Ninh explains, the Rules of Snooker
The object of the game is for you to win more frames than your opponent. Snooker is a game that’s usually played
between two people, and to win a frame, you must score more points than your opponent. To score, you must use a wooden cue to hit
a white ball (known as a cue ball), into a coloured ball and for that ball to go into
any of the pockets on the table. This is known as ‘potting the ball’.
The table is roughly 12ft by 6ft, and the amount of points vary depending on the colour
of the ball being potted. The 15 Red balls on the table are worth 1
point each. The Yellow ball is worth 2 points.
The Green ball: 3 points. The Brown Ball: 4 points
The Blue Ball: 5 points The Pink Ball: 6 points
and the Black ball is worth the maximum of 7 points.
In Snooker, the rules stipulate that you must hit a red ball on the table.
If you manage to pot a red ball, you are then given free choice to pot a different coloured
ball to add more points to your total score. If you successfully pot a coloured ball after
a red, you score the relevant number of points, and the coloured ball is put back onto the
table. The entire process begins again, and you will
be allowed to try and get another red ball into one of the pockets.
If at any point you fail to pot the relevant ball, it is the end of your turn and you opponent
will be given the chance to aim for a red ball so that they can score themselves.
Once all red balls have been potted, you must aim for the rest of the coloured balls in
ascending order. The highest score after the black ball has
been potted … wins. Games will usually played to the best of 11,
15 or 17 frames. Winning more frames than your opponent wins
you the game. That sounds a bit too simple. There’s more
isn’t there? You guessed it! There’s a lot of things
you cannot do in Snooker. You cannot touch any of the balls with anything
except your cue. You cannot pot the cue-ball, accidentally
or otherwise. You cannot hit an incorrect coloured ball
out of turn. You cannot hit any of the balls off the table.
You cannot hit the cueball twice in one stroke. and you cannot move a touching ball.
These infractions result in a foul, and your opponent will be awarded 4 points and the
next shot. Fouls can also be awarded 5,6 or 7 points
for fouls involving the blue, pink or black balls respectively.
Snooker is a very strategic game, and that’s basically the rules in a nutshell, but there’s
a few things you’ll need to understand before playing or watching a game. For example:
Cannon – A cannon is where a player hits the cue-ball to contact more than one ball.
This is usually a strategic play to leave the cue-ball in a favourable position for
the next shot. Touching ball – If the cue-ball is touching
another ball, the referee will call ‘touching ball’. You must play your next shot without
moving this ball, otherwise a foul will be called against you.
Snookered – You can strategically hit the cue ball to make it difficult for your opponent
to hit the next required ball. When a ball is blocking a shot to the next required ball,
this is known as being ‘snookered’ and makes the next shot very difficult for your
opponent. Foul and a miss. – If a player fouls and
fails to hit the required colour ball, the opponent will be awarded 4 points (or more),
and has free choice to play the next shot where the balls lie … or have the balls
reset to their previous positions and to make the offending player try that shot again.
Free ball – If a player fouls and leaves the cue ball in a snookered position, he is
eligible to declare a ‘free ball’. He can pot any coloured ball and will only score
one point for it. However, he will retain the next shot, so
this is usually a strategic play to stay on the table.
Conceding – If a player does not think that he has a realistic chance to win the frame,
or realises that there isn’t enough points on the table to get a win, the player can
concede defeat and a new frame will start. Conceding is usually done verbally, or by
not returning to the table when it’s your shot.
Maximum Break (147) – The maximum you can score in one trip to the table is 147 points.
This involves potting a red, then potting a black, repeating this process 15 times,
and then proceeding to pot the colours in order without fouling.
If you manage to do this, this is known as a maximum break, or a 147. And is the equivalent
of a perfect game in 10 pin bowling or pitching a perfect game in baseball.
It’s not impossible, just rare. Snooker is a popular game worldwide, and once
you’ve played or watched a few games, the rules will become clear.
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Be sure to follow me on Twitter also, but in the meantime, enjoy Snooker! Ninh Ly, @NinhLyUK, www.ninh.co.uk