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Have you ever heard the term ‘snooker’ or ‘snookered’ when playing 8-ball pool? Are you wondering what it means? Let our experts in the game explain everything that you need to know!
So, what is a snooker in 8-ball pool? Well, when you have been snookered, it means that you have no direct path towards any of your legal balls on the table. This means that being able to hit one of your balls could be incredibly tricky.
There is a little bit more to know about ‘snookers’ in the game. This includes information on escaping snookers and forcing snookers. Let our experts go through everything that you need to know here.
What is a Snooker in 8-Ball Pool?
If you have been snookered in 8-Ball pool, it means that your direct path towards hitting a ball legally has been blocked. Let’s give an example.
Let’s say that you are playing solid colors. You have one left. Your opponent is playing stripes and they have 2 balls left on the table. You could say that you have been snookered if your opponent is able to position the cue ball in such a way that it is hidden behind their 2 balls. If you would not be able to hit the cue ball directly forward and have a chance of hitting your own ball, then you will have been snookered.
Contrary to popular belief, a snooker doesn’t mean that the shot is impossible to make. It means that it is a lot more difficult as you are going to need to carry out a ‘trick shot’ off of one of the cushions.
What Happens if You Miss Your Ball While Snookered?
The same thing as always when you commit a foul in snooker. Your opponent will now have a ‘ball-in-hand’ which means that they are able to place the cue ball wherever they want on the table. This means that they now have an advantage when they are taking their next shot.
Because the penalty for missing a shot is so severe in an 8-ball pool game, you will always want to try and do your best to make your shot. Even if it means that you are going to need to do a bit of fancy trickery with your shot, it is better to have a go and hope for the best. We have seen some people seemingly throw away their shot when snookered, and this has never made sense to us. If you don’t try to hit your own ball, then you are just handing an advantage to your opponent willingly.
Can You Escape a Snooker in 8-Ball Pool?
Just because you have been ‘snookered’, it does not necessarily mean that you have been completely blocked from accessing the balls that you need to hit. It simply means that access to a legal ball is restricted i.e. you cannot just hit the cue ball and it will hit a legal ball.
To get around being snookered, you are going to need to use a bit of skill. A lot of the time, this will involve bouncing the cue ball off of one of the cushions. Some may call this a trick shot. If you are new to the game, then it may be bit difficult to pull off those trick shots. However, the more you play, the more you will get a feel for the way that the ball moves across the table, and this means that you will be able to pull off shots you never thought were possible before.
How Can You Snooker Somebody Else When Playing Pool?
Through a lot of practice. Seriously. A lot of practice.
During your early days of playing 8-Ball pool, you probably will be snookering your opponent accidentally. You can get lucky like that. You will know that you have ventured beyond the beginner ranks when you are able to control snookers.
One problem many people have when they play 8-ball pool is that their shots are too hard and powerful. If you do that, then your chances of snookering somebody are low. Instead, be gentle. If you can’t pocket a ball, then try and gently move your ball into a position where it is surrounded by your own balls. It will take a bit of practice to do this without committing a foul but, once you have nailed it, you will find that you win more games.
While it is a completely different sport, we do encourage you to watch British snooker games on TV or YouTube. Those people are tremendous at snookers, and you will learn exactly how that ball should be moving to your advantage.
Where does the word ‘Snooker’ come from?
The word snooker comes from another version of billiards known as Snooker. This a game that is incredibly popular in Commonwealth countries such as the United Kingdom and Australia. It plays in a similar way to 8-Ball pool
Can you forfeit a shot in 8-Ball pool if you have been snookered?
No. Not in most rulesets, at least. You must always attempt a shot. It can be tempting to not want to try when you have been snookered. However, it is in your interest to at least try and attempt a decent shot. This way you will not be handing your opponent a ball-in-hand without a fight.