Talk:Carom billiards

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Game ending[edit]

Resolved: Off-topic here; three-cushion billiards has its own talk page now.

How does the game of three cushion billiards end? Is it until one player concedes with the highest scoring player as the winner? -- 14:54, 9 November 2005 (UTC)

Three cushion billiards is played with 2 people. Various systems are possible but in general competition each player has to make an number of good shots which is detemined by the level of the player (results of previous year). Another possibilty is players are categorised in several groups (depending on result of previous year/tournament) and everyone in that group has to make the same ammount of good shots. The games is over when 1 player of both players have reached their requered score and both players did have the same amount of turns. When both players have reached their requered score it is either a draw or both players continue to play for a preset new score (e.g. 110% of original requered score). --[anon]

Please review: Consensus and consistency needed on spelling to prevent ambiguity & confusion[edit]

Resolved: Document now lives at WP:CUESPELL, and has its own talk page for any followup.

Especially for nine-ball but also for eight-ball, one-pocket, and even snooker, etc., I firmly think we need to come to, and as editors enforce in article texts, a consensus on spelling conventions and implement it consistently throughout all of the cue sports Wikepedia articles. I advocate (and herein attempt to justify) a system of standardized spellings, based on 1) general grammar rules; 2) basic logic; and 3) disambiguation.

This is a draft submission to the active editor community of billiards-related articles on Wikipedia. It is intended to ultimately end up being something like "[[Wikipedia:[something:]Billiards/Spelling guidelines]]", or part of an official Wikipedia cue sports article-shepherding Project, likely it's first documentation output.

Anyway, please help me think this through. The point is not for me to become world famous™ for having finally codified billiards terms and united the entire English-speaking world in using them (hurrah). I simply want the articles here on pool and related games to be very consistent in application of some new consensus Wikipedia editing standards about spelling/phrasing of easily confusable billards terms that may be ambiguous to many readers in the absence of that standard.


  1. "While 9-ball is a 9-ball game, the 9-ball is the real target; pocket it in a 9-ball run if you have to, but earlier is better." (Huh?)
  2. "While nine-ball is a nine ball game, the 9 ball is the real target; pocket it in a nine ball run if you have to, but earlier is better." (Oh, right!)

That's the super-simple "use case" I make for this proposed nomenclature. If you think that the differentiation didn't cut it please TELL ME, and say how you would improve it.

So, here's the article draft so far (please do not edit it directly! Post on its Discussion page instead; thanks.): User:SMcCandlish/Pool_terms

(PS: This intro text is repeated at the top of it.) — SMcCandlish [talk] [contrib] 05:47, 16 November 2006 (UTC)

I realize that was just an example, but how about this:
  • "While 9-ball is a game of nine balls, the #9 ball is the real target; pocket it in a nine-ball run if you have to, but earlier is better."
where the name of the game is italicized, and the "#" symbol (which might be too much) is used when referring to the ball itself. Notice also that a hyphen is added to "nine-ball run", which I believe is the correct way to phrase this (not only in billiards, but in general). Just my thoughts. --ChaChaFut 05:58, 16 November 2006 (UTC)
Replying at the draft spelling convention's talk page so as not to clutter Talk:Carom billiards with off-topic stuff. — SMcCandlish [talk] [contrib] 01:21, 24 November 2006 (UTC)
Marking this topic resolved since the draft guideline now exists as WP:CUESPELL and has its own talk page for any further discussion. — SMcCandlish [talk] [contrib] 06:44, 15 February 2007 (UTC)

WikiProject Cue sports[edit]

Resolved: Project is now active at WP:CUE and has its own talk page for any followup.

Wikipedia:WikiProject Council/Proposals#Cue sports. Any comments, or better yet interested editors to participate? — SMcCandlish [talk] [contrib] 01:13, 24 November 2006 (UTC)

Marking topic "Resolved" as the project is now live, at WP:CUE, and has its own talk page for any further discussion. — SMcCandlish [talk] [contrib] 06:44, 15 February 2007 (UTC)

Cite needed?![edit]

Resolved: Moot.

Do we really need a cite for "carambola"? I can't find any other use of this word, so unless someone can come up with a possible alternative it seems pretty obvious to me. Maury 22:03, 20 December 2006 (UTC)

Actually, everything should be cited. It's moot now. I completely rewrote the article and added the etymology of carom(bola/e).--Fuhghettaboutit 14:28, 7 January 2007 (UTC)
Wow, excellent edit Fuh, the article is fantastic. Maury 23:34, 7 January 2007 (UTC)
Thank you!--Fuhghettaboutit 05:10, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

Good article[edit]

I enjoyed reading this article. The number of references seemed ample, and there is a good provision of information on the many variants of the game. The information presented about its history is not only informative, but also interesting.--ZincBelief 10:44, 23 January 2007 (UTC)

Iwan Simonis date error?[edit]

Resolved: Corrected.

