Cue Sports Club

There are two main varieties of billiard games: carom and pocket. The main carom billiards games are straight rail, balkline and especially three cushion billiards. All are played on a pocketless table with three balls; two cue balls and one object ball.

In all, players shoot a cue ball so that it makes contact with the opponent's cue ball as well as the object ball. Others of multinational interest are four-ball and five-pins. The most globally popular of the large variety of pocket games are Pool and snooker.

Mechanical bridge

The mechanical bridge, sometimes called a "rake", "crutch", "bridge stick" or simply "bridge", and in the UK a "rest", is used to extend a player's reach on a shot where the cue ball is too far away for normal hand bridging. It consists of a stick with a grooved metal or plastic head which the cue slides on. Many amateurs refuse to use the mechanical bridge based on the perception that to do so is unmanly.[citation needed] However, many aficionados and most professionals employ the bridge whenever the intended shot so requires. Some players, especially current or former snooker players, use a screw-on cue butt extension instead of or in addition to the mechanical bridge.

Tables

There are many sizes and styles of pool and billiard tables. Generally, tables are rectangles twice as long as they are wide. Most pool tables are known as 7-, 8-, or 9-footers, referring to the length of the table's long side. Full-size snooker and English billiard tables are 12 feet (3.7 m) long on the longest side. Pool halls tend to have 9-foot (2.7 m) tables and cater to the serious pool player. Pubs will typically use 7-foot (2.1 m) tables which are often coin-operated. Formerly, 10-foot (3 m) tables were common, but such tables are now considered antique collectors items; a few, usually from the late 19th century, can be found in pool halls from time to time. Ten-foot tables remain the standard size for carom billiard games. The slates on modern carom tables are usually heated to stave off moisture and provide a consistent playing surface. The length of the pool table will typically be a function of space, with many homeowners purchasing an 8-foot (2.4 m) table as a compromise. Full-size pool tables are 4.5 by 9 ft (2.7 m) (interior dimensions). High-quality tables have a bed made of thick slate, in three pieces to prevent warping and changes due to temperature and humidity. Smaller bar tables are most commonly made with a single piece of slate. Pocket billiards tables of all types normally have six pockets, three on each side (four corner pockets, and two side or middle pockets).

Gallery

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