The Terminology Behind Billiards: Unveiling the Names of the Holes

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In the world of Pool, billiard and snooker, it’s important to know the terminology. One common question that often arises is: “What are the holes in billiards called?” In this article, we’ll explore the various names for these holes and their significance in the game.

The Pockets: What are the Holes in Billiards Called?

In the context of pool, billiards, and snooker, the holes in the table where the balls are pocketed are typically referred to as “pockets.” The pockets are strategically placed around the edges of the table to provide a challenge for players to aim and sink the balls. The pockets may vary in size and shape depending on the specific game being played, but they serve the same purpose across all three sports.

What are the different types of holes in billiards?

The different types of holes in billiards include the corner pockets, side pockets, and center pockets.

Corner Pockets: These are the four pockets located at each corner of the table. They are positioned diagonally from each other and are commonly used for pocketing balls during a game.

Side Pockets: These are the two pockets located on each side of the table halfway between the corners. Side pockets are smaller than corner pockets and require more precision to pocket balls.

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Center Pockets: The center pockets are the two pockets situated in the middle of the long rails. They are larger than the side pockets but smaller than the corner pockets. Center pockets are often easier to pocket balls in due to their larger size compared to side pockets.

How do the different holes affect gameplay?

The different holes in billiards can significantly impact gameplay and strategy.

Corner Pockets: Corner pockets are often used strategically to pocket balls while keeping the cue ball in play. Shots that aim to pocket balls into the corner pockets require careful consideration of angles and positioning to avoid scratching the cue ball.

Side Pockets: Side pockets are typically more challenging to pocket balls in due to their narrower openings and proximity to the rails. Players need to have precise control over shot placement to pocket balls in the side pockets without hitting the rails or missing altogether.

Center Pockets: Center pockets offer a larger target area compared to side pockets, making them slightly easier to pocket balls in. Shots aimed at the center pockets often provide a higher chance of success, especially for slight off-angle shots.

Are there any specific rules regarding the holes in billiards?

While the general concept of pocketing balls remains the same across pool, billiards, and snooker, there are specific rules that apply to the holes/pockets.

Foul Shots: In all three games, if the cue ball is pocketed (scratched) into any of the holes, it results in a foul. This usually awards the opponent with ball-in-hand, allowing them to place the cue ball anywhere on the table.

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Shot Order and Balls: Each game has its own set of rules regarding the order in which balls need to be pocketed. For example, in snooker, players must pocket red balls before attempting to pocket colored balls, while in pool and billiards, players have the freedom to choose which balls to pocket.

Cue Ball Placement: When the cue ball is scratched or a foul occurs, there are rules dictating where the cue ball should be placed for the next shot. These rules vary depending on the game being played.

Overall, understanding the different types of holes and their impact on gameplay is essential for players to master the art of pocketing balls effectively.


What is the purpose of the holes in billiards?

The purpose of the holes in billiards is to serve as target areas where players aim to pocket the balls during the game.

Are the holes in billiards different for each game (pool, billiard, snooker)?

No, the holes in billiards are not different for each game. The size and placement of the pockets are standardized across pool, billiards, and snooker.

How many holes are typically found on a billiard table?

In the context of pool, billiards, and snooker, a typical billiard table has six pockets.

In conclusion, the holes in billiards, also known as pockets, play a crucial role in the game of pool, billiard, and snooker. These pockets act as targets for players to aim their shots, enhancing the strategic aspect of the game. Whether you’re sinking the balls in a corner pocket or a side pocket, mastering the art of pocketing is fundamental to becoming a skilled player in these popular cue sports. So next time you grab your cue stick, remember to pay attention to those holes on the table and aim for that satisfying thud as the ball finds its way home.

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