Cue Sports (Billiards)

Cue sports have historically been known as billiards (though in some countries billiards refers to the specific game of English Billiards). It is a general term use for a wide variety of sports played with a cue stick to hit or strike a billiard ball moving them around a billiard table. The sport is believed to have originated from outdoor stick and ball lawn games.

The cue stick (also known as cue, pool cue, billiards cue, and snooker cue) is mostly made of wood and usually 57 inches (1.5 m) long and about 16-20 ounces (450-600 g) in weight. The billiard balls come in various forms depending on the specific kind of cue sports that will be played. They differ in color, type, number, pattern, diameter, hardness, resilience, and friction coefficient.

The billiard table is a bounded table that has a cloth-covered flat surface and rubber cushions. With this structure, the billiard balls move around with much-minimized loss of kinetic energy. For a specific cue sport like pool, there are 6 pockets, 1 on each corner of the table and the other 2 on the sides. Using the cue stick, this is where you should move the billiard balls to.

There are two main varieties of cue sport games: carom and pocket. Among the pocket cue sports, the main subdivisions are Pool and Snooker. There are also hybrid games combining aspects of both pocket and carom billiards, such as American four-ball billiards, cowboy pool and bottle pool.

Carom Games

The main Carom Billiards games are straight rail, Balkline and three cushion billiards, which are played on a pocketless table with three balls; two cue balls and one object ball. Players shoot a cue ball so that it makes contact with the opponent's cue ball as well as the object ball. Others carom games include four-ball and five-pins.

Pocket Games

There is a large variety of pocket cue sport games, the most popular being the numerous Pool Games (Pocket Billiards) and its popular variant Snooker. Also popular, especially in Commonwealth countries, is English Billiards, which has similarities to Carom Billiards. Russian Pyramid and its variants are popular in the former Eastern bloc.

Some Carom Games

Some Pocket Cue Sports

Other Cue Sports

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