Billiards. Myths about billiards

Billiards (billard, from the French bille – ball) – the collective name of games, the essence of which is the movement of balls on the billiard table with the help of a cue.

For a long time it was believed that the homeland of this very ancient game is England, and that it was to this country that the Asian merchants brought a simple game of balls that the British successfully perfected. In addition, according to some scientists, the word billiards comes from a combination of two English words: ball – “ball” and yard – “yard”, “outhouse”. Later it was assumed that billiards first appeared in China. However, archaeologists have proved that as far back as 1500 BC the game, reminiscent of billiards, was known in ancient Egypt, from where it spread all over the world.

In the beginning, only the elite-crowned persons, noblemen-played billiards. Queen of Scotland, Maria Stewart adored this game, Charles IX was able to play billiards day and night, and only a strong fatigue could force the monarch to complete the game. And Henry III made a lot of efforts to “noble billiard game” became known to noble masters in England, Germany, Spain, Italy. However, only during the reign of the French kings Louis XIII and Louis XIV billiard tables began to be installed in public places, which, incidentally, brought the state a considerable income.

Billiards. Myths about billiards

There are several types of billiards:


(French billiards) – the game is played at a table without pockets, whose length is 2.84 m, width – 1.42 m (± 5 mm). The playing surface, limited by rubber beads, is a slate plate (the thickness of which is not less than 45 mm), covered with cloth from 100% wool of green color. The set for the cannon includes three balls (the diameter of which is from 61 to 61.5 mm, and the weight is from 205 to 220 grams): a white cue ball, a red aiming ball and a white cue ball with red or black dots (or a single yellow ball) . Single-breasted, three-breasted, artistic cannon, frame 47/1, frame 74/2, open party are singled out.

Russian billiards

is a kind of loose billiard that assumes special requirements to the equipment for the game (large balls, whose diameter (68-68.5 mm) is slightly inferior to the size of the pockets (corner – 72-73 mm, medium – 82- 83 mm)). All the balls are ivory, the cue ball is yellow or the color is red. The tables are covered with green cloth with marked markings. Varieties of Russian billiards:


– the game is played by 16 balls, and any of them can be either a ball or a sighting ball;

“Moscow Pyramid”

(“Siberian” or “combined”), which appeared in Russia during the time of Peter I, differs from other loose billiards by comparatively strict loops and playing on “your” balls. There are also combined, dynamic, classical, large and small Russian, the Nevsky pyramids, the pyramid-podkatku, the Arctic, etc.


(from the English snooker – “first-year cadet of the British troops”, an analog of the Russian “salad”) is a kind of billiard game, widespread in the UK. It is believed that this type of billiards was invented in 1875 by Colonel of the British colonial forces Neville Chamberlain. On the gaming table is a pyramid of 15 red balls, a white cue ball and 6 colored balls that are on certain marks. From other types of billiards, snooker is distinguished by its considerable table dimensions, defined by the geometry of the sponges of the pockets and rather complicated rules. For example, simply hitting the ball in the pocket is not enough – after the next blow the cue ball should be in such position from which it will be convenient to hammer the next ball.


(from the French poule, “bank, bullet, bet”) or American billiards – a kind of loose billiards, which appeared in 1857, when an American of Irish descent Michael Phelan invented pockets of a new type. The pool is played on standard tables with pockets of appropriate shape, the set of balls consists of a cue ball of white color and 15 numbered multi-colored balls.There are several types of pool: pool-7, pool-8, pool-9, pool-10, straight, rotation, in one pocket.

In Europe, first started playing billiards England.

Indeed, for a long time it was believed that billiards originated in England, or, at least, was first introduced to this country. But recent findings of archaeologists have refuted this fact, incontrovertibly proving that the birthplace of the above game is Ancient Egypt. In Europe, billiards was brought in by the knights, who participated in the crusades (X-XI centuries). Since most of the knights were French, France was the first in Europe to get acquainted with a new and very interesting foreign game.

The science of billiards has nothing to do with science.

Attempts to investigate the mathematical basis of the billiard game have been made repeatedly. For example, in 1835 Gaspard Gustav Coriolis wrote the book “Theoretical mathematique du jeu de billard” (“Mathematical theory of billiard game phenomena”). However, the work of Coriolis, in which the author used elements of probability theory, limit theory and general analysis, did not interest either players or mathematicians. Only 150 years later, billiard theory became an integral part of ergodic theory and the theory of dynamical systems, combining differential equations, geometry, and probability theory. Mathematician Gelperin created a method for determining the number with the help of billiards; Alhazen, Gardner, Steinhaus also dealt with investigations in this area. In addition, the theory of billiards is associated with gas dynamics, analytical mechanics, and so on.

Playing billiards, health is not correct – because this game does not involve great mobility.

