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It feels magical to see a snooker player bend over the table and use the white ball to pot other balls in the right sequence and ultimately score more points. As a beginner, you need to understand the basics of the two most important items used in the game – cue stick and balls.
In this post, we will address one of the most frequently asked questions – how many balls in snooker? So, the answer to this is 22 cue balls – one white, 15 red-colored, and 6 different colored balls – black worth 7 points, pink worth 6 points, blue worth 5 points, brown worth 4 points, green worth 3 points, and yellow worth 2 points.
The 15 red-colored cue balls are worth one point each. As the game begins, the same colored 15 balls are grouped together in the shape of a triangle on one end of the snooker table. Interestingly, the game is played one against one, and the size of the table and balls are regulated.
The table is rectangular shaped and measures 12ft (length) x 6ft (width), with a height slightly less than 3 feet. Made of wood, it features a slate top that is covered in green baize and there are six pockets in which the balls are potted, two in the middle, and one in all four corners.
Basics Of Snooker Balls
Made from phenolic resin material, these hard balls are about 2.7 inches in diameter. The colored balls (green, brown, and yellow) are kept on their spots from left to right. The blue ball is placed in the middle, black in the center, 12¾ inches off the top cushion, and pink between the middle point and top cushion.
Beginners are often suggested to remember the positioning of the balls by keeping in mind ‘God Bless You’ – the first letter of each word is the first letter of the three colors used in the game. To strike the balls, the players use a cue stick made of wood which should not be less than 3 feet in length. It should be as per the traditionally designed and accepted standard shape and form.
The player’s objective should be to strike the white ball using the cue stick so that it strikes other balls in turn and makes them fall inside one of the six pockets. The points are scored for potting the balls in the pocket as per the rules laid down and described. The player which earns the highest number of points wins the game.
Scoring Technique In Snooker
The scoring in this game is done based on the balls and the points that they carry. So, when a player manages to pot a red ball, he gets one point and then nominates a color for the next shot. The most valuable ball is black colored worth 7 points in total.
After each color ball is potted, they are placed back to their position but not the red ones. In the game, the player alternates red until all the red-colored balls are potted. The other six colored balls are then potted with points as mentioned above, finishing with black being the highest worth.
In the game, the players get alternate turns and the player continues to play until he commits a foul or he misses a shot. When a player commits a foul, the opponent gets four points, the exception being if the foul occurs while playing the black, pink, or blue balls having higher values.
The maximum standard breakpoint is 147 – it refers to the consecutive run of pots. It includes 15 reds taken along with 15 blacks, followed by all the other colors. The player who scores the maximum number of points in a frame becomes the winner.
See more: 25 Snooker Tricks And Tips For Beginner
Essential Rules Of Playing Snooker
#1. Start with familiarizing yourself with basic rules
This is a leisure game for sure, yet there are several rules that a player needs to adhere to while playing. Beginners do not hesitate to ask someone to help you with the basic rules. Also, please remember that a practical demonstration is more useful than a simple verbal explanation.
Those who are not lucky enough to have a friend explain to you can consult Billiards, which is a governing authority of the snooker games. There are several online videos made by professionals that can give you a fair idea about the game.
#2. Take your time to access the complete table
Tell yourself there is no need to hurry and choose the target ball correctly. There are several players out there who take tough shots because they cannot identify an easy one. Please bear in mind that the simplest shots are the one where the target ball is closer to the hole and the white ball has a clear path to the target ball.
We suggest that you walk around the snooker table to get a clearer and better perspective of the ball positions. This will ensure that you do not miss any easy shots. Always use your dominant eye to align the cue stick correctly and aim the ball through a clear path.
#3. Choose your target and aim
Aiming correctly needs a good amount of practice as you need to eye for a completely straight shot wherein the cue ball, target ball, and cup aligned in a line for easy aiming. Aiming for indirect angles will not be easy for beginners, but as you gain more experience you will be able to master it.
For the indirect angles, you need to aim your cue ball for the position that is on the opposite end of the cup. Hitting the target ball that is at an angle will help in directing it to the cup.
#4. Visualize in your mind’s eye
The pro players of the game take each shot in their mind before hitting the cue ball it on the table. First, decide your target and then you need to visualize the process before actually going for it. This explains why snooker masters take a good amount of time before hitting.
Practice by visualizing that you hit the cue ball, it hits the target ball and the later falls into the cup. Imagining your success will give you the added confidence to take the shot correctly.
#5. Find the right position
Again, this one needs a good amount of practice and you need to position yourself correctly behind the cue ball. Those who are a right-handed player must keep their right foot behind the opposite to where the cue stick aims at the ball.
The left foot should be in the front and at a comfortable angle to help you maintain a good balance. We suggest that you spend some time getting the right stance and maintaining the best posture instead of hurrying into taking a shot.
#6. Position the aiming hand
Use your front hand to create a bridge and strike a balance with your cue stick as you drive through the shot. Interestingly, there are numerous ways in which you can create a ‘bridge’ and you may want to try various options until you find the one that works best for you.
For example, the V bridge or open bridge positions the cue stick in the ‘V’ shape formed by the top of your index finger and bottom of the thumb. The closed bridge involves allowing the cue to rest on the middle finger and wrapping the index finger around it to create a closed-loop.
Remember to keep your shooting hand relaxed because you need to have a firm but the relaxed grip of the cue stick. After leaning on the table, the aiming hand should be at a distance of 6-8 inches from the cue ball. Next, the forearm of the shooting hand should be at a 90-degree angle from the cue.
#7. Taking the right shot
After you have studied the table, visualized, and found your stance, you finally ready to take the shot. Remember to firmly drive the cue ball towards the target with your stick instead of just tapping on the ball.
After you have taken your shot, you don’t have to rest the cue on the table. You can practice lining up your next shot, just be careful to not touch the ball.
#8. Hold your stance for a few seconds after the shot
After you have taken the shot, wait for a few seconds in the same position until you see the outcome. This will help you remember the correct balance is the ball if you succeed and also identify the mistake if you miss putting the ball.
Keep your feet firm on the ground until the target finds its way into the snooker hole. Not being able to maintain your stance may point out a flaw in your shot.
#9. Don’t let failures dishearten you
Snooker is not as easy as the professionals make it seem. You will need a good lot of practice before your shots look like a breeze, so don’t let failures weigh you down. Remember that only practicing with others who are better than you can help in honing your skills and speed up the learning process.
Are snooker balls different from pool balls
Yes, the snooker balls are slightly different to pool balls in a way that the former comes in sets available in two different sizes. The 2 inch set is perfect for smaller English tables while the slightly larger 2 1/16 inch balls are better suited for the full-size snooker tables.
How many pockets are there in a snooker table
The snooker table has six pockets that measure about 86 mm or 3.5 inches. In the high-class tournaments, they use smaller pockets than usual to slightly increase the complexity.
Where did Snooker originate
The cue sport is believed to have originated among the British Army officers while they were stationed in India in the 19th century. In 1875, the term ‘Snooker’ was coined by Colonel Sir Neville Chamberlain while he was serving in the Army.
See Also: How Are Snooker Balls Made