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Game complexity[edit]

Unresolved: Source and add game complexity info to article (this one or a more specific one).

Anything on Billiards' game complexity? Is it infinite since there are infinite many positions and thus possibilities? 14:38, 27 February 2006 (UTC)

Interesting question. A game-theoretic treatment of any billiards-type game would necessarily have to abstract away from exact positions, since they "only" affect the difficulty of the various shots, which is in any event subjective to a degree. Obviously you can't ignore it completely, otherwise it's simply "win for first player", so you'd need to model the players, as well as the physical game state. Alai 21:10, 28 April 2006 (UTC)

Sadly I can't remember where, but someone actually did the math, and it's not infinite, but a very huge number. Because the balls, pockets, etc. have some "give" not every possible position of everything is significant (i.e. a difference of one micron in the position of one ball from one gendankenexperiment table to another doesn't make it different enough that the outcome of any conceivable shot would change.) Under that sort of definition, someone figured out how many possible pool layouts there were (I'd guess in an eight-ball game, though I don't recall for sure), and it was in the quadrillions (by way of comparison, there have been fewer that one quadrillion seconds since the estimated time of the Big Bang!). If I ever find it again, I'll add it (sourced) to a "Trivia" section trivia sections have been deprecated since I wrote that. 05:15, 2 August 2007 (UTC)SMcCandlish [talk] [contrib] 12:37, 8 December 2006 (UTC)

I think Einstein has a quote about it. -- 04:08, 20 February 2007 (UTC)


Unresolved: Article intro not yet significantly improved.

I don't know that the comment on whether billiards (or cue sports if you insist,) makes sense in the introduction. The introduction should mention common games such as 8-ball, 9-ball, snooker, and three cushion billards (and other widespread variations. It should probably attempt to clarify the usage of the term billiards which is confusing to most people. It should differentiate carom and pocket billiard games as they are important broad categories. It should mention the popularity of league play, with mention of some important sanctioning bodies WPA, BCA etc.

In the past, I did a lot of work on this article and would like to see it improved 22:30, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

Notable billiard enthusiasts[edit]

Unresolved: Split list out, keep it here, or just scrap it as unencyclopedic trivia?

Does anyone agree the list is misplaced, not to mention uncredited? More important, to me at least, would be a list of famous players hopefully not just in the US. Can we agree to remove or move that section? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 22:32, 8 March 2007 (UTC).

Yes. To the extent that it remains unsourced, it is actually endangering the main article, as AfDable "original research". I honestly don't know what to call the article. "Notable billiards players"? I don't think we should over-use the term "cue sports", only use it were necessary. Without sourcing I don't see that the list has an encyclopedic value, and even with sourcing I wouldn't want it to be confused or conflated with a (needed) list of top pro players today nor one of world champions. The list seems to be "Notable people who happen by random conincidence to like pool or billiards". This strikes me as WP:OCAT. The games have been so prevalent for so long, it's a lot like having a list of "notable fans of football" or "famous people who drive cars". I think it would be of much more use to simply mention the salient fact about whoever, in the article on that person, or as Fuhghettaboutit recently did in the Bottle pool article, mention the famous player in the specific game's article. My feeling is that the list should probably simply be removed. If someone wants to dedicate some time to building the list up from sources, they can always just grab a copy out of the history. — SMcCandlish [talk] [contrib] 06:33, 11 March 2007 (UTC)

[Salient comment refactored in from another thread:]

The section on billiard enthusiasts seems awkward, and maybe needs to be an article of its own
User talk:MichaelJHuman 05:13, 11 March 2007 (UTC)

Dispute: Cloth colour[edit]

Someone wrote that the predominant use of green cloth on tables was a happy coincidence resulting in reduced eye strain, as the human eye is least sensitive to green light, which is incorrect. What is more, the reference that this person used to justify their claim (A Strategy for the Use of Light Emitting Diodes by Autonomous Underwater Vehicles) directly contradicts the assertion that the human eye is least sensitive to green light. Hence, I've removed it. --Nezuji 04:30, 15 May 2007 (UTC)

