Significance Of Numbers And Colors Of Pool And Snooker Balls

Significance Of Numbers And Colors Of Pool And Snooker Balls
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The eternal debate of pool ball numbers and colors has surely stood the test of time. No matter if you’re an amateur or an expert, it is easy to get lost in the details of these cue sports.

Today, we will discuss the types of balls and their significance in the three main categories of billiard games.

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How many balls are there in billiard games?

As we have discussed in our other articles, billiard games are like an umbrella brand. They are a collection of various cue sports that utilize a cue ball, object balls, and a cue stick.

Based on the type of game you choose to play, there can be anywhere from 3 to 22 balls on the table. While the basic game of billiards only calls for 3 balls, multiplayer variants such as Snooker, 8-ball, 9-ball, Cutthroat, etc. can have 16 or 22 based on the sport.

How many balls are there in pool

What color are pool balls and what are their respective numbers?

In a simple setup, the numbers are associated with the colors of pool balls. They are also inherently numbered based on the type of game, the number of pool balls used, and their grouping. While we shall explain grouping in some time, let us take an in-depth look at the number on pool balls and the colors associated with them.

1. 8-ball pool balls:

8-ball pool is a brilliant and simple game variant of billiards where the players use 16 balls on the table. These balls are divided into categories based on if you’re playing an online game or an offline one.

a. Offline 8-ball pool

An offline game of an 8-ball pool usually takes place in bars, sports centers, snooker parlors, etc. These games are either conducted to pass the time or to hold 8-ball tournaments.

In an offline game of 8-ball, the 16 balls on the table are divided into 4 categories:

i. Solid pool balls –
There are 7 distinct solid pool balls in play. When we say ‘solid’ we mean the color pattern.

The number on pool balls starts with the color yellow and ends with brown. While the pool ball numbers and colors have very little significance in 8-ball, here’s how they are assigned:

  • The color of 1 ball in pool is yellow.
  • 2 pool ball is blue.
  • 3 pool ball is red.
  • 4 pool ball is purple.
  • 5 pool ball is orange.
  • 6 pool ball is green.
  • 7 pool ball is Brown or Maroon.

ii. Striped pool balls
Much like the solid balls, there are 7 striped pool balls in play in a game of 8-ball. The pattern of these balls is such that the top and bottom of the balls are striped with white while the mid-section is colored.

As seen with solid balls, the striped pool ball colors follow a similar sequence except their numbers are altered. The number system starts from 9 which is assigned to yellow.

  • 9 striped pool ball is yellow.
  • 10 pool ball is blue.
  • 11 pool ball is red.
  • 12 pool ball is purple.
  • 13 pool ball is orange.
  • 14 pool ball is green.
  • 15 pool ball is brown or maroon.

iii. The number 8-ball
Finally, the most important numbered billiards ball is the 8-ball. It is black in color and is not assigned to either solid or striped groups. This ball is like the queen in carom. You must sink all your assigned balls before pocketing the black 8-ball.

iv. The cue ball
The white ball used on the pool table is called the cue ball. This particular ball has no number assigned to it but holds as much significance as the 8-ball as it is used as a striker in the game.

b. Online 8-ball pool

The pool ball numbers and colors are a lot easier to follow in an online version of the game, particularly that on GetMega. Here, there are still 16 balls on the table, however, the 15 object balls are colored as per the assigned shade of specific players.

i. The white cue ball remains the striker in the game.

ii. The number on pool balls is widely disregarded in an online games.

iii. The colors of pool balls resemble the color assigned to the player. For instance, if a player is marked blue, then there will be 3 or 5 blue billiard balls on the table. Similarly, if a player is assigned the color green, then 3 or 5 billiards green balls will appear on the table.

iv. There are no striped pool balls in an online game, only solids.

2. Billiards balls:

Billiards balls

The billiard balls’ colors are pretty basic. They are as follows:

  1. A red object ball.
  2. A white cue ball.
  3. A yellow or white ball with dots, which can be repurposed as a cue ball as well.

Since the game of billiards doesn’t exactly have a scoring system, just counts, therefore, billiard balls are usually unnumbered.

3. Snooker ball:

Unlike pool balls, snooker balls are numbered and shaded a little differently based on the strategy of the game. In snooker, there are 22 balls in play that are categorized into 3 parts:

a. The cue ball

The color and purpose of the cue ball remain the same as its significance in 8-ball, 9-ball, billiards, etc. The ball is unnumbered, although it might have a black or red dot on it.

b. The red ball

There are 15 red snooker balls in play. These balls are all unnumbered but they are each assigned 1 point, which will explain the numbering of the colored snooker balls.

c. The colored balls

There are 6 colored balls in a game of snooker. Although these balls are assigned different scores, they do not explicitly have numbers printed on them. Here is how snooker balls are categorized:

  1. Yellow 2 ball,
  2. Green 3 ball,
  3. Brown 4 ball,
  4. Blue 5 ball,
  5. Pink 6 ball,
  6. Black 7 ball.

The use of the phrase ‘green 3 billiard ball’ signifies that the snooker ball is green in color, with no number but designated 3 points.

The difference between billiards, pool, and snooker can be read here.

What are groups of balls in these games?

When we talk about billiard games, groups signify the cluster of balls assigned to one player or a team. Pool balls are grouped as solids and striped pool balls in an offline table game, whereas in an online game they are grouped by assigned colors.

In some games, you must protect your group like your platoon while in others you must focus on sinking balls of your assigned group to avoid fouls.

What is the importance of cue balls in these games?

The white ball is used as a striker in cue sports, really. You must always hit the cue ball with your cue stick such that it touches your target object ball.

The importance of cue ball is:

  • You cannot hit an object ball directly without the cue ball otherwise it is a foul.
  • If you pocket the cue ball, it’s called a Scratch, which is inherently a foul.
  • If you bounce the cue ball off the table in any billiard game, it is a foul.
  • If you push the cue ball instead of hitting it, it’s a foul.
  • If your opponent commits a foul, you get the ‘cue ball in hand’ which means you can place it anywhere for your convenience.

The cue ball is extremely important since it marks the basic rules of any table cue sport.

Snooker ball colour

The game is played with 22 balls: one white ball (the cue ball); 15 red balls worth 1 point each; one yellow ball worth 2 points; one green ball worth 3 points; one brown ball worth 4 points; one blue ball worth 5 points; one pink ball worth 6 points; and one black ball worth 7 points.

What colour is the cue ball in pool?

They're usually coloured like this: Cue ball for player 1 is white with a spot or solid yellow. Cue ball for player 2 is white with a spot or solid yellow. 2. Object ball, red (sometimes blue) (four-ball uses an extra object ball.)

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