The Strategy Behind Snooker & Pool

Sure, you’re not drawing isosceles triangles or measuring the length of its hypotenuse at a pool hall (doing that might bring about a few stares down your way), but billiards is all about angles, positioning the cue ball to ricochet off other balls, ultimately causing them to go into one–or all–of the six pockets that line the table’s perimeter.

The different kinds of games you can play at 5 world snooker championship schedule a pool table far out number the 15 balls used in your typical game (not counting the 8-ball or cue ball, of course). One of those games is snooker.

Snooker is a game that originated in Britain and came to be called “snooker,” it’s believed, after Neville Chamberlain referred to an army cadet as a snooker when his play wasn’t exactly up to snuff. “Snooker” by definition is a first year cadet; Chamberlain then referred to the rest of the men playing with him that they were all snookers. The name stuck to the game since then.

The object of the game is similar to your regular game of 8-ball: Put all the balls in the pockets that line the table. But the way in which the balls are set up at the beginning of the game–not to mention the balls’ colors, the multiple “fouls” that can be committed, the number of balls used, the referee, and the fact that each game is made up of multiple frames–makes this game truly unique when compared to its counterparts.

Snooker has never really caught fire in the United States but that doesn’t hold true for the United Kingdom. In fact, it is the most watched sporting event outside soccer, or football, as it’s known throughout most of the world. In 1985, one-third (18.5 million people) of the United Kingdom population plunked themselves in front of their television sets to watch Dennis Taylor win on the final shot–a performance that is remembered as one of the sport’s best moments.

Since 1927, the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association organize the professional tour and championship; the champion ship is held in Sheffield, England.