Reverted removal (for now). The original text said the opposite, that the human eye is least sensitive to green. Someone objected to this, saying, in a kind of creepy mirror-image of what you are saying, that the sources already quoted said that the human eye is most sensitive to green (which from my anthropology backgound, actually makes some sense), and citing the additional reference that you just deleted as further sourcing for this fact. You now appear to say that the source says just the opposite. I've reverted you not because I solidly disagree, but because the extant text was there there for a long time, unchallenged, and it is now time for source analysis and quotes from source to determine whether the sources say what it is claimed that they say. PS: It may turn out that what is really needed is re-wording, and that the sensitivity claims are both wrong; e.g. it may be that the combination of various bright colors on a green field is very distinguishable to the human eye, thus the prevalence of the color; or the exact opposite, thus (in part, aside from simple fashion/décor trends) the decline in the prevalance of green cloth. I would very, very much like to see this turn into a discussion instead of a revert war. You've been reverted because the edit you deleted provided a[n alleged] source and yours nothing but an assertion about that source, so let's get into the details and get it right for our readers. — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 09:53, 15 May 2007 (UTC)
I'm fairly confused by your comment above, but I'll try to clarify my position. I am asserting that the human eye is more sensitive to green light than almost all others. I apologise for not citing sources, however the Cone cell article states this explicitly in the last line under the "Types" heading, and I can easily supply several external corroborating sources (if necessary). The text that I removed stated that the human eye was less sensitive to green light than other colours. The source cited by the removed text does indeed state that the human eye is most sensitive to green light (or at the very least, more sensitive to green light than red light), which is why I commented on it; the source given contradicts the assertion it was intended to support. Here is the contradictory quote from the cited document (found on page 40):
"Indicator LEDs were typically red, as the chemistry of the semiconductor material dictated. The Japanese company Nichia first pioneered blue-green LEDs. Other companies have followed suit. By taking advantage of the human eye's higher response to green light, these LEDs made possible..." -Nezuji 05:45, 21 May 2007 (UTC)
I'm reluctant to be the one to remove the comment again, but if there's no further discussion, I consider that I've stated my case clearly and with sufficient sources, so if no-one else removes the comment I'll probably remove it again in a week or two. -Nezuji 03:29, 29 May 2007 (UTC)
Done. The Shamos source just seems to be wrong; he's generally spot-on when it comes to billiards stuff, but he wandered into biology, and I think I trust MIT types in a peer-reviewed journal more than him on this one. >;-)
Seeing as how most scholars feel that the green color is associated with the lawn games origin of billiards, this factoid or lack thereof seems possibly misplaced. I would prefer not to have the article mudied up by this sort of aside.
MichaelJHuman 15:02, 22 May 2007 (UTC)
It's interesting, though, and may well actually have a great deal to do with why green was pretty much the only color available for centuries. Most people including most players and even some real players >;-) have no idea that billiards, golf, croquet, etc. all used to be pretty much the same game and that green was initially chosen to represent the grass (the earliest tables known, in the court of the french king, were literally raised, large boxes of ripped up lawn!) If the average joe had no idea, why did green stick around so long? Not much else stayed the same. ALL of the materials have change, size (even shape - many early ones were squarish) of the table, pockets or no pockets, the golfclub-like mace became a cue, eventually leather tipped much later, it became a foul to shoot with the butt (once a very common practice for some reason), all the rules changed, the croquet hoops were dropped, the holes changed from being hazards to things to shoot for, etc., etc. Compared to other activities of the same antiquity, it's changed perhaps more than it would be expected to (e.g. the old stick and ball game with guys standing in a field to catch the ball after a thrower lobbs it at a hitter diverged into cricket and baseball, but they remain a lot more similar to each other and, more to the point, to far more ancient variants, than modern cue sports do to old King Louis' game. Blah, blah, sorry I'm rambling. I get a little loopy when I'm tired. The point being: It sounds like a good factoid to keep to me - sourced, and while we can't conclude (WP:NOR) for our readers that the scientific facts have something to do with green cloth's long popularity, the possibility is tantalizing... — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 09:38, 29 May 2007 (UTC)
Both citations were mine and I cocked it up. First, I cited to Shamos, who does indeed say "lower": "it happens that the human eye has lower sensitivity to green light, and this color allows us to play for longer periods of time without visual fatigue" (page 53). Then I wanted a second source but failed to note that the one word contradiction in the latter and cited it for the same proposition (good catch). I just googled "highest sensitivity to green" and "lowest sensitivity to green" and found four citations for the former and none for the latter, so it seems Shamos is wrong in his statement but I'm not sure he's wrong overall. Here's the part I'm not clear on: what does it mean to have a higher "sensitivity"? Could this mean that because the eye easily sees green, the eye has to strain less? I'm going to do a bit of research and if I crap out, I'm going to see if there is a majority contributor to the eye strain article. Maybe he/she can shed some light (pun intended).--Fuhghettaboutit 22:22, 29 May 2007 (UTC)
