History of Billiards

The History Of Billiards

Cue Sports Evolved From Outdoor Field Games, Such As Croquet, Golf, And “ Jeu De Mail” Or Mallet Game. This Is Why The Traditional Pool Table Cloth Is Green, To Mimic The Playing Field. The Earliest Form Of Billiards Was Played In France Year 1340. King Louis XIV Was Known To Have The First Indoor Billiard Table Constructed Around 1461. Louis XIV Further Refined And Popularized The Game, And It Swiftly Spread Among The French Nobility. While The Game Had Long Been Played On The Ground, This Version Appears To Have Died Out (Aside From Trucco) In The 17Th Century, In Favor Of Croquet, Golf And Bowling Games, Even As Table Billiards Had Grown In Popularity As An Indoor Activity. The Imprisoned Mary, Queen Of Scots, Complained When Her Table De Billiard Was Taken Away (By Those Who Eventually Became Her Executioners, Who Were To Cover Her Body With The Table’s Cloth). Billiards Grew To The Extent That By 1727, It Was Being Played In Almost Every Paris Café. In England, The Game Was Developing Into A Very Popular Activity For Members Of The Gentry.
By 1670, The Thin Butt End Of The Mace Began To Be Used Not Only For Shots Under The Cushion (Which Itself Was Originally Only There As A Preventative Method To Stop Balls From Rolling Off), But Players Increasingly Preferred It For Other Shots As Well. The Footless, Straight Cue As It Is Known Today Was Finally Developed By About 1800.
Initially, The Mace Was Used To Push The Balls, Rather Than Strike Them. The Newly Developed Striking Cue Provided A New Challenge. Cushions Began To Be Stuffed With Substances To Allow The Balls To Rebound, In Order To Enhance The Appeal Of The Game. After A Transitional Period Where Only The Better Players Would Use Cues, The Cue Came To Be The First Choice Of Equipment.
The Demand For Tables And Other Equipment Was Initially Met In Europe By John Thurston And Other Furniture Makers Of The Era. The Early Balls Were Made From Wood And Clay, But The Rich Preferred To Use Ivory.
Early Billiard Games Involved Various Pieces Of Additional Equipment, Including The “Arch” (Related To The Croquet Hoop), “Port” (A Different Hoop, Often Rectangular), And “King” (A Pin Or Skittle Near The Arch) In The Early 17Th To Late 18Th Century, But Other Game Variants, Relying On The Cushions (And Pockets Cut Into Them), Were Being Formed That Would Go On To Play Fundamental Roles In The Development Of Modern Billiards.
Illustration Of A Three-Ball Pocket Billiards Game In Early 19Th Century Tübingen, Germany, Using A Table Much Longer Than The Modern Type
The Early Croquet-Like Games Eventually Led To The Development Of The Carom Billiards Category. These Games Are Games Played With Three Or Sometimes Four Balls, On A Table Without Holes In Which The Goal Is Generally To Strike One Object Ball With A Cue Ball, Then Have The Cue Ball Rebound Off Of One Or More Of The Cushions And Strike A Second Object Ball. Variations Include Straight Rail, Balkline, One-Cushion, Three-Cushion, Five-Pins, And Four-Ball, Among Others.
One Type Of Obstacle Remained A Feature Of Many Tables, Originally As A Hazard And Later As A Target, In The Form Of Pockets, Or Holes Partly Cut Into The Table Bed And Partly Into The Cushions, Leading To The Rise Of Pocket Billiards, Including “Pool” Games Such As Eight-Ball, Nine-Ball, Straight Pool, And One-Pocket; Russian Pyramid; Snooker; English Billiards; And Others.
In The United States, Pool And Billiards Had Died Out For A Bit, But Between 1878 And 1956 The Games Became Very Popular. Players In Annual Championships Began To Receive Their Own Cigarette Cards. This Was Mainly Due To The Fact That It Was A Popular Pastime For Troops To Take Their Minds Off From Battle. However, By The End Of World War II, Pool And Billiards Began To Die Down Once Again. It Was Not Until 1961 When The Film The Hustler Came Out That Sparked A New Interest In The Game. Now The Game Is Generally A Well-Known Game And Has Many Players Of All Different Skill Levels.


Snooker Started In The Late 1850’S By British Officers Stationed In India. Snooker Is Comprised 22 Balls, A Cue Ball, 15 Red Balls, And 6 Color Balls. The Word Snooker Was A Well-Established Derogatory Term Used To Describe Inexperienced Or First-Year Military Personnel. In The Early 20Th Century, Snooker Was Predominantly Played In The United Kingdom Where It Was Considered A “Gentleman’s Sport” Until The Early 1960S, Before Growing In Popularity As A National Pastime And Eventually Spreading Overseas. Players Or Teams Take Turns To Strike The Cue Ball To Pot Other Balls In A Predefined Sequence, Accumulating Points For Each Successful Pot And For Each Time The Opposing Player Or Team Commits A Foul. An Individual Frame Of Snooker Is Won By The Player Who Has Scored The Most Points. A Snooker Match Ends When A Player Reaches A Predetermined Number Of Frames. A Standard Full-Size Snooker Table Measures 12 Ft × 6 Ft.


Carom Billiards, Sometimes Called Carambole Billiards, Is The Overarching Title Of A Family Of Cue Sports Generally Played On Cloth-Covered, Pocketless Billiard Tables. In Its Simplest Form, The Object Of The Game Is To Score Points Or “Counts” By Caroming One’s Own Cue Ball Off Both The Opponent’s Cue Ball And The Object Ball On A Single Shot. The Invention As Well As The Exact Date Of Origin Of Carom Billiards Is Somewhat Obscure But Is Thought To Be Traceable To 18Th-Century France.