Snooker VS. Billiards 

Billiards or Carom Billiards is a game of skill and one of the main kinds of cue games. The game is played on a rectangular shape table using a cue and billiard balls. Billiards was pretty famous among British Army Officers in the 1870s. However, the game has an even longer history that goes back to the 15th century. You can find the footsteps of the game in the works of Shakespeare like “let’s to billiards” in Antony and Cleopatra. Even more interesting, Mozart, Marie Antoinette, Napoleon, Abraham Lincoln, Mark Twain, and George Washington are among the enthusiasts of the sport. 

In the mid-19th century, a variant of the game-Snooker- was born. Snooker is also known as English Billiards or Russian Pyramid. Although both use the same types of equipment, they differ in ball size, table size, and even rules.

Snooker Balls VS Billiards Balls

Playnowpros : The main difference between snooker and billiards is the balls used to play each game. Snooker uses twenty-two balls, including a white ball known as the “striker” or “cue” ball. The rest are fifteen red balls, and one each of yellow, brown, blue, pink, black, and green. Each ball is 2 1/16 inches in diameter. On the other hand, Billiards uses only three balls: one each of white, yellow, and red. In Billiards, both the white and the yellow can act as the cue ball. The balls are 2 7/16 inches in diameter. 

Snooker Table VS Billiards Table 

To most people, especially amateur players, the rectangular green table used to play snooker, billiards, and pool look identical. But the truth is that they are quite different.

Typically, billiards is played on either a seven-foot table (also known as a “bar table”), eight-foot table (sometimes called “home” or “recreational table”), or nine-foot table (known as a “pro or tournament table”). In addition, billiards tables do not have pockets, but snooker tables have pockets. American tables are ten-foot tables, whereas English snooker tables are massive twelve-foot tables. 

Snooker Rules VS Billiards Rules 

The objective of billiards games is to score points, called “counts”, by bouncing one’s own cue ball off of the other two balls on the table.

In snooker, however, the games are organized into frames. You can win a frame by scoring the most points, using the cue ball to pocket the red and colored balls. The red balls are each worth one point, and the colored balls are worth:

  • Yellow: 2 points
  • Green: 3 points
  • Brown: 4 points
  • Blue: 5 points 
  • Pink: 6 points
  • Black: 7 points

Rules dictate which ball can be pocketed on a given turn. Balls that may be pocketed on any given turn are the “on” balls. For instance, if a red ball is pocketed, this must be followed by a colored ball, which must in turn be followed by a red ball. If the wrong ball is pocketed, this is considered a “foul” and you do not receive points for pocketing the ball.

In billiards, the white and yellow balls act as cue balls. The objective is still the same; getting the most points. You can get the points one of three ways:

  • Cannon or carom: Hit the cue ball to hit the other cue ball -in any order- and then hit the red ball to get two points. The objective of this shot is to hit all three balls in the same shot.
  • Winning Hazard or pot: This is the shot where you pot the red ball and get 3 points.
  • Losing Hazard: In this shot, you should hit a cue ball and it should hit the red ball and then enters the pocket. This way, you will be rewarded 3 points. Another way to score is by hitting the red ball first and then one cue ball for 2 points. Hit the cue ball using the other cue ball and then target the red ball, which should not be pocketed to earn 2 points. You can also get 2 points if you hit the red and the other cue ball at the same time.

To Sum It Up

Billiards game and its derivatives- snooker and pool- are quite popular all around the world and pretty fun to play. If you learn to play billiards, you can easily learn to play snooker and vice versa because both games use the same types of equipment and share similar rules. However, billiards tables are pocketless whereas snooker tables are bigger with 6 pockets. In addition, the scoring system varies between the two games, and each ball has a specific value in each game.