Billiards and Pool Rules and Laws

There are different rules governing different versions of billiards. A game of billiards played on a table without pockets has different set of rules on scoring and for fouls. Pocket billiards has its set of rules. The equipment used is governed by rules set forth by the BCA.

Two individuals or teams of two each play English billiards. A player scores by pots, in-offs and cannons, points gained are added to the score. Fouls or penalties add to the opponent's score. Smart players employ the Baulk technique to make it difficult for the next player to play and score. The winner is the player who has the highest points within the time period or the one who reaches the agreed number of points.

White, yellow and red balls are used in the game with each player having his cue ball. A pot is where a cue ball hits the other ball or balls and causes it to enter a pocket. In the in-off the cue ball enters a pocket after hitting the other ball or balls whereas in a cannon the cue ball always bits both balls.

The game is started by stringing or in a mutually agreeable fashion. A player places the red ball on the Billiards spot and takes his cue ball, playing a safety shot from the D, called the break off and the opponent plays the return break in his turn. If an opponent commits a foul it results in spotting where the player places the opponent's ball on the middle spot, the cue ball in the D and the red on its spot.

In case of an in-off, a player gets his cue ball back and can place it anywhere in the D. If a player pots his opponent's ball he does not get it back. If a player pots a red ball it goes to its spot closest to the top cushion.

The baulk line is close to the D and a player playing from the D cannot hit a ball behind this line directly. If the opponent pots the player's cue ball and positions his cue ball and the red behind the baulk like, the player is double baulked and will have to play out of the baulk first.

Fouls occur during play when a player makes the ball jump off the table, plays the opponent's ball, double hits or push shots the ball, misses an object ball, jumps over an object ball, plays sixteenth consecutive hazard or seventy-sixth consecutive cannon.

In addition, there are etiquettes concerning how players should conduct themselves during the game.

Rules also govern how players conduct themselves during the game. A non-striker should not impede the player taking the strike. A game can be conceded but only by the player when he is the striker and the opponent has the option to accept or refuse.


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