Iwan Simonis is founded 1680 in Belgium afaik. Not sure about this but at least the year 1453 sounds way off.. Where does this info come from?—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 16:07, 17 February 2007 (UTC)

Good catch. I have fixed the entry. The information comes from the Illustrated Encyclopedia of Billiards by Mike Shamos, which states in pertinent part (page 53, entry for cloth):

The firm of Iwan Simonis of Verviers, Belgium, is probably the most famous manufacturer of billiard cloth. The company is appoximately as old as billiards itself, a predecessor having been formed in 1453 (emphasis mine).

--Fuhghettaboutit 02:39, 18 February 2007 (UTC)

Addition of progressive billiards[edit]

Resolved: made up, non-notable material.

What exactly was wrong with the adding of Progressive Billiards in the last edit? It's even sourced to be proved it's reality. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 05:58, 28 February 2007 (UTC).

Wikipedia is not for recently made up stuff that someone finds interesting or entertaining. The source isn't reliable. My favorite pool bar could make up a new game (did, in fact, called Dutch pool), which might be played by various locals and have written rules (Dutch pool does, in fact). Doesn't make it notable at all. It's non-encyclopedic local fun-stuff. When thousands play it around the world, might be a notable cue sport. — SMcCandlish [talk] [contrib] 06:08, 28 February 2007 (UTC)

Folk etymology[edit]

Resolved: Needed changes made.

As far as I can find out, the only fruit named carambola, via Portuguese from Marathi karanbal, is the star fruit. You need a lot of imagination to see resemblance between a star fruit and a red billiards ball. Though mentioned by several dictionaries, this likely is a bit of folk etymology. The Oxford English Dictionary's entry on carambole wisely says "Derivation unknown. As the word is in Portuguese identical in form with the preceding [the carambola fruit], suggestions as to their identity have been made, but without any evidence." Afasmit (talk) 06:35, 14 February 2008 (UTC)

Updated article to reflect this. — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 17:16, 16 February 2008 (UTC)

Popular culture[edit]

Should a section about popular culture containing any references about what this article is about be added here? (talk) 12:52, 20 October 2008 (UTC)

Not a good idea. It's generally considered unencyclopedic. Please see Wikipedia:Trivia sections. Also relevant is WP:INDISCRIMINATE and you might find Wikipedia:WikiProject Deletion sorting/Popular culture also of interest.--Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 22:06, 20 October 2008 (UTC)

Three Cushion[edit]

Just wanna inspire to check some dates and facts. Hoppe and Greenleaf played at least 4 matches, 3 in Three Cushion (1924, 2 in 1926) and 1 in Straight Pool (1929). It is doubtful that the 1924 match ended 600-527. Your reference link according the result misleadingly goes to an article from 1926(!). It has a lot to commend it that Hoppe had a bigger lead at the end. On the 5th day the score was 500-369. Besides, the match ended on September 29, probably the NYT brought the final score to the readers on the following day or October 1. I would be happy too to come to know the correct result, maybe someone of you in the US is able to read up on that and to find out for us the correct final score.Oimyakon (talk) 16:41, 22 September 2009 (UTC)

Dickens on billiards[edit]

Unresolved: Source not added to article yet.

See Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Cue sports#Charles Dickens on billiards! for details.

Equipment | Cues[edit]

The opening sentence, "Carom billiard cues have specialized refinements making them different from the typical pool cue with which many people are more familiar." mentions both carom billiards cues and typical pool cues. The second sentence describes "such cues". Are "such cues" carom billiards cues or typical pool cues? Thanks. BillyPreset (talk) 23:03, 3 December 2010 (UTC)


Billiards is not a hybrid of pocket billiards and Carom, it is far older than that. It pre-dates both games, the sentence "The word 'carom', which simply means any strike and rebound, came into use in the 1860...".

So the current wording is wrong. It is like saying that rugby is a hybrid of association football. -- PBS (talk) 08:21, 25 August 2012 (UTC)

(I know what PBS is referring to but for the benefit of others, he's talking about English billiards (not just billiards); the statement above appears to be missing a word; see this edit for background).

