BBC Sport snooker

Related BBC sites

Page last updated at 16:31 GMT, Wednesday, 16 April 2003 17:31 UK

The rules of snooker

Aim of game

The object of the game is to score more points than your opponent in each frame.

Points are built up by potting a red followed by a colour of your choice.

When all 15 reds have been cleared from the table, a player must pot the colours in order of value - lowest first.

Yellow, green, brown, blue, pink and black.

It is also possible to accumulate points when your opponent fouls. The following shots are classified as foul strokes.

A foul is:

  • No lower than four points and no higher than seven.
  • Missing the ball you are aiming to hit.
  • Potting a ball which you are not supposed to pot.
  • If any ball jumps off the table.
  • Potting the cue-ball.
  • Pushing the cue-ball against another ball that is in close proximity, causing the cue to touch the white more than once.

    If a frame is tied then the players must play a black ball game - whoever pots the black is declared the winner.

    Snooker stats

    The game is played on a table measuring six feet by 12 feet.

    At the beginning of each frame there are 15 reds on the table, each valued at one point each.

    The graphic explains the value of each individual ball.

    Unless a break begins with a free ball, the maximum score any player can score from one visit to a table is 147.

    This is only possible if a player pots a black with every red ball.

    Matches are played over an odd number of frames (eg: best of nine frames).

    To win a match a player must win more frames than his opponent.