Well, so far I've found these not entirely illuminating tidbits (and not great sources either) "A good all-purpose lens color, green provides a fair amount of contrast in low-light conditions and reduces eye strain in bright conditions." [19] (to same effect, [20]); "Even today the color green is known to relieve stress and eye strain." [21]; "Green is a color that helps eyes recover quickly from strain." [22].--Fuhghettaboutit 22:45, 29 May 2007 (UTC)
I originally came to this page looking for "official" racking layouts, to confirm or refute a friend's contention, and the article was so interesting that I ended up just reading the whole thing, which is when I noticed this comment in the cloth colour section. I'm not from a biology or psychology background, so I can't really comment further with any sort of authority, but I studied colour reproduction as part of a Comp Sci course, where I was taught that the human eye is most sensitive to "green" light, slightly-less-but-still-quite sensitive to "red" light, and then signifigantly less sensitive to "blue" light. That's supposed to be "senstitive" in the sense that we are able to see "green" or "red" light when it is shining at a much lower objective brightness than we would need to see "blue" light, as well as being able to distinguish finer shades of those colours. As for felt colour remaining consistent; well, please excuse the suggestion of an entirely amateur player, but I have seen tables with both blue and red felt -- among others -- and I was under the impression that blue was not all that unusual a colour choice these days. -- Nezuji 01:44, 30 May 2007 (UTC)
Oh, sure, you can get it in just about any color these days, and even with logos printed on it. I meant historically consistent. Green is still the most popular color by orders of magnitude and has been "the" billiard cloth color for centuries. My idea was that, yes, the was initially in mimicry of grass, but that it could have stayed that way because it just "works" better. — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 16:58, 30 May 2007 (UTC)
I think this sentence needs to be taken out: "However, the color also serves a useful function, as non-color-blind human eyes have a higher sensitivity to green than to any other color.[7]" This is speculation, but it is written as if it is fact. The issue of how we perceive different colors seems controversial in itself, nevermind its possible relationship with pool tables. Wikipedia should be fact-based, and as far as I can tell no one has mustered any strong evidence of a link between eye strain/sensitivity to various colors and the relationship to pool cloth. Seems much more likely to me that the green comes from the grass it used to be played on. And if I remember correctly from this past year's 9-ball world championships, they played on blue cloth. If green is really better, why would they use blue in an international tournament, where the risks of eye strain would be most severe? Mschlauch (talk) 04:56, 16 February 2008 (UTC)
At a guess, because the balls show up better on that color on television. At any rate, a source is cited; I have not deeply investigated it, myself, but still - if you want to challenge that the source says what the article says it does, or challenge that it is a reliable source, I think the onus is on you to demonstrate the fault. PS: There is no conflict between green's history as the color chosen because it represented grass, and green remaining favored because of its (alleged) ease on the eyes. I can partially (and of course anecdotally) attest to this effect, having played extensively and with considerable eyestrain on a grey-clothed table many years ago. Whether it really is better than, say, red, I can't say. I have played on red tables and never noticed any eyestrain effect or difficulty focusing on the balls (other than the 3, which like the 6 on green cloth, tends to blend in. I think some people favor grey cloth because no balls do this, but at least to me, it was hard to shoot on after an hour.) — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 15:56, 16 February 2008 (UTC)
You make a good point about blue perhaps being better for televised games. Nevertheless, I do challenge that the source says what the article says it does, since the source only talks about the way the eye responds to the color green, and does not mention any relationship between this visual phenomenon and pool table cloth. On a further tangent, if I were a betting man, I would probably wager that the way in which green is "easy on the eyes" has played a part in its becoming a color of choice for pool table cloth. But, again, I see no hard evidence of that in the source, and until I do, I think we should refrain from including "tantalizing possibilities" as Wikipedia content. I actually do hope that someone can muster a source which does give some indication of what the author was implying. It is an interesting idea, and appealing enough that you could probably pass it off as good trivia while you are shooting some racks with your friends... Mschlauch (talk) 07:13, 17 February 2008 (UTC)
I'm going to remain neutral on this. It is not original research to make very basic logical deductions from known facts, but the wording as it stands may go beyond that. Perhaps it can simply be reworded. — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 17:50, 17 February 2008 (UTC)

