Bar billiards

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Bar billiards
Bar billiards table 1.jpg
A Bar billiards table.
Highest governing bodyAll England Bar Billiards Association
First played1930s
TypeCue sport
EquipmentCue, Billiard balls, Skittles

Bar billiards is a form of billiards which developed from the French/Belgian game billiard russe, of Russian origin. Bar billiards in its current form started in the UK in the 1930s and now has leagues in Sussex, Berkshire, Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Surrey, Kent, Cambridgeshire, Hampshire, Suffolk and Northamptonshire. These counties comprise the All England Bar Billiards Association. There are also leagues in Guernsey and Jersey where the annual world championships take place.


Bar billiards is a form of billiards which involves scoring points by potting balls in holes on the playing surface of the table rather than in pockets. The game of bar billiards developed originally from the French billiard, which due to the expensive tables in the fifteenth century was played only by the French monarchy and the very rich.[1][2] The game was transformed into Billiard Russe during the 16th century for the Russian Tsars and a derivative of Bagatelle played by French royalty.[3][1]

Bar billiards was first imported into the UK during the early 1930s when David Gill, an Englishman witnessed a game of billiard russe taking place in Belgium.[1][3] He persuaded the Jelkes company of Holloway Road in London to make a similar but not exact bar billiards table.[1] It is now a traditional bar game played in leagues in the English counties of Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Cambridgeshire, Hampshire, Kent, Norfolk, Northamptonshire, Oxfordshire, Suffolk, Surrey, Sussex and Yorkshire, and also the Channel Islands.[4] The game's governing body is the All England Bar Billiards Association.[4] There are also leagues in Guernsey and Jersey. Tables were also made by Sams, Riley, Burroughs & Watts and Clare.[5] The standard "league" tables have a playing surface approximately 32 inches (81 cm) wide. Sams also made a narrower version with a 28-inch (71 cm) width playing surface.[1]


Table with mushroom-style skittles
Bar Billiards Rules 1973 (Reprinted 1976) from The Cross Scythes pub in Sheffield (UK)

Bar billiards is played on a unique table with no side or corner pockets but with nine holes in the playing surface which are assigned various point values ranging from 10 to 200.[6] There are eight balls in all, seven white and one red, white balls score points as shown and potting the red ball scores double the points as shown.[6] Three mushroom-shaped pegs are positioned on the playing surface, the two white pegs positioned either side of the 100 hole with one black peg in front of the 200 hole.[6] If a white peg is knocked over then the player's break is ended and all points acquired during that break are discarded.[6] Knocking down the black peg ends the player's break and all points accumulated in total are lost.[6] In the case that a white and a black peg are both knocked over, then the first peg to be knocked over is counted.[6] All shots are played from the front end of the table so access to all sides is not required which is ideal in a smaller bar or pub. At the start of the game or when there are no balls remaining on the table a white ball is placed on the spot on the 'D' and the red ball is placed on the spot in front of that.[6] This 'Break shot' may be done a maximum of three times if both balls are potted before one ball must remain on the table known as the '1-up', failing to leave this one ball up results in a foul and loss of break.[6] The next shot attempted is the 'split shot' where the object ball is usually potted in the 50 hole and the cue ball is potted in the 100 hole. There are variants to this; sometimes it is necessary to pot the balls into the 50 and 10 holes for example. If successful, the break shot can be used again and so on.[6] Players take alternate turns or 'breaks' at the table playing from where their opponent has left off.[6] If the player fails to pot a ball then the break has ended and the second player takes his break by placing another ball on the first spot. If all balls are in play, then the nearest ball to the 'D' is removed and put on the spot.[6] If a player fails to hit a ball, then the break ends and all points earned in that break are lost.[6] The play is time-limited to around 15 - 20 minutes of play dependent on region, [4] after this time a bar drops inside the table stopping any potted balls from returning, leading to a steady decrease in the number of balls in play. The last ball can only be potted into either the 100 or 200 hole having been played off either side cushion.[6]

The Bar Billiards world championship takes place each November on the island of Jersey. [7][8]

World Championship results history[edit]

The Bar Billiards World Championship (called the British Isles Open up to 1999) is held every year in Jersey.[8]

