Carom billiards is a type of cue sport played with three balls on a table without any pockets. The objective of the sport is to carom a player's own cue ball off of the opponent’s cue ball and the object ball in a single shot. The sport was invented in France in the 18th century.
Of the three balls used, there are two cue balls, one for each player. One cue ball is of solid white, and the other cue ball is solid white with a black dot. Lately, a solid yellow ball has also been used as the second cue ball. The object ball is always solid red in color. Though most games use only one object ball, there are a few where a second object ball is used.
Players are awarded points when their cue ball strikes the opponent’s cue ball and the red object ball in a specific order, in a single shot. Players take turns when one is not able to successfully strike both balls in a single shot. A match is played for a fixed number of points, and the player to reach the points first is declared as the winner.
Depending on the game play a few variations in carom billiards are straight-rail, balkline, cushion, three cushion and artistic billiards.
- Three-Cushion Billiards — a very challenging cue sport and Carom Billiards discipline, where the aim is to carom the cue ball off both object balls and contact the rail cushions at least three times before the last object ball. Also called three-cushion carom.
- Artistic Billiards — a carom billiards discipline in which players score points for performing 76 preset shots of varying difficulty. It is sometimes called fantasy billiards.
- Balkline — a Carom Billiards discipline. A point is scored each time a player's cue ball makes contact with both object balls on a single stroke. It is played on a pocketless table that is divided by balklines on the cloth marking playing regions. Its precursor was a game called Straight Rail.
- See Cue Sports (general)
- Complete list of sports
- The Encyclopedia of Sports