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Snooker Rules – Learn how to play snooker

Snooker Rules

Snooker, a cue sport played on a rectangular table with pockets, originated in the late 19th century in British India. It was devised by British Army officers stationed in Jubbulpore, India (now Jabalpur) in the 1870s, and the formalized version of the game was established in the early 20th century.


How to win Snooker

To win in Snooker, players must aim to score more points than their opponent. This is achieved by potting the colored balls in a specific sequence, starting with red balls followed by colored balls. Strategic positioning and skillful use of the cue ball are crucial to maximize scoring opportunities while leaving opponents with challenging shots. Additionally, maintaining focus and composure throughout the game is essential for success in this precision-based sport.


  • The game requires a rectangular table with specific dimensions, usually 12 feet by 6 feet, covered with green baize fabric. The table features six pockets where the balls are pocketed during the game.
  • A full set of 22 snooker balls is required, including 15 red balls, each worth one point, and six colored balls (yellow, green, brown, blue, pink, and black) with different point values.
  • Players use cue sticks to strike the cue ball and pocket the colored and red balls. A good-quality cue stick is essential for precision and control during the game.
  • To prevent miscues and ensure a solid strike, players apply chalk to the tip of their cue sticks before each shot.
  • Snooker is typically played in a quiet and well-lit environment to facilitate concentration and focus. Adequate space around the table is essential for players to move freely and take shots comfortably.


The objective of snooker is to score more points than the opponent by potting balls in a specific sequence. Players must start by pocketing red balls, followed by colored balls, while strategically positioning the cue ball for optimal scoring opportunities. The game requires precision, skill, and tactical thinking to outscore the opponent and ultimately win the match.


  • Each red ball pocketed awards the player 1 point.
  • After potting a red ball, players can attempt to pocket one of the six colored balls, each worth different points: yellow (2), green (3), brown (4), blue (5), pink (6), and black (7).
  • The highest possible break in snooker is a 147, achieved by potting all 15 reds with blacks (worth 7 points each), followed by all the colored balls (yellow, green, brown, blue, pink, and black) in order.
  • If a player commits a foul, the opponent receives penalty points. The fouled player can also be awarded points, such as 4 points if the opponent pots a colored ball out of order.
  • A frame is won by the player who scores more points than the opponent. A match typically consists of multiple frames, and the player who wins the majority of frames is declared the overall winner.


Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How many players participate in a game of snooker?
    Snooker is typically played by two players, but there are also variations like doubles snooker where four players participate.

  2. How is the winner determined in a snooker match?
    The winner of a snooker match is the player who wins the majority of frames in the match. Each frame is a separate game within the match.

  3. What happens if a player pots the cue ball during a game?
    Potting the cue ball is a foul. The opponent receives penalty points, and the fouled player can choose to have the balls reset on the table.

  4. Can a player hit any ball on the table during a shot?
    No, players must aim to hit the ball “on” – the ball they nominate to pot or the one specified by the rules. Missing the correct ball can result in a foul.

  5. How are the colors replaced after potting them?
    After potting a colored ball, it remains off the table until the end of the frame. At the start of the next frame, all the balls are returned to their original positions.

  6. What is the significance of the “snookers required” rule?
    If a player needs snookers to win but the opponent commits fouls, the fouled player can have the balls replaced to continue the frame.

  7. What is the highest possible score in a single break in snooker?
    The maximum break in snooker is 147 points, achieved by potting all 15 reds with blacks (7 points each), followed by all the colored balls in order.

  8. Can players use a bridge or extension for difficult shots?
    Yes, players can use a mechanical bridge or extension for shots that are difficult to reach with the standard cue.