"and for those of you watching in black and white, the pink is behind the green ..." - Ted Lowe -- PBS (talk) 23:13, 30 July 2011 (UTC)

Poker pool[edit]

Unresolved: Needed article, Poker pocket billiards, not created yet.

I also saw some Poker pool balls using Google Image Search. Honestly! There were blue balls marked J (for Jack), red balls marked Q (for Queen), purple balls marked K (for King), and yellow balls marked A (for Ace).--Mathexpressions 04:44, 2 August 2007 (UTC)

Yeah, I will be working on an article about that at some point. The idea is hardly new, and dates back to at least the time of ivory billiard balls, though the exact rulesets are unlikely to have been consistent over time. I know the Aramith ball set you mean. There is another more recent set that are very colorful, almost ridiculous looking, with actual kings and queens and stuff (faces, I mean) on them. I have also seen a clay ball set from ca. 1920 that was somewhat similar to the set you are talking about, but I believe with more balls. And there is a card game that combines poker and pool, using normal pool balls. If you are interested in unusual games like this, see also Baseball pocket billiards. — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 05:13, 2 August 2007 (UTC)
PS: Mathexpressions, the game you are specifically writing about is covered in the BCA rule book, so a well-sourced article will be easy to create. — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 05:05, 25 January 2008 (UTC)

Moving "gif" file of billiard balls striking other billiard balls[edit]

A picture of billiard balls striking other billiard balls in constant motion would look really cool in my POV. Does anybody know how to find or create a .gif image of constant movement? If so, please add it to this article; plus, I could use an image like this for my coming article on philosophy. Here's a gif file of balls bouncing:--Tomwsulcer (talk) 15:17, 8 December 2009 (UTC)

Here is a gif file called "Newtons cradle animation"; if there's a gif file of billiard balls in constant motion, it would make this article look even cooler (my POV).
As described, that wouldn't serve any encyclopedic purpose. Per most of the reasoning, if not the very specific details, of WP:MOSICON, adding images as non-informative decor is strongly discouraged. More to the point in this case, billiard balls are never in constant motion - they move when struck, then come to a stop rather quickly, even when struck with force. So, a perpetual motion image would be misleading and weird. Thirdly, the request isn't practical, because billiard balls are not fixed into an apparatus like the above, ergo their motions are generally not rigidly predictable and repeatable like that. The best that could be done is an animation of a nurse shot, such as those produced by David Alciatore at his pool physics website, but nurse shots are not particularly germane to this article, being weird, rare and so close to cheating that carom billiards as a class evolved from game to game to game, of increasing difficulty, entirely to defeat nurse shots (see balkline and straight rail for details).
PS: There are various places in the various more specific cue sports articles where animations would be useful, but they would not be seamlessly looping, and they should not be forced on the reader, but rather available from a "(watch animation)" link in the caption of a still-image version inlined in the article. — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 09:46, 9 December 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.

