Don’t Understand Snooker? – Here Are the Rules

If you ever played pool and then watched snooker, you might have had trouble following what exactly is going on. On the surface, the games look similar, but snooker is a bit more complex. Nevertheless, this is a fun game and requires, even more, strategizing compared to the pool. So, if you wish to learn to play snooker, we will go over the rules, and tell you everything you need to know. 

Basic Overview  

A snooker table is a bit bigger and it is played with 23 balls (15 red, 6 colored balls, and 1 white or cue ball). Like in the pool, you need to pot the balls on the table by hitting them with the cue ball. However, you need to do that in a specific order, since you need to hit or pot the red ball first, and then you can attempt to pot one of the colored balls. Then you restart the process and need to hit a red ball again. 

If you manage to pot one of the colored balls, they will be re-spotted on the same spot as at the start of the game, if possible. If that is not possible it’s placed as close as possible to that position or at the spot of the highest value, provided it is vacant. 


Red balls are worth one point, the yellow ball is worth 2 points, green 3, brown 4, blue 5, the pink ball is worth 6, and the black ball is worth 7 points.

Red balls are all organized in a triangular shape at the start of the game and right in front of them is the pink ball, behind the red balls is the black ball. In the middle of the table is the blue ball, and lined in the so-called D-zone are yellow, brown, and green balls.

These are the positions where colored balls are re-spotted after a player pots one of them and these positions also indicate value, in case they become vacant and a ball needs to be re-spotted outside of its starting position.    


You win a frame by scoring more points than your opponent, and you win the game by winning best of 11, 15, or 17 frames.  

Taking turns 

The first player needs to pot the red ball, and then they try to pot a different color ball or another red ball. If you don’t manage to pot any balls, or if you pot a ball out of order your turn ends. If you fail to hit a red ball on your turn that is considered a foul and the opponent will be rewarded 4 points. Also if a player is snookered, which means it’s difficult for him to hit a red ball since a colored ball is blocking the cue ball, they can declare a free shot. Free shot means that you can hit any color ball and be awarded 1 point, but your turn gets to go on. 


In addition to hitting or potting an incorrect ball, or missing the foul also occurs if you pot the cue ball. Also, if you hit any ball off the table that is considered a foul. If the foul involves a blue, pink, or blackball, instead of 4 points the opponent will be rewarded 5, 6, or 7 points respectively.

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