Questions and Answers
Ball on Cushion Rail
163.”Spot ball strikes red and bounds on to cushion between
cloth and mahogany and runs down the cushion and finally lands
in bottom pocket. What is scored by pocket, or is ball forced
from table and scores to plain? Does plain play next at red only,
or are the balls spotted and broken?”
The score is made if a
ball runs along the rail and enters a pocket or cannons, but
if it remains stationary on the rail it is regarded as forced off the
table and Rule XII. (B.A.) and Rule 4, clause d (B.C.C.) come
into operation. This also answers a similar question by “Housekeeper.”
Introduction of Snooker Pool
164.”Would you be good enough to inform me the year and
date, if possible, when snooker pool was first introduced and
played in England?”
The game of snooker pool was first
introduced some twenty years ago.
Changing the D
165.”When the D is changed from one end of the table to
the other is it customary to continue brushing the table the same
way or to change and brush from bottom to top?”
brush with the nap of the cloth.
Penalty for Fouls
166.”When a foul has occurred, what is the usual course,
viz., has the opponent any claim to have red spotted and white
spotted on centre spot?”
White is spotted on centre and red at
top after a foul except in one or two cases specified in the rules,
in which the next striker can choose whether (a) the balls be
spotted, or (b) whether he resumes from the position left.
Numbering of Pockets and Cushions
167.”In calling out the number of a pocket is it correct
to call the pocket on the right at the D end No. 1 and the pocket
on the left No. 6?”
The cushions and pockets are numbered
from the left hand standing at the baulk end. Thus the bottom
left-hand pocket and the bottom cushion are No. 1.
168.”In the strokes that come between the natural angle
and the right angle, are screw, stun, or forcing strokes the
As we have so often said, it is all a question of
the position desired for the next stroke. When a shot cap be
obtained in three different ways two questions naturally arise:
(1) Which is the easiest? and (2) Which is the best? Advanced
players first decide what position they want next and make such
contact or use such compensation as is required to leave them
what they desire.
Resuming Unfinished Game
169.”An incident occurred in our billiard room recently in a
handicap game. I (the marker) came in and called closing time,
and the two gentlemen who were playing had not finished their
game. I let them go on a little longer till I had to stop them.
One gentleman’s score was 94 and the other 59 in a hundred up,
and instead of marking the places where the balls stopped, I was
in such a hurry to get the gentlemen out that I knocked the
balls into the pockets. I should like to know what I ought to do.
The players cannot agree over it. The leader wants to start as
they finished, making him want six for game, and the other
wants to play the game over again. What should really be
The game should be finished either by placing the
balls as nearly as possible where they were (if both players agree)
or by placing the red on spot, the next striker’s ball in the D,
and the other ball on the centre spot.
170.”Could you tell me where I can get a good book on top-of-the-table play? I have been playing billiards about one year
and six months and have made 40 and 50 breaks; and I often
make 40 by losing hazard play. I average about two hours’
practice a day. Could you tell me if I am progressing all right?
I love billiards, and I get up at early hours of the morning to
play and I wish I could play all day. I have scored 300 and over
400 in an hour against people.”
Game,” by Stevenson, is published at 1s., and you can obtain it
from Messrs. Burroughes and Watts, Ltd., Soho Square, W.
You seem to be doing very well indeed, but should avoid trying to
score quickly by means of short breaks. The great secret of
position play is to think first where the object ball will be left
when playing in-offs and where the cue ball will be left when potting.
If such position would be unfavourable if the immediate
stroke were played as intended the in-off or pot must be made
by some slight variation, of which there are generally several to
Potting at Sight
171.”Potting is my bugbear and I should be glad if you
could kindly help me. I see players potting balls from all sorts
of angles without even looking at the pocket, and I cannot
imagine how it is done.”
Although such players may not seem
to look at the pocket, they have it in their eye all the same, and
they draw a rapid imaginary line from the open partwhich is
all that they seethrough the object ball and then note whether
the point at which the line comes out is more or less than a
quarter diameter from the centre as viewed over the centre of the
cue ball. If more the aim is thicker than half-ball and if less
it is finer. The intermediate aims (except the half-ball) are a
matter of judgment, although they range either by half inches
or quarter inches.
172.”I can judge cushion cannons pretty well when the object
ball is some distance from the cushion, but when it is near or
close to the cushion I find it more difficult and the stroke often
beats me. Is there any special way of doing these?”
first object ball is banked against the cushion the kiss has, of
course, to be allowed for in fuller than half-ball contacts. Otherwise
it is better to disregard the cushion altogether and judge
the angle from the point beyond it which would form the apex
of a triangle. You then know what contact is needed and
whether side is, or is not, required. The best place to practise
this stroke is with the red on the spot and the white near the top
cushion above it.