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All about snooker – how to play & snooker rules



Have you ever been interested in learning more about snooker? Here, we will take a look at all the major aspects connected to the game that's steadily increasing in popularity around the globe.

Snooker glossary

Before learning the rules and how to play snooker – it’s good to start off with some useful terminology that could come in handy later on!

Break - The first shot of the frame. A break is also the number of points scored by a player in one single visit to the table.

Cushion  - The inside edge along each side of the table.

Frame - An individual “game” in a snooker match. A player needs a set amount of frames to win. In the World Snooker Final, a player needs 18 frames to win.

Baize - The green cloth that covers the table.

Pot - To pot a ball in snooker means to hit a ball into one of the pockets.

147 - The maximum break a player can make in one visit to the table.

Foul - If a player pots the white or either hits the wrong ball or even misses the ball, a foul shout is called, and the opponent gets four points.

Snooker (verb and noun) - When a player is unable to hit the target ball directly because another ball or balls are in the way.

Safety shot - A defensive shot with the intention of leaving the opponent with an impossible or difficult pot.

Cue -The stick that is used to hit the white ball.

What do you need?

First of all, you’ll need a cue and a table. Snooker is played on a large rectangular green-clothed table with four pockets in each corner and two in the middle of each long side. You’ll also need blue chalk for the tip of the cue and also some snooker balls! The table below explains how many balls you need and the value of each one.

How many?Ball ColourValue
15Red1 point
1Yellow2 points
1Green3 points
1Brown4 points
1Blue5 points
1Pink6 points
1Black7 points

How to play snooker?

Using the cue, you need to hit the white ball to pot the colours that are on the table in the correct sequence. You must start with the 15 reds, and after each red has been potted, you can then try to pot one of the colours. If successful, the value of the ball is added to your score. The coloured ball is then removed from the pocket and returned to its starting position. You or your opponent must repeat this sequence until all reds have been potted. The coloured balls can then be potted without the need to pot a red, starting from the least valuable ball. If you fail to pot a ball, your opponent will come to the table to play a shot.

How is a match decided?

An individual frame is won by the player with the most points, and the match concludes when a player wins a predetermined number of frames.

Biggest tournaments

Snooker rules

The World Snooker Championship is the most prestigious tournament. It takes place each year in April at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield which has hosted the tournament since 1977. The UK Championship and the Masters are the next two most important tournaments. The UK Championship takes place in November/December each year at the Barbican in York. The Masters takes place in January at the Alexandra Palace in London. These tournaments are classed as the “Triple Crown” of snooker.

Famous snooker players

Snooker started to gain in popularity during the 1980s when Steve Davis dominated the decade with six world titles. Stephen Hendry then dominated the 1990s with seven world titles; he still has more than any other player. Ronnie O’Sullivan is arguably the most famous player in snooker history. “The Rocket” has five world titles; his fast-paced game and controversial antics have made him a popular figure in the snooker world. He is still one of the best players in the game today, but the current world number one is Judd Trump. He holds both the World Championship and the Masters title. Former world champions Mark Selby, John Higgins, Mark Williams and Neil Robertson are the other players to look out for this year.

Where is snooker popular?

Tournaments are played all over the world. Most of the big tournaments and the best players are located in the UK. Snooker is big in China, and Chinese players are expected to dominate the circuit in the future. Snooker also has a decent following in Ireland and Australia.

Dress code

Snooker is a very formal sport, and you’ll notice on the TV that the players will be wearing a shirt, smart black trousers, a waistcoat and a bowtie. However, it’s not necessary to be so formal when playing with friends at the local snooker club!

Bet on snooker at STS

The Masters January 12 -19 

Alexandra Palace, London


With so many twists and turns during a match; snooker is becoming even more popular around the world, especially when it comes to live snooker betting. At STS, we have all kinds of markets for snooker. From who will win the match or frame to how many points a player will win in each frame and more!


snooker, how to play snooker, snooker rules