Lack of standards references[edit]

This article needs some references to some sort of standards for cue sports, such as pool. There seems to be lots of variety in table sizes and pocket widths available, ball size or weight, surface characteristics, cue characteristics or other factors designed to assure uniformity in the game. Perhaps this is deliberate - if so it should at least have some sort of minimum standards, e.g. a "level playing field" (pardon the pun). This should be especially important to tournament players. There are case examples with tournament bodies deliberately increasing table size and reducing pocket size in order to make the game more challenging for top players. -- (talk) 02:04, 17 February 2011 (UTC)

English billiards[edit]

The article currently contains the sentence:

Dating to approximately 1800, English billiards is a hybrid of carom and pocket billiards played on a 6-foot (1.8 m) by 12-foot (3.7 m) table

While it may be convent to describe to an American who does not know the game that the game is like carom but played on a snooker table which is similar to a large pool table. The wording does not say that it says that it is a bybrid of carom and pocket billiards. Is there any evidence that pool had any influence on the development of English billiards? If not then to remove the ambiguity from the current sentence the sentence needs changing to something like:

Dating to approximately 1800, English billiards is similar to carom, but unlike caron, which is played on a pocket-less table, English billiards is played on a snooker table and the potting balls is an integral part of the game.

--PBS (talk) 23:04, 30 July 2011 (UTC)

Can you explain the logic behind this change a bit more? Pocket billiards is not of American origin at all. Pocket billiards describes forms of billiards that are played on tables that have pockets, as opposed to games played on tables that do not have pockets, where carom is the object of play. Snooker is a pocket billiards game. Many of the very first billiards games were also, though they often used pockets (hazards) that were holes somewhere in the middle of the table that you were putting to with a form of mace, such as predecessor sports like Trucco. English Billiards is a hybrid of carom billiards and pocket billiards because it uses hazards (pockets) as part of play but also incorporates many aspects of play that are typical of the carom games. "Pool" is often interpreted as a strict subset of pocket billiards that would exclude by definition snooker and English Billiards.

I could be wrong but I think you are interpreting pocket billiards in the sentence as meaning pool in this strict sense, but it says nothing of the sort. "Snooker is a form of pocket billiards played on a special table in which 21 balls..." — George Sullivan The complete beginner's guide to pool and other billiard games 1979, p. 3. If you don't like that, try this London publication from long before most games that would later come under the scope of "pool" were even invented: "ATTEMPTS have before now been made to apply supplementary sections of cushion to pocket billiard-tables for the pur-pose of transforming them into carom tables, but these efforts have failed..." — The Furniture Gazette, 1880, London. Note that English Billiards, in fact, predates Snooker by about 80 years and was a combination of three games, two of which required pocketing ball as part of play and of course were thus played on pocket billiards table.

Regarding the text you replaced it with, it has some real problems. English Billiards is not "similar to carom billiards". That sentence would only make sense if carom billiards was a specific game. One could say it incorporates aspects typical of carom billiards games despite being played on a pocket billiards table. One could also say its typically played on a snooker table in modern times, despite thaty it predates snooker. But really what should be said is that it incorporates aspects of both pockets billiards and of carom billiards; one might even say it's a hybrid game between the two, exactly as it did before, though maybe the word hybrid is the sticking point, having a slightly different connotation than "incorporates aspects of..." or similar formulation.--Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 00:07, 1 November 2011 (UTC)

