Top professional players now compete regularly around the world and earn millions of pounds. The origin of snooker dates back to the latter half of the 19th century. One such variation originated at the officers' mess of the 11th Devonshire Regiment in ,  which combined the rules of two pocket billiards games, pyramid and life pool. The former was played with fifteen red balls and one black positioned in a triangle, while the latter involved the potting of designated coloured balls.
The word "snooker" was a slang term for first-year cadets and inexperienced military personnel, but Chamberlain would often use it to describe the inept performance of one of his fellow officers at the table. The name instantly stuck with the players. Snooker grew in popularity across the Indian colonies and the United Kingdom, but it remained a game mainly for the gentry , and many gentlemen's clubs that had a billiards table would not allow non-members inside to play.
To accommodate the growing interest, smaller and more open snooker-specific clubs were formed. The game of snooker grew in the latter half of the 19th century and the early 20th century, and by the first World Snooker Championship  had been organised by Joe Davis who, as a professional English billiards and snooker player, moved the game from a pastime activity into a more professional sphere.
The game went into a decline through the s and s with little interest generated outside of those who played. In , Davis introduced a variation of the game known as "snooker plus" see the Variations section below to try to improve the game's popularity by adding two extra colours, but it never caught on.
A major advance occurred in , when David Attenborough commissioned the snooker television series Pot Black to demonstrate the potential of colour television with the green table and multi-coloured balls being ideal for showing off the advantages of colour broadcasting. In a total of The objective of the game is to score more points than one's opponent by potting object balls in the correct order. At the start of a frame, the balls are positioned as shown, and the players then take turns to hit shots by striking the cue ball with the tip of the cue , their aim being to pot one of the red balls into a pocket and thereby score a point, or, if this is not possible, to at least hit a red ball so as to avoid making a foul shot.
If the striker pots a red ball, he or she must then pot one of the six "colours" in snooker, the term colour is understood to exclude the red balls. If the player successfully pots a colour, the value of that ball is added to the player's score, and the ball is returned to its starting position on the table. After that, the player must pot another red ball, then another colour, and so on. This process continues until the striker fails to pot the desired ball, at which point the opponent comes to the table to play the next shot.
The game continues in this manner until all the reds are potted and only the six colours are left on the table. When the final ball is potted, the player with more points wins.
A player may also concede a frame while on strike if he or she thinks there are not enough points available on the table to beat the opponent's score. In professional snooker this is a common occurrence. Points may also be scored in a game when a player's opponent fouls.
A foul can occur for various reasons, most commonly for failing to hit the correct ball e. Points gained from a foul vary from a minimum of four, to a maximum of seven if the black ball is involved. The total number of consecutive points excluding fouls that a player amasses during one visit to the table is known as a " break ".
A player attaining a break of 15, for example, could have reached it by potting a red then a black, then a red then a pink, before failing to pot the next red. The traditional maximum break in snooker is achieved by potting all reds with blacks then all colours, yielding points; this is often known as a "" or a "maximum".
This is achieved via the opponent leaving a free ball , with the black being potted as the additional colour, and then potting 15 reds and blacks with the colours. Jamie Cope has the distinction of being the first player in snooker history to post a verified break, achieved in a practice frame in One game , from the balls in their starting position until the last ball is potted, is called a " frame ". A match generally consists of a predetermined number of frames and the player who wins the most frames wins the match.
Most professional matches require a player to win five frames, and are called "best of nine" as that is the maximum possible number of frames. Professional and competitive amateur matches are officiated by a referee who is the sole judge of fair play. The referee also replaces the colours on the table when necessary and calls out how many points the player has scored during a break.
Professional players usually play the game in a sporting manner, declaring fouls the referee has missed, acknowledging good shots from their opponent, or holding up a hand to apologise for fortunate shots, also known as "flukes". Accessories used for snooker include chalk for the tip of the cue, rests of various sorts needed often, due to the length of a full-size table , a triangle to rack the reds, and a scoreboard.
One drawback of snooker on a full-size table is the size of the room 22 by 16 feet 6. While pool tables are common to many pubs , snooker tends to be played either in private surroundings or in public snooker halls.
The game can also be played on smaller tables using fewer red balls. The variants in table size are: Smaller tables can come in a variety of styles, such as fold-away or dining-table convertible. A traditional snooker scoreboard resembles an abacus, and records units, tens and hundreds via horizontal sliding pointers. A simple scoring bead is also sometimes used, called a "scoring string", or "scoring wire". Each bead segment of the string represents a single point.
