How To Play Snooker By the Rules:(A BEGINNERS GUIDE )

The best way to use your free time is to learn a game or two and practice it as a hobby. To many people, snooker is not only a hobby but a way of life. They have learned, practiced and mastered the art of playing the game. You are not late too; you can follow this guide and be the person to beat in your neighborhood or your club. Remember that a great player is not made by reading numerous resources but by practicing the many tips they gather and perfecting their art. Learn how to play snooker like an expert by putting to practice the great tips in this article.

Setting The balls in a triangle

Understanding the Snooker Terminologies

This is a game that is played by two players and at times four (4). In the case of four players, two players team up to make 2 teams. The game is played on a table lined with six pockets on its perimeter and covered with felt cloth. The main aim of the pool players is to sink all the balls in a given order using a thin cue that is provided.

There is only one white ball known as the cue ball. This is the only ball that you can hit with the wooden cue stick.

A cue stick is long straight rod that can be wooden or made of other material that is use to hit the balls on the table. In most clubs, there are rack cues that are provided for beginners to learn with. Once you are good to go, you can buy the best cue stick and use it in your games.

Before using your cue, you need to chalk the tip . You can do this with the best pool chalk before hitting the ball for the best result.

To POT a ball is to put it in a pocket and ensure it is in there.

If you do anything that is against the rules, you have committed a FOUL

Every time you miss to roll the cue ball in a straight path and consecutively miss to hit a chosen ball, you have SNOOKERED.

A Ball ON is a ball you have identified, and you intend to hit it with the cue ball.

There are fifteen (15) red balls at the start of every game, and they are placed together in a triangle.

There are 22 Balls in the game with different colors and each of the colors has a distinctive value as follows;

Black = 7

Pink = 6

Black Ball

Blue = 5

Brown = 4

Green = 3

Yellow = 2

Red = 1.

How To Play Snooker By The Rules

Before starting to play, you ought to learn how to set up the table for the game. Here is how you ought to set it up.

There are a total of 22 Balls and all of them have their spot on the table.  The 15 red balls are grouped together using a triangle that is found on the table. The other colored balls are placed on the markings that are on the table cloth that are known as spots. There is a special arrangement for balls in the D Area, and they start with Green to your left, Brown at the Center and Yellow on your right.

The Pink ball is placed at the tip of the red balls triangle, and the Blue ball goes to the center of the table. The Black ball has its position below the Red balls. The white ball is placed behind the baulk line area that has a D shape.

Snooker Player Guidelines

  1. A break off shot is the first shot you make in the game. Its main objective is to break off the triangle of reds, and one player does it. The player to start can be chosen by tossing a coin or in any other way agreeable to the players.

To play the break-off shot, the cue ball is placed at any point inside the D section of the baulk area.  You can place it on the line between the brown and yellow or between brown and green like most players do.

Get in your stance position and place the cue stick between your bridge hand formation. Ensure that the cue is in line with the cue ball and in a way that it is hitting the triangle of reds. Always use the cueball to hit another ball and if possible POT it.

  1. Never pot the cue ball at all times.
  2. Ensure that you pot a red ball first at all times before any other color ball. If you purposely or accidentally pot a colored ball before a red ball, it is a FOUL, and you might get some points deducted from your score.
  3. If you pot the white ball by any chance, your opponent has a choice between playing the cue ball from any position on D area or making you play again from the D if it is a hard shot.
  4. When you POT a red ball you earn 1 point, the red ball remains in the pocket. You get a chance to pocket any other color of your choice and you must say which ball you have chosen before playing. If you Pot that color, you earn points equivalent to it and get a chance to play a red ball once more. The color is returned to its spot and it by any chance it does not fit, it is place on a highly valued spot.
  5. Every time you fail to pot a ball or commit a foul, you relinquish your chance to your opponent.
  6. The game continues with a red – color pattern until all reds are in the pockets then the other balls follow in the order of yellow, green, brown, blue, pink and black.

To get the most points, you can always target a higher value color. This is not possible at times and it is advisable to target any color that you can easily pot.

Learn the Foul Rules

To get maximum points, you need to learn the rules and observe them. There are some fouls that will get points deducted from your score while others hand the chance to play to your opponent. Here is an outline of the fouls.

  • The cue ball should always make contact with the ball on first, else it is a foul
  • If the cueball hits nothing on the table, it is a chance to your opponent or they may decide that you play again.
  • If you hit any other ball other than the ball on with the cue ball, then you get a penalty equal to the value of the ball or 4 points whichever is greater.
  • When you pocket another ball other than the ball on, you score zero points and your opponent scores the points of the ball pocketed.
  • Do not touch any ball on the table, if you touch, the penalty is equal to the value of the ball or 4 point whichever is greater.
  • When you commit a foul and your opponent has been snookered on all balls, then they have a chance to select a free ball on the table to be the ball ON for this shot only.

Winning The Game

The game is won by the player who has accumulated most points after all the balls have been pocketed in the right order. It includes all subtractions made during the play time as per the universally accepted snooker rules.

What makes snooker different from pool?

Many people cannot tell a single difference between snooker and pool, however, when you get into the game and start learning you get the whole difference. The two games are played with the same tools and on the same billiard board. Unlike pool, when playing snooker you ought to concentrate a lot as what wins the game for you is your precision and your concentration. The major difference, however, comes in the rules of the game that we will look into in the next section. To play snooker you also need a higher level of body control and spatial awareness as opposed to other billiard games like pool.


It is clear that you cannot exhaust learning how to play snooker by simply reading one article. We have tried to delve into the topic to the best of our ability. Be on the lookout for the latest updates in the world of pool and snooker right here.