Aha, I undid the change and made some tweaks but in doing so I see one very good clue as to the problem: pocket billiards redirects to pool and was linked. That is a problem, and implies directly in the sentence that by pocket billiards, what is meant is pool and not the wider use of "pocket billiards" as intended. I have removed that link.--Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 12:18, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
Carom billiards is a specific game like English billiards I do not understand why you say "typical of the carom games" yes there are Carom type games just as there are snooker is another game like English billiards played on the same table, but Carom billiards English billiards is a specific game, which is very similar to billiards but played without pockets. Hybrid means "The offspring of two animals or plants of different species". If English billiards is a hybrid what was its predecessor on a table with pockets? I would have thought it was port of an early version of Carom billiards played to a table with pockets -- Rather like the way Beach volleyball is volleyball played on a sand, or indoor soccer with adjustments to the rules to suit the playing arena. -- PBS (talk) 03:53, 26 December 2011 (UTC)
Removing the link does not help as this page says higher up "Pool or pocket billiards," unless it is rewritten to says "Pool a type of pocket billiards". Saying lower down the page that [English] billiards" is a hybrid is not correct within the definitions of the page, and if the link is to mean all pocket billiard games including Snooker and [[English] billiards then the link needs to be changed to this article Cue sports instead of (and the lead "Pool, also more formally known as pocket billiards" needs to be changed as well). Otherwise your suggestions above are just confusing because you are using different definitions for the meaning of "pocket billards" as used by Americans. Also the sentence as now is "is a hybrid carom/pocket game, and as such is likely fairly close to the ancestral original pocket billiards outgrowth from 18th to early 19th century carom games." is speculative and a form of OR as the OED says that pool started out as "a game in which each player uses a cue ball of a distinctive colour to pocket the balls of the other player(s) in a certain order, the winner taking all the stakes submitted at the start of the contest". My wording makes no such claims, and simplifies the explanation for those in North America who do not know what the game of "English billiards" is without introducing the confusing term "pocket billiards".-- PBS (talk) 03:35, 26 December 2011 (UTC)
Carom billiards is a specific game? Where did you get this idea? Certainly not from reading carom billiards which I wrote, and certainly not from playing the many different carom billiard games. It's simple. Carom billiards describes numerous games in which carom is the object of play. Pocket billiards means nothing more than games played on tables with pockets. Most carom games are played on a table without pockets and or course, do not have pocketing as an object of play. The hundreds of pocket billiards games are by necessity played on tables that have pockets and most do not have caroming as an object of play. There are some games, though, played on various types of pocket billiards tables, that incorporate aspects of play that are typical of the carom games. Notably, English Billiards, cowboy pool and a number of others. Your edit does not work for various reason including that carom billiards is most definitely not a specific game (I personally play many different forms including straight rail, three cushion, cushion caroms, balkline, etc.) and saying it "is similar to carom billiards" implies it is. In the second sentence, changing "Like most carom games" to "Like carom, it requires two..." implies the same thing and is wrong since not all carom games use three balls (e.g., yotsudama which is played with four). I'm going to change it to something which avoids the whole issue.--Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 05:48, 26 December 2011 (UTC)
I think the new wording is much better, than the original and an improvement on my own. -- PBS (talk) 21:26, 26 December 2011 (UTC)
In the next section you talk about using sources. I am in favour of that.
and in this section you comment " 'Like carom, it requires two...' implies the same thing and is wrong since not all carom games use three balls" Yet in Article 12 - Balls, chalk" of the UMB World Rules of Carom it states; "The balls consisting of three must be of a material and of colours admitted by the UMB committee" and "Chapter III - Common rules of all kinds of games of carom billiard" are similar to English billiards. So while I think your words are clearer, I do not think that all your observations on this talk page are correct, because although there may be other unofficial games that use a different number of balls and other rules, it is not unreasonable or misleading to compare English billiards to the common rules of carom billiard as described in the official games. IE they both use three balls, etc. -- PBS (talk) 03:48, 27 December 2011 (UTC)
The UMB is but one organization—an important one—but you're not taking into account the larger picture. The UMB's ambit is sanctioned rules for tournaments in certain games – not all carom games played everywhere, and over historical time. The World Pool Billiard Association's World Rules are the same: the most authoritative for pocket billiards (with numerous other organizations with their own rules) but they only provide rules for specified games in their ambit. TO be precise, exactly five games, when there are hundreds and hundreds of pocket billiards games. We are here about the topic entire, which includes yotsudama, desítkový karambol, sagu and anything else. A few million Japanese, Koreans, Czechs and other four ball players would beg to differ. Anyway, we're off point. Most carom games are three ball, sure. Says little about the larger point that saying English billiards is similar to carom billiards misses the mark entirely. English billiards incorporates aspects of carom billiards. It is in no way "similar" because they're apples and oranges, one being a specific game and another a category of types of games. It makes as much sense as someone saying, instead of "cinnamon is similar to nutmeg", that "cinnamon is similar to herbs". Do you hear the discordance? One is a specific thing and the other is a category.--Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 06:48, 27 December 2011 (UTC)
I understand what you are saying, and I largely agree, BUT you are falling into the same trap. "the most authoritative for pocket billiards" when you mean "the most authoritative for pool", or are snooker and [English] billiards not pocket billiards? The thing is that if I say a lemon is yellow and tastes something like a sour orange, and that a lime is green and more and like a lemon than an orange, although I am not comparing like with like someone who has tasted an orange is not going to be surprised by that description. If I were to says a lemon is like banana... someone who knew what a banana tasted like would be in for a surprise ever though lemon and banana are both in the category fruit. By using the phrase "caroms and the pocketing" you are still making the same comparison as the more usual phrasing in English is "cannons and pocketing". PBS (talk) 04:49, 30 December 2011 (UTC)

Pocket billards[edit]

The term pocket billiards is used inconsistently in the article. Does it mean:

or is it a generic name for all billiard [type] games played on a table with pockets as in its is used in the section Cue sports#Major games (carom and pocket). Because if the latter then the former is confusing and is further confused by the hatnote:

(Where "Pocket billiards" links to Pool (cue sports)).