Indeed, no mobility is required from billiard players, but, for example, a proper posture will help billiards to work out, while avoiding excessive stress on the heart and lungs. It is estimated that the player, without noticing it, during the party takes about 2-3 km, while not feeling neither fatigue nor special stress. In addition, this game contributes to the development of the eye, coordination and clarity of movements, resourcefulness, speed of reaction.

Skills acquired during a game of billiards in life are not applicable.

Absolutely mistaken opinion. In addition to the aforementioned positive impact on the physical body (which results in a perfect state of health in everyday life), billiards contributes to the player’s calmness, coolness, balance, ability to concentrate their efforts on achieving the goal. Here, a person can learn how to lose without falling into a panic and without losing faith in himself in case of failure. In addition, billiards – a great way to relieve the accumulated nervous tension.

The pool is named so because the balls move around the table at the speed of the bullet.

Actually, the word “pool”, which is derived from the French “poule”, has several meanings: “bank”, “bullet”, “bet”. However, this term initially had no relation to the billiard pool. The thing is that billiard tables were often installed in the “pool room”, that is, in places where bets were accepted (for example, on racetracks), apparently, in order to enable visitors to pass the time between races. Today, this page of the history of American billiards, which has long gained popularity, recalls only its name.

Billiards. Myths about billiards

Balls for playing billiards can be painted only in white, yellow or red, and their number for different types of billiards is approximately the same.

This is not true. If there are enough balls for the cannon, the billiard billiards assume the presence of 15-16 balls on the table. The balls for each kind of billiards are colored differently. The widest color gamut can be observed when playing in the pool: only the cue ball is painted white, and the numbered aiming balls are painted in different colors. The first eight of them have a solid color, namely: 1-yellow, 2-blue, 3-red, 4-violet (purple), 5-orange, 6-green, 7-dark maroon, 8-black.The remaining seven balls are white, with a central stripe of a certain color, according to the number of the ball: 9-yellow, 10-blue, 11-red, 12-purple, 13-orange, 14-green, 15-maroon.

Only nowadays, billiard balls are made of artificial materials.

This is not quite true. Quite long for the game of billiards used balls made from the tusks of Indian elephants. The reason is simple – Indian elephants have tusks more than African, therefore, from balls of one such tusk it turns out more – 4-5. The choice of tusks of females is also not accidental. The fact is that in the tusks of the elephants the channels in which the capillaries and nerves are located pass exactly in the center, so the ball, carved from such a tusk, is perfectly balanced. In males, the aforementioned canal turns to the end of the bone, because their tusks went to make balls of the second grade. While billiards was a privilege of the nobility, neither the high cost nor the deficit of ivory bore any special interest, but already in the middle of the XIX century, the search for an alternative material for billiard balls began. Of the natural substitutes (walrus tusks, sperm whales, hippopotamuses, wild boar tusks), only second-rate balls were obtained, which did not have sufficient strength and balance. The first synthetic material for billiard balls (collodion – cellulose nitrate, with the addition of camphor) was suggested by the inventor from Illinois Isaiah Hayats. Balls from the collodion were quite strong, easily dyed, but with strong blows they cracked. In 1907, the balls were made from light, cheap and nonflammable batketite, later – plastic. Since the 30-ies of the last century, balls for billiards are made of phenol-formaldehyde resin.

At all times, the billiard table had a rectangular shape and certain proportions.

This is not true. The game of balls (which, for example, in England was called the Pall-Mall) was first conducted on a rammed earth platform. However, bad weather was an insurmountable obstacle for games of this kind, because after a while the players moved to the roof, respectively, to continue the fun it took a table.
The first mention of the billiard table, found in the inventory of King Louis XI, dates back to 1470. In those days, the billiard table was just a stone slab set on a wooden platform of a certain height. But after all, the surface of the stone can not be made perfectly smooth – barely noticeable hillocks and hollows served as a serious obstacle for the movement of balls.
The output was found – the billiard tables were tightened with cloth (trial and error determined that the best option is cloth, best wool, with a certain inclination of the pile), and quite strong, in order to withstand the constant mechanical impact of blows of cue and rolling balls. A curious historical fact: one of the owners of billiards after the day of the game was forced to patch up more than a hundred holes on the cloth that covered the game table.
At the same time, the forms of billiard tables were improved. At first, the billiard tables were round, square, hexagonal, octagonal, and of various sizes. However, most of the above options were rejected because of inconvenience to the players, and in the end, the most convenient form of the billiard table was chosen – rectangular, and the optimal proportions – the length of the table is twice as large as its width. It is these proportions, for example, in a billiard pool, that one can evenly arrange 6 pockets, it is easy to get a ball from the center of the table, etc.

The cloth for billiard tables should be only green.

Indeed, originally this color of cloth was chosen. Researchers explain this choice for several reasons. Firstly, the color of the cloth resembled a green lawn, and secondly, related billiards with other gambling, common in those days and conducted more often at tables of green color.Nowadays, the color of the billiard table cover can be not only green, but also black, brown, blue, red, golden yellow, sea-green, etc.

