How Billiards Started

In America, many of enjoy a great game of pool with friends. How did this game of billiards come about? Its history begins in the 15th century and has been played by royalty, presidents, everyday people, and even hustlers. Initially, it was a lawn game that evolved to a pool table with rules. Green cloth was attached to a wood table to resemble grass. Then balls were shoved with maces, wooden sticks. The game was named billiard, a French word for wooden stick.

Over the years, there were many changes in the development in billiards. In the 1600’s, the “cue stick” was developed. Players began to use the mace handle to strike the ball. The term “cue” came from the handle called “queue”. Interestingly, women were not allowed to use the cue to avoid the tearing of cloth. Additionally, pool tables were called “banks”, because they looked like a river bank. Players would purposely pounced balls off the rail and this became the “bank shot”.

During the 1800’s, many improvements were made to pool tables. For example, chalk was used to create fiction between the ball and cue stick. Billiard players had developed a leather cue tip, which enthuse apply a side-spin, top-spin, or even back-spin to the ball. By Mid-1800’s, the leather cue tip was perfected and more tricks were invented. Englanders had a great influence in showing Americas to manipulate the ball by applying a spin. Other changes include the two-piece cue, table slates vs. the old wooden tables. Additionally, Goodyear created the pool table cushions.

Billiards became popular in Britten between 1770 and the 1920’s. Now the British billiard game is called “Snooker”; 22 balls are use for this game. Billiards became popular in America until the 1870’s. The large tables had four pockets and four billiard ball. Most points were scored by landing the ball in the pocket. Eventually, two games were developed in America, the “Straight rail” and American Fifteen-Ball Pool.

The Fifteen-Ball pool was played with numbered balls. The first player who earned 61 points or more than half of the billiards balls wins the game. Also Eight-Ball, Straight Pool, and Nine-Ball were created in the 1920’s. From the late 1878 through 1956, billiards became a part of the American culture. During the Civil War, troops played pool, and there were championship tournaments. Interestingly, billiards made a comeback in 1961 and 1986 after the movie, “The Hustler,” and “The Color of Money”; both films billiards.

In conclusion, billiards has played a huge role in America. In the 1920’s, the game of pool catered to men and high society. Centuries ago, people would often bet money on pool to see who could get the most money. Today, billiards is a form of pure entertainment for all people.

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