So You Want to Learn Snooker? Great!

Good for you! We don’t hear about enough snooker players around here, but it’s arguably our favourite game to play on a billiards table.

Everything you need to know to get through a game of snooker is contained here. So bookmark this page and come back often.

The basics

  • 1) Potting a ball entitles the striker to continue at the table.
  • 2) If you pot the cue ball, you forfeit your turn.
  • 3) If there are still red balls on the table:

a. Your first shot on every turn must be to hit a red with the cue ball.
b. If you pot that red ball, you score one point and can make your next shot for any of the colour balls.
c. Make sure you call out the ball you intend to hit/pot.
d.If you pot that colour, you score the point value and return the colour to its original position. If another ball is now blocking its spot, place the ball on the highest valued spot available.
e. If you fail to pot or if you foul, your turn ends and the opponent steps in.
f. Continue with the pattern (red-colour-red-colour) until all reds are in the pockets.

  • 4) When all red balls are gone, pocked the remaining balls in the following order

a. Yellow, green, brown, blue, pink, black. At this point, all coloured balls stay down.

You only need to know a few functional words.

  • Snookered – you can’t roll the cue ball in a straight line to hit the chosen ball.
  • Pot – to sink the ball in a pocket.
  • Ball on – the ball you intent to hit with the cue ball.
  • Foul – to break the rules

How you foul

  • Once struck, the cue ball must make contact with the ball on first.
  • If your cue ball does not hit anything on the table, your opponent may choose to take the shot or turn the table back to you.
  • If you commit a foul and your opponent is snookered on all balls on, they may be allowed to select any ball on the table. This ball, the FREE BALL, becomes a ball on and has the same value as a red ball, and is returned to a position on the table if potted.
  • If your cue ball hits a ball other than the ball on first, the penaltyis the value of the ball struck or 4 points, whichever is greater.
  • If you pot a ball other than the ball on, you do not score the value of the ball on and your opponent scores the value of the pocketed ball.
  • If you touch any ball on the table at any time, the penalty is the value of the ball touched or 4 points, whichever is greater.

Game over

The game ends under one of two conditions.

A player can resign because there are not enough balls on the table to catch up to the opponent’s score, or all reds and ball colours are pocketed.

Now get to work on your hand skills so you can claim your first victory!