That makes no sense at all and apparently depends from your continued misunderstanding that "carom billiards" is a game rather than a term used to describe any game involving caroms as the object of scoring, rather than pocketing balls as a form of scoring. That the WORD carom came into use in the 1860s or at any other time is neither here nor there (however, that section needs tweaking, the 1860 date is disputed by Shamos, who provides 1779 as its first use in the context of billiards; btw it's sometimes spelled "carrom" in early sources). Anyway, the logic of your analogy, with the understanding that carom billiards is not in any way a singular game, is like saying "how can a "ball" game have existed prior to the use of the word ball! Therefore, calling a game involving kicking a ball they played in 2,000 B.C. a "ball game" is impossible because the term "ball" didn't exist then." That is exactly the form of your logic. Carom billiards is:

"Any of a number of game in which the object is to cause the cue ball to contact two or more object balls, thus affecting a carom[caramboler/carambole]." (The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Billiards, Mike Shamos, curator of the Billiards Museum and Archive, page 41, ISBN 1-55821-219-1)

Let me restate my edit summaries. I tried to provide a full explanation there but it may have been lost in that format. As I said, very slightly tweaked: Same misunderstanding as last time. Carom Billiards games are those that involve caroms as a goal of scoring. Pocket billiards involve hazards (pockets) as a goal of scoring. Carom billiards is not a singular game; it describes a class of games that involve caroms to score. Pocket billiards is not a singular game; it describes a class of games that involve pockets to score. The English billiards history you have placed here, that I wrote, does not fit here at all; totally out of focus and random placed in the lead of this article. The three games making up that description are the winning game--scoring through winning hazards (pocketing balls); the losing game--scoring through losing hazards (intentional "scratching"); and the carambole game, of course, was scoring through caroms. That is, these three games, two pocket billiards disciplines and one carom billiards discipline were combined together to breed an offspring, a hybrid game: English billiards. I don't understand what is not crystal clear about this. To recap, English Billiards formed from three prior games, one of which was a carom billiards game because it was a "game in which the object [was] to cause the cue ball to contact two or more object balls, thus affecting a carom" and two of which were pocket games. Thus, English Billiards is, indeed, a hybrid of carom and pocket billiards.--Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 00:50, 7 September 2012 (UTC)


"Straight rail, sometimes referred to as carom billiards, straight billiards, the three-ball game, the carambole game, and the free game in Europe,"

This is a highly dubious sentence. Britain and Ireland are a European counties. Straight rail is frequently described as carom billiards, it would never be described by the other names. For example "three-ball game" would be a taken as a childish way of saying billiards[sic]. Continental Europeans would never use those terms in English they would use whatever are the usual terms in their languages, an if speaking English they could not translate them as "three-ball game" or "the free game" if they wanted to be understood Britain or Ireland. -- PBS (talk) 08:21, 25 August 2012 (UTC)

I don't understand what you're getting at. People use all manner of terms. Sometimes they use terms in one way, Sometimes in others. As you probably know, many people are unaware of any game but their local game and think billiards means that. Half the people I meet only know of eight ball and think both "pool" and "billiards" mean eight ball only. This sentence is sourced to Shamos again and I have just verified it (page 232-233), and I see nothing dubious about it. Straight rail is the main term for the game (and is actually of much more modern vintage than some of the earlier terms described). The very simple game of scoring simply by hitting both other balls was one of the earliest and simple version of carom games and so it's no surprise that it was (and still is) sometimes just called "carom billiards" as people also use for three cushion as well when they only know it, just as people in the UK usually mean what much of the World calls English Billiards when they say "billiards" alone. The "three ball game" makes perfect sense since they were playing many other game, some with hazards, some with obstacles, most played with more than three balls. That it has been various called various other names in various places... what is dubious about that? Shamos does not say continental Europe. Why are you reading that into it (it would be nice if the source was more specific but we have to work with what sources say)? Of course it was not known by any English names in places where they don't speak English. That's fairly axiomatic. Here:
"In the original French three-ball game ..." Hoyle's, 1829;
" France where the three ball game has it origin..." Every boy's book, 1876;
"If you've played straight billiards in which you score simply by hitting the cue ball against the other two balls..." Popular Mechanics, 1946;
"The Carambole Game is played with three balls : one being red, which is neutral and termed the carambole ; the remaining two white, and one of them allotted to each player...Games and sports, 1837;
"It [straight rail] is called the Free Game in Europe because of the absence of balk restrictions." The Complete Book of Billiards. Shamos, 2000, ISBN 9780517208694.
That would be all of them, yes? Despite having done the above research, the burden was never on me to defend what is already reliably sourced and cited using an inline citation, because it sounds dubious to you. All I've done here is confirm that the reliable source cited, that gathers all the disparate names together, is cross-corroborated by other sources—showing that the reliable source is really quite reliable, and your dubiosity is quite misplaced--Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 01:37, 7 September 2012 (UTC)

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