The terms “billiards” and “pool” are often used as if they were the same thing, but they aren’t. If you want to know the difference between billiards vs pool vs snooker, then you might as well sit back, relax, and read here about the evolution of these terms that have been used to describe an interesting variety of games that are played with tables and cue sticks. Here we are going to tell you about the basics of all this relevant information any pool table player should know if they're willing to learn about the billiards world and its game differences
Brief History of billiards and pool
Billiards, in its very beginning—during the 15th century— was a lawn game that was similar to croquet, and it was played in Northern Europe, mainly by royalty and other nobles, but since then, it has now evolved to the point that billiards have more game styles.
After being a game played outdoors, the billiards experience moved indoors to a wooden table with a simple border around the edges and a green cloth over the table, why? to simulate grass, or at least that’s what many people say. The term “billiard” began to gain power in this time and it is derived from the French word billiart (wooden sticks) and bille (ball).
As said before, tables had flat walls for rails only to prevent the balls from falling off, but when players discovered that balls could bounce off the rail they started to aim at the river banks, or “banks,” which were the rails—as they resembled river banks—so when the ball rebounded from a cushion as part of the shot, then it was called a “bank shot.”
Cue sticks were first developed in the late 1600s. When the ball lay near a rail, the mace was helpful thanks to its large head, so players would turn the mace around and use its handle to strike, said handle was called “queue” —tail— and then evolved to the word “cue.”
And last, but not least, “pool” means a collective bet or ante, but back in the 19th century, a poolroom was a betting parlor for horse racing so pool tables were installed for patrons to pass the time between races. It was because of this that the word “pool” became connected in the public mind, and was associated later with billiards.
Carom billiards and pocket billiards
These are both cue sports, which means that they’re included in the general class of games that are played with sticks called cues, used to strike billiard balls and move them around a billiard table that’s bounded by rubber cushions, which are attached to the bounding rails of the table. The Carom or carambola billiards are often simply called “billiards,” and is when the table is bounded —as mentioned before— by cushions, and in which, only three balls are used.
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