An overview on the rules of snooker

Snooker is an extremely popular sport which dates back to the 1800s. It started as a favourite pastime for the British society but soon became known all over the world. Everyone can play this game. All it takes is steady hand, concentration and a hint of luck. With rather straightforward rules, snooker can offer hours of fun. Let’s take a look to the official rules.

First of all, snooker is generally played on a six by twelve feet billiard table with six pockets, three on each side. In snooker, pockets are a bit smaller than in other pool games, making it trickier for the player to score. The ball set consists of fifteen red balls, six colour balls and the well-known white cue ball. All balls are without numbers.

To win the frame, the player has to accumulate as many points as possible by potting the balls legally in the right pockets. To win the game, the player has to win the most frames.

The scoring system for colour balls is:

– red: one point

– yellow: two points

– green: three points

– brown: four points

– blue: five points

– pink: six points and,

– black: seven points

After all balls are set, a player is called to perform the break-off shot. The white ball can be placed anywhere inside the half circle. Usually though, players prefer to set the ball on the line. For a legal break-off, a player has to hit a red ball with no need to pot that ball. If he fails, a foul is committed and the opponent can either choose to break or make the player that scored the foul to strike again.

Game Rules

– Red balls are called legally shot balls. The snooker has first to pot a red ball in order to score and continue.

– After one or more red balls have been potted, the snooker can now pot one of the colour balls. As the official rules require, the striker has to call which colour ball will attempt to pot. Only one colour ball can be legal to shot each time. If the strike is successful, the colour ball is placed again on the table, on its legal spot. If the player pots more than one colour balls or a non-called one, he scores a foul.

– The player keeps hitting one red and one colour ball in succession until all reds have been potted. Afterwards, he must pot all six colour balls. Be careful! The colour balls have to be potted according their points value, in ascending order. In this phase, colour balls do not come back on the table.


In case a player scores a foul, the opponent becomes the striker and receives penalty points. The minimum penalty points a player can receive is four. The scoring system for the most common fouls is:

– 4 points if the striker pots the white ball.

– If the white ball touches a no legally shot ball, then the opponent receives the value points of the ball. For example, if the player calls the pink ball but hits the blue one, the opponent gets 5 points.

– If the player pots a wrong ball, then the opponent gains the value of this ball.

Players may commit more than one fouls at once. If so, the rival receives the points of the highest value foul.

In snooker, the free ball rule is applied. That happens when player B cannot hit a legally shot ball after player A makes a foul. Then, player B can call any other ball on the table as the legal ball.

Ending A Frame

– If the black ball is the last ball potted and there is no tie, the frame ends.

– In case of a tie, if the black ball gets pocketed and is the only ball on table, then it comes back on its original spot. To determine which player plays first, a coin is tossed.

– If a player makes a foul and the black ball is the last one, then the penalty points determine the winner.

– If the score between the two players is more than seven points after the pink ball is pocketed, the frame ends.

– If a player is unable to perform a successful strike on a legally shot ball three times in row, the opponent instantly wins the frame.

– Occasionally, a frame ends when a player hesitates to strike. There is a 60 second time frame where the player can complete his move.

A snooker game can be fascinating. All you have to do to master it is practice. Practice makes perfect! Don’t waste any more time. Just follow these rules and enjoy!