Snooker players typically move one or several beads with their cue. Professional snooker players can play on the World Snooker main tour ranking circuit. Ranking points , earned by players through their performances over the previous two seasons, determine the current world rankings. The elite of professional snooker are generally regarded as the "top 16" ranking players,  who are not required to pre-qualify for three of the tournaments, namely the Shanghai Masters , Australian Open and the World Snooker Championship.
The player who scores more points wins the frame, and the first player to win a set number of frames wins the match. A match usually consists of a fixed, odd number of frames.
A frame begins with setting up the balls as described above. A frame ends when all balls are potted, or when one of the players concedes defeat because he is too far behind in score to equal or beat the score of the other player. A match ends when one player has won enough frames to make it impossible for the other player to catch up. For example, in a match of 19 frames, the first player to win 10 of them is the victor.
At the beginning of each frame, the balls are set up by the referee as explained. It is common for players to start by placing the ball on the line, between the brown ball and either the green or yellow ball.
The break-off alternates between players on successive frames. Only one player may visit the table at a time. A break is the number of points scored by a player in one single visit to the table. A player's turn and break end when he fails to pot a ball, when he does something against the rules of the game, which is called a foul , or when a frame has ended. The ball or balls that can be hit first by the white are called the ball s "on" for that particular stroke. The ball s "on" differ from shot to shot: If a red is not potted, any red ball remains the ball "on" for the opponent's first shot.
Only a ball or balls "on" may be potted legally by a player; potting a ball not "on" constitutes a foul. If the cue ball comes to rest in direct contact with a ball that is on or could be on, the referee shall declare a "touching ball. If the object ball moves, it is considered a "push shot" and a foul shall be called.
No penalty is incurred for playing away if 1 the ball is on; 2 the ball could be on and the striker nominates such ball; or 3 the ball could be on and the striker nominates, and first hits, another ball that could be on. If the cue ball is touching another ball which could not be on e. Where the cue ball is simultaneously touching several balls that are on or could be on, the referee shall indicate that each and every one of them is a touching ball; the striker must therefore play away from all of them.
The striker scores no points for balls potted as the result of a foul. Depending on the situation, these balls will either remain off the table; be returned to their original spots; or be replaced in the positions they occupied before the foul shot, along with any other balls that were moved during the shot. For details on such situations, see Fouls below. Each frame of snooker generally consists of two phases. The first phase lasts as long as any red balls remain on the table.
During this phase, all red balls are "on" for the beginning of a player's turn; the player must therefore first hit and attempt to pot one or more of them. Each legally potted red ball awards one point and remains off the table until the end of the frame. The rules of the game indicate that the player must state the desired colour to the referee, although it is usually clear which ball the player is attempting to pot, making a formal nomination unnecessary. Potting the nominated colour awards further points two through seven, in the same order as the preceding paragraph.
The referee then removes the colour from the pocket and replaces it on the table in its original spot. If that spot is covered by another ball, the ball is placed on the highest available spot. If all spots are occupied, it is placed as close to its own spot as possible in a direct line between that spot and the top cushion, without touching another ball.
If there is no room this side of the spot, it will be placed as close to the spot as possible in a straight line towards the bottom cushion, without touching another ball. Because only one of the colours can be "on" at any given time, it is a foul to first hit multiple colours at the same time, or pot more than one colour unless a free ball has been awarded, see below.
If a player fails to pot a ball "on", whether a red or a nominated colour, the other player will come into play and the balls "on" are always the reds, as long as there are still reds on the table.
The alternation between red balls and colours ends when all reds have been potted and a colour is potted after the last red, or a failed attempt to do so is made. All six colours have then to be potted in ascending order of their value yellow, green, brown, blue, pink, black.
Each becomes the ball "on" in that order. During this phase, the colours are not replaced on the table after being legally potted, however, any colour potted as the result of a foul is re-spotted. After all six colours have been potted, the player with the higher score wins the frame but see below for end-of-frame scenarios.
When a player commits a foul and the cue ball remains on the table, the opponent may either play from the resulting position or, if he considers it to be disadvantageous, request that the offender play again.
If the cue ball is potted or leaves the table, the opponent receives it "in-hand," allowing him to place it anywhere within the "D" for his next shot. It is sometimes erroneously believed that potting two or more balls in one shot is an automatic foul. This is only true if one of the potted balls is not "on" e. When the reds are "on", two or more of them may be legally potted in the same shot and are worth one point each; however, the player may only nominate and attempt to pot one colour on his next shot.
If a free ball has been granted see below , multiple balls may be legally potted in one shot. November questions with answers. December questions with answers. January questions with answers. February questions with answers.
March questions with answers. The Break Frame, Game or Match? Who takes the top scorer Keeping score When is the Frame over? Rack the balls Respot the colour balls Re-spot the cueball after a Miss Use the Ball Marker Handle the rests and other furniture Organise a tournament.
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