A popular indoor game of skill (popular in Britain anyway) played with cues on a billiards table, which is similar to a pool table but considerably larger (standard dimensions are 12 ft x 6 ft).

The different coloured balls consist of:

  • 15 red (each worth 1 point)
  • 1 each of:
  • A white "cue ball"

The object is to use the cue ball to send all the coloured balls into the pockets of the table ("pot" the balls). A player must first pot a red ball, after which he may pot any of the other colours, after which he must then pot another red. This continues until the player either misses a pot or commits a foul, at which point play moves to the other player.

After potting a coloured ball it is returned to the table and placed on its "home" spot, but red balls remain in the pocket. After potting all the red balls the player must then try to pot all the coloured balls, in ascending points order, starting with yellow and ending with black.

A continuous sequence of potting balls and scoring points is known as a "break" -- the maximum possible break is 147 ({red + black} x 15 followed by each of the other balls).

The game of snooker was invented by British army officers serving in India in 1875 and is actually far easier to understand than the above description might indicate! It is one of the biggest televised sports in the UK and championship matches can attract prize money of over £250,000. Not bad for knocking a few balls around a table.