In a similar way the section Cue sports#List of cue sports says that "English billiards (another hybrid)" of "Carom billiards games", but in the previous talk section we have established that it is not a hybrid (as it is at least as old as all modern billiard games and modern pocket-less Carom games), and if "Snooker (see below; popularly regarded as its own sport, not a pool variant)" is its own sport so is English billiards.

If it can not be decided what "Pocket billiards" means in American English and Commonwealth English then we should avoid using the term, or define what we mean by it before it is used in the article. Also I do not think that sources over 30 years old, should be used to define a term like "Pocket billiards" as language changes and usage of such phrases does as well. Eg if the American professional organisations have been pressing for it to mean pool type games, and snooker professional organisations tend not to use the term, then it is probably better to define it that American way and stick with that American usage in an article such as this.

If "Pocket billiards" turns out not to have one meaning, and a definition can not be agreed upon then perhaps we should alter the section Cue sports#List of cue sports so that the list is either by table type sections, or by section based on the governing bodies of the various sports.

-- PBS (talk) 22:06, 26 December 2011 (UTC)

You're right, there's some serious loose speak that needs to be clarified. I'm going to take a stab soon if someone else doesn't but everything I do I expect to tie to reliable sources, so it's not a mater of just writing what I know.--Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 00:23, 27 December 2011 (UTC)
Pool (cue sports)#Organisation has a list of organisations that oversee the various types of cue sports. -- PBS (talk) 03:54, 27 December 2011 (UTC)
That won't help, since a large number cue sports have no governing bodies. — SMcCandlish Talk⇒ ʕ(Õلō Contribs. 05:38, 2 January 2012 (UTC)

(Outdent) For purposes of this article, "pocket billiards" should be interpreted in the broader sense, and American usage as meaning "just pool" can't really be shown to be a consistent usage. What's happened is that people with little familiarity with the topic went on the warpath back when and insisted that Pocket billiards be moved to Pool (cue sports), and similarly with the category (the CfD was unbelievably absurd, and ignored the category naming conventions, but succeeded anyway). The problem is that plans to detail the evolution of pocket billiards (billiards on pocket tables) and its writing up its history as it forked into English billiards, snooker, pool, Russian pyramid, etc., basically got derailed by this, with a lot of resultant confusion. That could have been all in the same Pocket billiards article, which could have spawned a separate pool article if necessary. This is a really good case of people who are not specialists in a complicated area causing problems with they move for major article and categorization changes. But I digress. I am already working on a sourced, all-new Pocket billiards article that will rectify the situation. It will be WP:SUMMARY-style and include short bits on the pocket games/game types, with {{Main}} for each, and have a well-sourced history section unique to this article. This will obviate the need to go into history on the more specific game articles before the arising of their modern forms (i.e. the Pool (pocket billiards) article needn't give historical detailia earlier than the late 1800s after the new Pocket billiards article is done. Fuhghettaboutit, if you are also already working on such a solution, we need to merge our drafts I guess. And please jog my memory: There was an article draft or two in your userspace that I think you wanted or didn't mind outsider work on, but I can't remember which one(s). — SMcCandlish Talk⇒ ʕ(Õلō Contribs. 05:38, 2 January 2012 (UTC)

PS: Did some cleanup on this in the article. The terminology should be far less confusing now, though Pocket billiards still goes to Pool (cue sports) for the short term, until that's done and posted. THIS article still needs an immense amount of cleanup. It's really bad. — SMcCandlish Talk⇒ ʕ(Õلō Contribs. 06:01, 2 January 2012 (UTC)