Year Winner from Runner-up from Reference
1981 Harry Siddall  Jersey Derek Payne  Oxfordshire [9]
1982 Graham Bisson  Jersey Clarrie Querrie  Jersey [9]
1983 Tim Ringsdore  Jersey Micky Daw  Jersey [9]
1984 Peter Noel  Jersey Don Cadec  Jersey [9]
1985 Bernie McCluskey  Berkshire Peter Webb  Guernsey [9]
1986 Dave Harris  Berkshire Peter Noel  Jersey [9]
1987 Wayne Poingdestre  Jersey Kevin Tunstall  Oxfordshire [9]
1988 Alan Le Blond  Jersey Micky Daw  Jersey [9]
1989 Trevor Gallienne  Guernsey Bob Taylor  Kent [9]
1990 Steve Ahier  Jersey Terry Race  Sussex [9]
1991 Steve Ahier  Jersey Simon Tinto  Surrey [10]
1992 Dennis Helleur  Jersey Harry Barbet  Jersey [10]
1993 Kevin Tunstall  Oxfordshire Graham Bisson  Jersey [10]
1994 Kevin Tunstall  Oxfordshire Tony Walsh  Berkshire [10]
1995 Tony Walsh  Berkshire Mark Brewster  Kent [10]
1996 Terry Oakley  Surrey Don Cadec  Jersey [10]
1997 Jim Millward  Sussex Steve Ahier  Jersey [10]
1998 Keith Sheard  Oxfordshire Nick Barnett  Jersey [10]
1999 Peter Noel  Jersey Terry Race  Sussex [10]
2000 Bernie McCluskey  Berkshire Bob King  Jersey [10]
2001 Jim Millward  Sussex Kevin Tunstall  Oxfordshire [10]
2002 Terry Race  Sussex Nigel Ryall  Jersey [10]
2003 Jim Millward  Sussex Terry Race  Sussex [10]
2004 Terry Race  Sussex Nigel Ryall  Jersey [10]
2005 Graeme Le Monnier  Jersey Harry Barbet  Jersey [10]
2006 Kevin Tunstall  Oxfordshire Jim Millward  Sussex [10]
2007 Trevor Gallienne  Guernsey Jim Millward  Sussex [10]
2008 Trevor Gallienne  Guernsey Kevin Tunstall  Sussex [11]
2009 Phil Collins  Oxfordshire Paul Sainsbury  Berkshire [11]
2010 Jim Millward  Sussex Graham Bisson  Jersey [11]
2011 Kevin Tunstall  Sussex Steven Sheard  Oxfordshire [11]
2012 Kevin Tunstall  Sussex Paul Sainsbury  Berkshire [11]
2013 Mark Trafford  Oxfordshire Nigel Senior  Sussex [11][12]
2014 David Ingram  Sussex Kevin Tunstall  Sussex [11]
2015 Paul Sainsbury  Berkshire James Jeanne  Jersey [11][13]
2016 Matthew Jones  Buckinghamshire Mark Brewster  Kent [11][14]
2017 Mark Trafford  Oxfordshire Kevin Tunstall  Sussex [11][15]
2018 Paul Sainsbury  Kent Phil Osbourne  Sussex [16]
2019 Kevin Tunstall  West Sussex [17] Martin Cole  West Sussex [18]
2020 - - - -

Roll of Honour[edit]

Multiple World Champions

Kevin Tunstall 6, Jim Millward 4, Trevor Gallienne 3, Peter Noel 2, Steve Ahier 2, Bernie McCluskey 2, Terry Race 2, Mark Trafford 2, Paul Sainsbury 2. [9][10][11][16][18][17]

Winning County/Country  Jersey 11,  Sussex 10,  Oxfordshire 7,  Berkshire 5,  Guernsey 3,  Surrey 1,  Kent 1,  Buckinghamshire 1 [9][10][11][16][18][17]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Bar Billiards - History and Useful Information". 2020.
  2. ^ "Billiard Russe Talou". 2017.
  3. ^ a b "History of Bar Billiards". 2001.
  4. ^ a b c "Bar Billiards Rules". 2019.
  5. ^ "Bar Billiard Tables". 2020.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m "Bar Billiards Rules for Beginners". 2020.
  7. ^ "Bar Billiards World championships". 2019.
  8. ^ a b "Bar Billiards History of the World championships". 2019.
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "Timeline of National Bar Billiards History - Part 1 - 1972 to 1991 (pre-BB Quarterly)". All England Bar Billiards Association (AEBBA). 2018. Archived from the original on 13 October 2018.
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s "Timeline of National Bar Billiards History - Part 2 - 1991 to 2006 (Info Extracted from Peter Farrelly's Bar Billiards Quarterlies)". All England Bar Billiards Association (AEBBA). 2018. Archived from the original on 13 October 2018.
  11. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "Timeline of National Bar Billiards History - Part 3 - 2007 to 2018 (Comprises a Summary of Nigel Senior's Bi-Monthly AEBBA Newsletters". All England Bar Billiards Association (AEBBA). 2018. Archived from the original on 13 October 2018.
  12. ^ "World Championships 2016". Jersey Bar Billiard League. 2016.
  13. ^ "World Championships 2015". British Bar Billiards. 2015. Archived from the original on 12 October 2018.
  14. ^ "World Championships 2016". Jersey Bar Billiard League. 2016. Archived from the original on 12 October 2018.
  15. ^ "World Championships 2017". Jersey Bar Billiard League. 2017. Archived from the original on 12 October 2018.
  16. ^ a b c "2018 final-live-updates". British Bar Billiards. 2018.
  17. ^ a b c "2019 World Championships Results page 4". British Bar Billiards. 2019.
  18. ^ a b c "2019 World Championships Results page 1". British Bar Billiards. 2019.

External links[edit]