Billiards game played on an oblong table having six pockets with 15 object balls and a white cue ball. At the beginning of play, the balls are arranged (racked) in a pyramid formation with its apex on a spot near the foot of the table. The first player breaks the formation by driving the cue ball into it; to continue play, he or she must hit a ball into a pocket. In the popular “8-ball” game, the first player (or team) to sink either the seven solid-coloured balls (numbered 1–7) or the seven banded (striped) balls (9–15), finishing with the black 8-ball, wins. In “9-ball,” only the balls numbered 1–9 are used, and they must be sunk sequentially; the player who sinks the 9-ball wins. Pool probably reached its present form in England and France by c. 1800; today it is most popular in North America.

Variants of POOL

pool or pocket billiards

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
For the full entry on pool, visit Britannica.com.

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