Snooker vs Pool vs Billiards

Last updated on : 16 Feb, 2024

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Cue sports is one of the most rarely talked about sport in the country today. As compared to the likes of cricket, football or even tennis, cue sports fall under the niche category. Pro players who play them, can instantly differentiate between a pool & a snooker/billiard table.

That's because, these players know the rules, regulations and the ins and outs of the game itself. However, for the ones who are stepping into for the very first time, it must be difficult to distinguish.

These lot generally call it 'pool'. The beginners usually use 'pool' or 'billiards' even for snooker, billiards and 8 ball pool. But if this falls on to the ears of a pro-level player, he/she would really not like this comparison.

While the tastes of snooker, snooker and snooker are similar in the type of equipment they use, their gameplay is by no means the same. All three games have distinct rules and gameplay. 

If you are starting new to pool, or still finding your feet in understanding the difference between snooker, pool and billiards, the following article will help you explain further inside the game's minute details and dust off the confusion surrounding it. 

However, let's first understand the 3 games Pool, Snooker and Billiards

1. Pool

Pool game has many variants associated with it - 8 ball pool, 9 ball pool and 3 ball pool. The name is basically associated with the number of balls used in the game.

E.g., In 8 ball pool, 16 object balls (solid and striped) are used in the 8-ball pool which includes a single 8-ball. The same consists for 9 ball pool and 3 ball pool.

So, when you play an 8-ball pool game, the main objective is to pot all the designated balls & finish up the game by potting the black coloured 8 ball before your opponent strikes.

The game commences with one player taking the first shot, also dubbed as the "break shot". When playing online, each opponent receives streaks or soles after the break roll. You can win 8 ball pool in the following situations:

  • A player pots all the given object balls alongside the 8-ball pool at the end of the game.
  • Your opponent commits a foul by potting the 8-ball before the object balls have been potted.
  • If a player throws off the 8 ball from the table, the opposing player wins the game.

2. Snooker

Snooker is a game based out in Britain. Snooker is ideally called a game of pool for the reason that it is played on a pool table which has patterns to that of an English pool game.

Snooker's point system works as - 

  • Red ball - 1 point
  • Yellow ball - 2 points
  • Green ball - 3 points
  • Brown ball - 4 points
  • Blue ball - 5 points
  • Pink - 6 points
  • Black - 7 points

A major reminder whilst player snooker is that you cannot pot red balls back-to-back. If you pocket a wrong ball, it will be called a foul and moreover, adds an extra turn in your opponent's side.

3. Billiards

Out of all the billiards variants played the world over, its English version remains one of the most popular cue sports. It is played between 2 or more players or even teams and consists of no pockets. 

In Billiards, the goal here is to rake in most points. To know who will start the match first, one must have to string, which is either imaginary line or the number of wins (scoring string).

In a game of billiards, you are allotted points via 3 ways - winning hazard, losing hazard and cannon

  • In cannon, if a player hits the cue ball which hits another one and then goes on to hit the red ball, he/she are awarded 3 points.
  • If the first white ball hits the red ball immediately, the player receives two points.
  • In case the first and the second cue ball are hit along with the red one, but the latter is not potted, then the player gets two points.
  • If the red ball and the second white ball touch at the same time, the player scores two points.

Difference Between Snooker vs Pool vs Billiards

1. Pool Game

  • Alternatives - 8-ball, 9-ball, 3-ball, 15-ball, 1-pocket, bank-pool
  • Balls - 15 balls that include 7 stripes, 7 solids, & one cue ball. The balls can also be reduced to 8, 9 or 3 depending on the variant.
  • Pockets - 6
  • Size of Balls - 2 1/4 inch
  • Cue Stick - 58 inches long
  • Table - 7 ft bar tables, 8 ft home or entertaining tables, and 9 ft professional and tournament tables
  • Objective - To pot the designated balls before the opponent does.

2. Snooker Game

  • Alternatives - Frame, Century
  • Balls - 22 balls, including 15 reds, 6 coloured balls, & one cue ball. Other variants may use 9, 6, or 1 red ball
  • Pockets - 6
  • Size of Balls - 2 1/6 inch
  • Cue Stick - 57 - 58 inches long
  • Table - 10-foot &12-foot tables are involved
  • Objective - To score more points than the opponent by first potting the red balls followed by coloured ones from smallest to most useful

3. Billiards Game

  • Alternatives - Carrom, Pocket
  • Balls - Three balls, including one white, yellow, and red
  • Pockets - Carrom Billiards has 0 pockets & Pocket Billiards has 6 pockets
  • Size of Balls - 27/16 inch
  • Cue Stick - 54-56 inches long
  • Table - 7-foot, 8-foot, and 9-foot tables identical as pool tables
  • Objective - Score points by hitting the cue ball which in turn hits another cue ball & which goes on to hit the red ball


By reading the above blog, we hope to solve your query on the snooker vs billiards vs pool debate. Many a times, people fail to understand the basic meaning behind it and then go on to play the game without having the clear knowledge about the game.

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