When you go to a local billiard club, you can spontaneously take a billiard cue, ask for some balls, rent a pool table and play billiards with your friends, sometimes without knowing how to play it. But if you are a complete newbie, if you don’t even know how to play pool, this guide will help you go through.
I’m going to explain what you need to know when you’re starting. After reading this article, nobody in the pool will call you a beginner or a rookie.
What is Billiard?
It is a precision sport where the game is played on a table. The first documents that billiards, as we know it today, belong to the fifteenth century when the cabinetmaker of Louis XI of France, Henri de Vigne, thought it would be more comfortable to play on a table.
Making it increase in popularity, until becoming a game that even celebrates competitions (the first world pool championship dates from 1825) to see who are the best players and who know how to make the best “caroms” and tricks.
As you know, billiards consist of a table with six holes. Four of them are located in each of the angles of the table. And the other two are in the center of the long bands. The game is developed by hitting the balls with a cue. And you need to pot the poll balls on the holes.
It would be a reasonably simple explanation given that billiards is played in different ways starting from if, for example, we have to introduce eight balls or nine balls (all of them numbered and with a circle or a line around them).
Billiard is known in different ways, ball 8, billiards, pool, pool ball 8. And in other countries such as bilardo, billiard, bilyard, billard and billiard.
So if you are in Mexico, Colombia, Argentina, Peru, Brazil, Spain, the United States, the Dominican Republic or any other and you hear any of these names, come running to throw some games.
It usually is played between two people and has different types, or game modes explained above. The game is based on that there is a white ball or cue ball that both players use.
With this ball, it helps you to promote with the pool cue the other balls, smooth or scratched (you must take one of the two groups of balls included among seven balls, to define which is yours or your rival’s and vice versa).
After each shot you must place the chalk in the cue to avoid blunders that are a sharp sound that makes hitting the cue ball by not using it for a long time or by trying to put an end to the cue ball, making a mistake and losing the turn.
So, How to play pool?
First are the fundamentals, which are the basics for every billiard player. They are composed of the grip (of how you grab the cue), the bridge (how do you take it in front), the posture, and the shot. It will be explained later in this article.
The three levels to improve your pool game According to your level, select where you are:
If you do not know anything about billiards, you are starting, and you have problems when you take the pool stick, you feel uncomfortable when taking shots, you do not get straight shots, you feel your legs hurt and your back.
When you know how to play and feel that you have difficulties when using the trick shots, the effects that you lack things to learn like jumping the white ball using jump cue.
If you already know all this and want to improve more on some weak points of your game.
The difference between pool and billiards
Many people think that it is something different, but it refers to the same thing.
When someone mentions, let’s play billiard or pool! It refers to the Eight Ball pool — the most played version of this game.
Here there are different types which most players when they say, Let’s go to the “billiards”! They refer that they are going to play American, pool, or eight balls.
But when you want to play another type of game they call you by name:
- 8 Ball
- 9 Ball
Different ways to play pool
One of the most spectacular modalities is the artistic billiards, besides being one of the most difficult. We can say that attending an event of these can become a real show. This modality consists of a program of 100 mandatory figures. These are divided into ten sets of 10 characters each. You have to do them by making the minimum possible errors to get more points.
The player has to complete the program of plays, very difficult and spectacular. Each of the figures has a specific score, and the total sum of points for each set is 75. The player with the most points wins. It is one of the most spectacular modalities for the public because professionals make authentic virguerías. It is as if they played straightforwardly with the laws of physics. They can achieve impossible ball movements and incredible paths.
It is a modality known as fantasy billiards because of its difficulty and its enormous capacity to entertain the public. In this billiards, and through effects like massés, where the ball is hit from above to get a curved movement, great plays are achieved.
How to play pool
Although the first thing you should do is to know the number of balls that billiards have. You need to have a cue before you can start playing billiard. It is also essential to know that there are several rules while playing pool.
We have already said that depending on where you are, and the pool has a different playing style.
But you may hear a lot of American pool. There is a Spanish pool and an Italian pool. Besides, there are variations within the game (pool billiards) so that you can’t learn all the tricks to play pool now. We are going to explain the basics. Before starting the game, you may want to wear gloves for a better gaming experience.
- You must take a cue (usually measuring around 1.47 cm) that will serve to hit the balls.
- The balls are all placed inside a triangle so that they form this figure. Its called racking in the pool, you need to rack the pool balls before starting the game. The black ball with the number 8 must always be in the center.
- If you are playing alone, you can practice the shots just as much as trying to put balls in the holes.
- If we practice in pairs or with other players, you need to rack the ball properly with the triangle, then need to remove the triangle, and one of the players must “break” to start playing.
- “Break” means breaking the balls; all the fifteen balls are placed on the table. By hitting the cue ball/white ball with your break cue, you need to distribute them throughout the billiard table.
- To hit, you have to put your hand on the table, and you can make the cue pass under the index finger or that it holds the cue so that the impulse goes better directed.
- Once you have made the “break”, you have to start playing, for this the first player who puts a ball should declare which pattern of balls he wants to take, a solid or a stripe; in this way, you will know if from now on you must give and put only the strip or solid balls.
- The other player must hit the other balls, always leaving the 8th ball to the end.
- In the end, the player who puts all his balls and Eightball will win.
It is the base of the billiard that will allow you to start practicing, but there are many variations of the game, and you can learn them as you master how to hit and place the cue so you can make sure the ball is going to enter.
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