A Look at Some of the Most Popular Cue Sports Variants

Cue Sports Variants

Cue sports refers to the collection of multiple skill-based games individuals play using a cue. The primary objective of players in most cue sports games is to strike or hit the balls present on the table and pocket or pot them in any of the holes present on the physical game board. 

Even though the objective and structure of most cue sports games are very similar, each type of game differs from another in terms of numerous aspects, i.e., each game has its unique features. This article will shed light on some of the most popular cue sports variants in the world. Let us dive right into it:

  • Billiards

Billiards is the oldest cue sports game. Despite being centuries old, the game is still very popular among the masses. What makes billiards different from other types of pool games is that, unlike most other variants that are played on tables with six pockets, billiards is played on a table that does not have any pockets. 

A total of three balls are used – a red-colored one, a white-colored one, and lastly, either a yellow or white-colored one featuring red dots. During matches, the white and yellow-colored balls can be alternated as cue balls

The primary goal of every player in billiards matches is to hit any of the cue balls and strike the other two on the board in a single shot. With every successful hit, the player earns one count. At the end of matches, the player with the most counts is declared the winner of the game.

  • Pool

When it comes to the most popular cue sports variant of all time, the name of pool stands at the top of the list. This variant is further divided into numerous subcategories, each of which has different features and rules. Here are some popular ones:

  • 8 Ball Pool – 8 ball pool is the most famous pool variant of all time. Similar to other types of cue sports variants, individuals have the option to play 8 ball pool both online and offline. In pool matches, a total of 16 balls are present on the board, out of which 7 are striped, 7 are solids, 1 is black, and 1 is white. 

Each player in a pool match is assigned a specific type of ball, i.e., they either need to pot all the solid-colored balls or the ones that feature striped patterns. Once any player has potted all of their assigned balls, they are required to pot the black-colored ball. There are no scores in 8 ball pool matches. The player who pots the black ball first wins the match. 

  • 9 Ball Pool – 9 Ball Pool is another popular subcategory of pool. As evident by its name, 9 ball pool matches feature a total of 9 object balls, out of which 8 are solid-colored ones, one is a striped 9-ball, and lastly, the white-colored cue ball.

Players in 9-ball pool matches are required to target the smallest-numbered ball first and move upwards by potting them. They also have the option to pot other balls, but the initial or first contact must be with the lowest-numbered ball on the board. Any player who pockets the 9-ball first, even during breaking formation, wins the match.

  • Straight Pool –  Straight pool is played extensively in different parts of the globe by cue sports enthusiasts, thanks to its simple rules and exciting gameplay. 

In straight pool matches, players are required to call the pocket they plan to pocket a ball into before taking the shot. If they successfully pot the ball in the specified pocket, they win the match. If not, the next player’s turn comes. Although straight pool’s concepts are similar, the challenging part is pocketing the ball in the called-out pockets. 

  • Snooker

Snooker is another popular cue sports variant that is derived from billiards. Like different types of pool, snooker is also played on a table with six pockets. However, it has numerous distinctive features which make the game very interesting. 

For starters, there are a total of 22 balls on the board, out of which 15 are red-colored ones. Whenever a player pockets a red-colored ball, they are awarded a point. Besides this, the yellow-colored ball holds two points, the green one is worth three points, the brown one carries four points, the pink one is 6, and lastly, the black-colored ball is worth 7 points. 

The main objective of players in snooker matches is to pocket one red ball followed by another one that is of a different color. Any player who successfully pockets a colored ball after the red one, they get combined points, i.e., both the points of the red and the colored ball. A player’s turn ends when they commit a foul or misses a shot. The player with the most number of points wins the match. 

Final Thoughts

All of the aforementioned cue sports variants enjoy immense popularity all around the globe thanks to their unique features and simple gameplay. Indulging in cue sports both in the online and offline mode facilitates individuals to have a fun and relaxing experience. 

Since all cue sports variants require multiple players, it is a fun outlet for individuals to have an enjoyable time with their friends and family members. Besides this, multiple official cue sports tournaments are held around the globe, each of which allows enthusiasts to enjoy and learn shots from the best players in the world.