Billiards is believed to have come from an English game known as Pall-Mall. This game was played with wooden mallets and wooden balls very similar to the game croquet. However, instead of being played on the lawn this game was played on tables with green cloth to represent the grass and a border to keep the balls from going off the table. In this game one tried to knock down a pole. This gradually disappeared as they started trying to knock the ball in the pockets. In the 1800’s the cue stick was developed by turning the mallet around and using the handle to hit the balls since it was easier to hit the ball with the handle in tight places. Players finally found out that they could bounce the ball off of the railing and so they started using them which created the bank shot. By 1823 they started producing the cue stick with a leather top and they started using chalk to increase the friction while hitting the ball. This is how billiards became the great sport it is today.
Billiard table: this table is made of a wood frame. For the actual table slate stone is used since it can be carved so it is flat and it won't warp. Felt is placed on this to give the balls some friction. Also the railings are made from rubber which will allow the balls to bounce off and create the bank shot.
Cue stick: stick with which one hits the balls around the table.
Cue ball: white ball one hits with the cue stick. You try to hit this ball into the others to knock them into the various pockets.
Strips and Solids: These pool balls are the point of the game. One tries to hit these into the pockets in order to win.
Chalk: The chalk is spread on the tip of the cue stick in order to create friction between the cue stick and the cue ball.
The Rack: This wooden triangle or diamond is used to form all of the balls so when the person breaks the balls are in the desired position.
Eight Ball: This is a common American game in which one tries to knock all of his balls in (stripes or solids) before the other person. They then have to call a pocket for the eight ball and hit it in. Failure to hit the ball in the right pocket is a loss. Also if one hits the eight ball in before they hit their other balls in then they also have lost. If one scratches while hitting the eight ball in that is considered a loss as well. Only if one hits the eight ball in at the correct time can they win.
Nine Ball: This is another common game however one only uses the first nine balls rather than all fifteen. In order to win one must pocket all of the balls in order from one to nine. Fouls only give the cue ball to the other player rather than returning balls to the table.
Snooker: This is a game played commonly by the English. It requires a special set of 21 balls. Fifteen of the balls are red, the others are various colors. All of the balls contain a special value. When all of the balls are pocketed the players tally their scores and the player with the highest score wins. Points may be subtracted from the score because of penalties.