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any one of a number of games played with a tapered, leather-tipped stick called a cue and various numbers of balls on a rectangular, cloth-covered slate table with raised and cushioned edges. Games similar to billiards were popular in England and France in the 16th cent., and evidence even suggests that a billiardslike game was played in the 14th cent. The country of origin is disputed—England, France, Italy, Spain, and China have been credited by various historians with its invention. The game in its present form was probably fully developed by 1800. There are three main types of billiards: carom billiards, pocket billiards (also known as pool), and snooker. Carom billiards is played with three balls, a cue ball and two object balls, on a pocketless table; scoring is by caroms only, i.e., by causing the cue ball to strike the object balls in specified ways. Pocket billiards is played with 15 object balls and a cue ball on a table with six pockets; the essential object of the game is to cause the object balls to enter the pockets. Snooker is similar to pocket billiards, except that it uses 21 object balls and smaller pockets. There are many additional variations of the basic games, depending on the number of balls used, the positioning of the balls, the boundaries on the table, and the scoring. Among the variations are Chicago, golf, rotation, balk-line, and bumpers. William Frederick HoppeHoppe, Willie
(William Frederick Hoppe) , 1887–1959, American billiards champion, b. Cornwall, N.Y. He practiced billiards from a very early age and gave exhibitions before he won (1906) his first world championship in Paris.
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 is generally considered the foremost billiards player of all time.


See R. Byrne, Byrne's Standard Book of Pool and Billiards (1987).



a game played with balls on a special table (known as a billiard table). Billiards is considered to have originated in India and China. In Europe it appeared in the 16th century, and in Russia, during the reign of Peter I. The table, covered with a felt cloth, has in its cushions six holes (pockets) with little net bags under them. Some billiard tables—for example, the French ones—do not have pockets. The game is played with three, five, or 16 balls (numbered from 1 to 15; the 16th ball does not have a number), made of elephant ivory or a composition substance. These are struck and pushed by a cue—a stick made of hard wood, approximately 1.5 m in length. In the USSR the billiard games which are widespread are “American” (in which the winning player is the one who is the first to pocket eight balls) and “Pyramid” (in which the winner is the player who is the first to make 70 points).


Koriolis, G. Matematicheskaia teoriia iavlenii billiardnoi igry. Moscow, 1956. (Translated from French.)
Nauka i zhizn’, 1966, nos. 2, 3, 4, 6, 11.


1. any of various games in which long cues are used to drive balls now made of composition or plastic. It is played on a rectangular table covered with a smooth tight-fitting cloth and having raised cushioned edges
2. a version of this, played on a rectangular table having six pockets let into the corners and the two longer sides. Points are scored by striking one of three balls with the cue to contact the other two or one of the two
References in periodicals archive ?
We are happy to give our members the chance to play on a national TV setting," said Mark Estes of Cue Sports International.
The cue sports chief is trying to secure a multi-year sponsorship deal for the Bahrain event to ensure its long-term future in the kingdom.
Asked how his own area of expertise, cue sports, could progress in India, Sethi said: " Whether it is cue sport or another non- Olympic sport like squash, it will always be dominated not by personalities but by the consistency of performance of the athletes.
But it's not all about cue sports - EA Clare is one of only three companies in the world registered to make lawn bowls.
Ryuji Umeda beat Vietnam's Duong Anh Vu 40-29 in the carom three cushion singles final to give Japan its first gold in cue sports at the Doha Asian Games on Friday.
Georgica said it had access to enough funds to complete the refurbishment of its estate, substantially expand the number of cue sports and tenpin bowling outlets whilst at the same time continue to buy in shares for cancellation, which it will do from time to time.
The BCA is a national non-profit organization dedicated to promoting and growing cue sports worldwide to make pool everybody's game.
Fu recently decided it was time to end his practice of gleaning the odd piece of advice from Terry Griffiths, who has been busier coaching Stephen Hendry, Mark Williams and Matthew Stevens, and the Hong Kong man has secured the services of a cue sports guide from his home city.
Davis now faces Chris Melling, the cue sports all-rounder from Yorkshire.
If ever that comes about, and I'm hopeful cue sports will be considered for the 2004 Olympiad, I'll be trying to win there as well.
Now it is hoped cue sports could be in the 2002 games in Manchester.
Chinese Taipei will be fielding Chen Wei-ling, who was third in the world women's 48 kg weightlifting, and Liu Shin-mei, who is a two-time world champion in cue sports.