To learn how to play billiards, it’s enough just to play ball for a while on the table – if you have the talent, the skill will come by itself.

Undoubtedly, the ability to do this or that kind of activity is extremely important, but regular regular and, most importantly, well-trained trainings are equally important. For example, working off strokes will, especially at first, be much more useful than a regular game. At the same time, you need to remember that you should not only practice those blows that are already getting pretty good, but those that do not work out at all – only in this case you will be able to find a way out of any situation created in the game. However, constantly paying attention only to those strokes that you do not succeed, is also not worth it – so you can develop a strong dislike for the game in general. The best option is alternating strokes of various kinds. In addition, you should try to determine at which point the cue ball is hit, and also pay attention to the blows, which caused the game to be lost, the calculation of the angle causing difficulties during the game, etc. You can also apply the method of “progressive training”, the essence of which is to start with the most simple blows, gradually moving to complex ones.

You can dress as you like to play billiards.

Indeed, there are no strict requirements to the appearance of players in this game. However, in the midst of billiard players playing in outerwear is considered a bad form. Therefore, before the game should be removed coat (jacket, coat, cloak), scarf and hat. It is also desirable that garments (for example, a tie or jacket) do not hinder the movements of the player.

Going to the billiard club, it is enough to know the rules of the game well enough to become “your own” among billiards.

Certainly, knowledge of the rules, as well as playing skills, are necessary, but, in addition to all of the above, one should know and follow the unwritten rules of behavior in the billiard club. Only in this case, other players will treat you with respect.
The rules of etiquette in billiards are simple: you should show respect to your gaming partner, to the players at the next table, and to the playing surface (not only nothing should be put on the billiard table, but you do not need to smoke or drink over its surface).
Do not distract with questions or comments from the player preparing to strike, or be near him, stand in front of the pocket in which he is aiming, lean on the table in the place where the blow will be directed.
If you need to pass by a player – wait until the strike is completed. It is not permissible to perform any actions on the table until the ball stops, even if the player is mistaken. By the way, the person who committed the mistake or violated the rules should announce it himself.
Remember that close attention to the game at the next table can distract billiard players. If there is a desire to observe, it is necessary to ask permission of the players. In addition, during the party, conversations on extraneous topics are not welcome.

Billiards. Myths about billiards

It is quite difficult to choose a pool table on your own.

Of course, when choosing a billiards table, it is best to use the advice of a specialist, but since this is not always the case, before making a purchase, it should be noted that:
1. A billiard table can only be installed in a room of a certain size . Therefore, if you do not have the opportunity to allocate a minimum of 4x5m for billiards, it is better to refuse to buy at all;
2. Different types of billiards assume different table sizes and, accordingly, the room allocated for its installation. But if you can select a free zone in the room with a size of 5×7 m – safely set the table for any kind of billiards;
3.If you bought a small table, it’s better to master the appropriate kind of billiards (for example, pool) than try to play Russian billiards at a table that is too small, as this can lead to a loss of interest in billiards in general;
4. Be sure to pay attention to what types of wood are made of the supporting parts of the table – frames, legs-supports. It is best to choose a hardwood product: ash, mahogany, oak, walnut. It is in this case that the structure does not crumble under the influence of humidity or temperature changes. Bearing parts made of softwood (alder, linden, pine) are cheaper, but do not differ in durability;
5. Be sure to check the table for stability – it should not be unsteady and deformed;
6. The table top can consist of three or five parts, the seams between which in the process of assembly shpaklyuyutsya, then the surface is leveled. Swipe on the table top with your palm – joints should not be felt;
7. Be sure to ask what material the table top is made of. Remember that a perfectly flat surface, easily repairable, can only be obtained from the slate of Ardezia. Cheaper options have a lot of shortcomings. For example, slabs of marble are difficult to grind and are sensitive to damage; of synthetic (synthetic granite) easily crumbled. Laminated chipboard, chipboard, MDF are very cheap, but they wear out quickly, they are easily deformed, they are not resistant to changes in temperature and moisture. In addition, the balls on such plates create an increased noise background, often jumping due to the lower density of the chipboard;
8. Buying cloth for tables (especially for those that will be installed in billiard clubs), it is best to give preference to a universal material, suitable for both the pool and the pyramid. But for the game of snooker will have to purchase a special cloth (for example, Hainsworth Snooker);
9. Clean the fleece of a billiard table along the fibers, the dust collected at the sides should be swept away towards the pockets through which it is removed from the table. You can also clean the cloth with a vacuum cleaner, preferably low-power and without rotating brushes. You can try to remove the stain from the table surface with a brush moistened with vodka. It should be noted that one spot should not be cleaned more than five times.

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