Do you know the basic difference between billiard, snooker or pool? Have you ever played any of them? If so, then you’ve been influenced by the game.

Games that are played on a plane table with bumpers at the sides are known as billiards. It’s the indoor version of croquet, where the cue (long stick) is used to hit a ball into other balls. Earlier the table was covered with green but today it is prepared with slate.

Billiards was developed in the fifteenth century in England & France. In olden days, the balls were hit with wooden stick called maces. The large end of the mace was used to strike the ball. Since, it was difficult to hit the ball near a rail; therefore, many players developed the habit of turning the stick around and using the pointed end to hit the ball.

The tail (or queue) was the pointed end of the stick. Later this French word became part of the game and was used to describe the stick & white ball, which is used to strike the balls.

Banks are the edges of the table, which is used to keep the ball from falling off the table. At times, these banks weren’t enough to keep the ball from bouncing or jumping off the table so, players started aiming at any one of these banks.

Previously, billiard balls were made of ivory so the balls never had the same density or perfectly round shape. What was even worse was the fact that, the massive use of ivory resulted in the deaths of thousands of elephants. In 1868, a chemist invented a new form of billiard balls, which was made of celluloid. The exciting part about these balls was the spark generated when balls were struck.

Over the period, various forms of billiards have developed. Pocket billiards, or pool, is one such version. The game is played on a table with six pockets. Another popular billiard game is Snooker. Though, the equipments used in this game are similar to pool but the size of the table is much bigger. There are slight variations in the rules as well.

The game has undergone various changes and variations. Today, the billiards is one of the favorite pastime games to spend time with friends.