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The game of Billiards is similar to snooker and pool. It is played with two cue balls (white) and an object ball (red) on a table with cues. Usually played on a snooker-size table by 2 players.

While Billiards is not as popular as, say snooker or pool, it is still a very popular game and is very skillful. Many snooker players also play billiards, as snooker was originally derived from the game of snooker. They share the same table of play.

There are many snooker clubs around the country and therefore plenty of opportunities to play the game of billiards. Most tables tend to be situated in clubs, due to the amount of space required to house a 12 foot table.

Players can play from any age, as long as you can reach the table and can hold a cue, then there is no reason that you cannot play. Realistically, playing on a full-size table generally means you will start playing at around 10-12 years of age.

The joy of the game is that anybody of any ability can play it. It is best to try to find someone of your own ability to make sure that the games are as evenly matched as possible. Many clubs will have matches for beginners.

The game is designed to be played by two players or teams. Two cue balls are used in the game, originally they were both white, but more recently one white and one yellow cue are used for distinction. The other ball on the table is a red object ball. Each player or team uses a different cue ball. Points are awarded for different shots such as a Cannon (striking one's cue ball so that it hits, in any order, the other cue ball and the red ball on the same shot). Most points wins the game.

Billiards is all about angles and being able to judge them. As a beginner you should often play for the natural half ball strokes (striking the cue-ball central aiming to the edge of the ball you are striking at) and as you become more experienced you can experiment with side etc. Obviously, it takes a lot of practice to become proficient at the game and even more to be able to master thick edges, thin edges and sides and screwbacks.

From under 16s upwards there is potential to get involved in all sorts of competitions and tournaments. There are tournaments for amateurs run by the EABA (The English Amateur Billiards Association), plus a professional circut with world Championship

Closely Related Activities
Snooker 569, Pool 471, Bar Billiards 49, Carom Billiards 701, Bagatelle 935.

Cost of a game at a local club and the price of a decent cue (anything from about £20 upwards).

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