitting. A player can score a maximum of 75 consecutive cannons in a game.
When the cue ball hits any one of the other two object balls in such a way that the ball (object ball) goes into the pocket is known as a winning hazard.
When the cue ball hits any one of the other two object balls in such a way that the cue ball goes into the pocket is known as a losing hazard. A player can score a maximum of 15 consecutive hazards in a game, whether winning, losing or both.
English Billiards is played on a six-pocket table which measures around 11.71 x 5.83 feet (commonly 12 x 6 feet) with the pocket size of around 3.5 inches. The height from the top of the cushion to the floor is around 2 ft 9.5in to 2ft 10.5in.
The snooker table has rubber rails known as cushions and the baize-covered slate bed which is about 2 inches thick. A straight line is drawn at 29 inches from one end of the table (the bottom cushion) and is called the Baulk-line and the 29 inches area is known as the Baulk In which a semi-circle of 11.5 inches radius is drawn called a 'D' which has its center at the middle of the baulk-line.
Sole judge and controller of the competition who is responsible for the proper conduct of the game.
Maintains a record of each stroke played, fouls made, cannons and hazards, points scored by each player and also makes all calculations in the game.
Keeps the score on the scoreboard and provides assistance to the referee if required.