Agreed: This article sucks quite badly. It is so much harder to write parent articles than those on specifics so I've concentrated elsewhere. It's also difficult to write the parent article when the many things it's going to speak of and link to, possibly with {{main}}, are so poorly developed, which was the case at least when I first came across this article years ago. The draft I barely started and pretty much abandoned is at User:Fuhghettaboutit/List of pocket billiards games. Do whatever you wish with or to it, including a merge of any content out of it or into it, and moving it wherever you deem fit. I'm just throwing this out there but I am still not convinced, lo these many years later, that this doesn't belong at the historical name Billiards, with an in-text treatment of the splintering of the name, and its division into pocket billiards and carom billiards as games specialized as a top division point, followed by further description of specialization.--Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 12:18, 2 January 2012 (UTC)
Well, der great thing about wiki is it can't be truly broken - if one approach doesn't work, we can just rescramble it all and adjust it to a better fit. — SMcCandlish Talk⇒ ʕ(Õلō Contribs. 13:46, 2 January 2012 (UTC)

Is there an equivalent term in english for the finnish word "taskubiljardi" (literally "pocket billiards", meaning keeping hands in pocket)? Just somehow occurred to me when I saw this section here... (talk) 04:55, 28 June 2012 (UTC)

Swap some of text with this article and Pool (cue sports)[edit]

Thanks to a quirk of editing history, we have a detailed description of pool games in the general article Cue sports#Games played on a pool table and a far less detailed description in Pool (cue sports)#Game types. So I am going to swap the two section. -- PBS (talk) 16:14, 29 April 2012 (UTC)

Miniature (?) pool ball[edit]

In the cue balls picture text reads: Not shown: half-scale children's miniature pool—approximately 28.5 mm (1 1⁄8 in).
But, I have a "MINI POOL TABLE", as the box reads, a 20.5 × 11.5 cm (about 8 × 4.5 in) table with 9.5 mm (3/8 in) balls. Though, the table and balls are probably not the same material than "normal" sets. (talk) 05:03, 28 June 2012 (UTC)

"Cue sports"[edit]

I expect I will have to live with it – as the expression does seem to be in fairly wide use, especially on the Web – but I continue to find the term "cue sports" a very strange one (and one I would never have thought of looking for before stumbling across this page). It's not the word cue but the use of the term sports. For me, billiards, pool, snooker, and all the rest are games, not "sports". My view of the matter is doubtless influenced by the fact that I am someone who loves playing games but hates sport... --Picapica (talk) 12:24, 2 August 2012 (UTC)


I removed this portion:

" The first known mention of a form of the word "billiards" appears in Edmund Spenser's Mother Hubberd's Tale in 1591, where he speaks of "all thriftles games that may be found ... with dice, with cards, with balliards."[1] "

Because, the statement made is not true, likewise, the meaning of the sentence is not clear. As an example, billiard tables were being licensed in Holland (and in other countries) as early as the 1470s. Surely a form of the word "billiard" appeared in writing, and was used verbally prior to 1591. As a matter of fact, the wiki article itself currently contradicts the 1591 claim by mentioning the Duke of Norfolk and Queen Mary.

To be accurate, the sentence should have specified: the first known "mention in writing" (which it's not) Or the first known mention in a "book". (are you sure?) Or the first known mention "verbally".(highly unlikely)

Taken one step further, why would "bille" NOT be a form of the word: billiards?

DB Bond (talk) 18:29, 25 November 2012 (UTC)

The Oxford English Dictionary under Billiards n: gives 1591 Spenser Prosopopoia in Complaints 803 With all the thriftles games that may be found..With dice, with cards, with balliards. the OED is usually considered authoritative on first usage. Do you have another source as authoritative as the OED that puts it earlier? -- PBS (talk) 23:51, 26 November 2012 (UTC)

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Draft outline[edit]

There is a draft for an outline of cue sports at Wikipedia:WikiProject Outlines/Drafts/Outline of cue sports if anyone is interested. -- Ricky81682 (talk) 09:54, 25 June 2016 (UTC)

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  1. ^ Bennet, Joseph (1984). Cavendish, ed. Billiards (6th ed.). London: T. de la Rue. pp. ii. OCLC 12788362. Retrieved August 25, 2009.