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How to play Snooker

Long considered to be a mainstay of the British sports world, Snooker is now becoming increasingly popular all around the world.  The game itself is played upon a felt-covered table with 6 pockets (each of the 4 corners as well as 2 side pockets) which serve as goals for snooker balls. There are usually 22 snooker balls at play on a table, with different colors designating specific points:

22 balls total:

– 1 white cue ball (that is struck with a cue stick)

– 15 red balls (each worth 1 point)

– 1 Yellow ball (worth 2 points)

– 1 Green ball (worth 3 points)

– 1 Brown ball (worth 4 points)

– 1 Blue ball (worth 5 points)

– 1 Pink ball (worth 6 points)

– 1 Black ball (worth 7 points)

The objective of the game is fairly straightforward; opposing players or teams attempt to outscore others in one or more frames (a “frame” being the same thing as a set) by using the cue ball to sink (or “pot”) the colored balls into the pockets.

One player is tasked with the opening break (where the balls are all lined up, usually into a pyramid shape, and smacked with the cue ball).  In terms of rules, the player who’s doing the opening break must make contact with a red ball.  From the first potted ball onward, a player can continue playing as long as they pot a ball upon every strike.  However, once a red ball has been pocketed, the player must alternate between red and the other colored balls.  Likewise, if the object is a colored ball, the player must indicate which one they intend to sink on that particular turn.  Moreover, whenever a red ball is the object of desire, players have to make sure that the cue ball makes initial contact with a red ball first and foremost.

Naturally, if you’re interested in winning, it is important to strategize.  For example, if you gain access to a clear, yet somewhat challenging shot whereby you might be able to sink the black or pink ball, you’ll have to decide whether or not to attempt it or perhaps fall back on an easier shot.  To become a really great snooker player you must be able to think ahead and even gain enough control over the motion of the cue ball (both before and after impact) to be able to predict the pattern you will use to pot as many balls as necessary.  Often times, players will shift focus away from trying to improve their ball position to setting up difficult to impossible shots for other players.

If you’re interested in snooker, be sure to seek out others who play the game regularly or in a professional capacity.

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