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In eight-ball pool or solids and stripes, which is the most common version of pool played globally, the game is won when a player successfully manages to pocket the no.8 ball after first potting the other balls he was designated with. For example, if a player is assigned the solids (numbers 1 to 7), he has to pocket all of these balls before he is allowed to pocket the no.8 ball. If he pockets the no.8 ball before all his other balls are potted, then the opposing player wins the game.
In snooker, there are two groups of balls – the reds and the colours - from which a player can pot to score points. There are 15 red balls worth one point apiece and a player first needs to pocket a red before attempting to pocket one of the colours (yellow – 2 points, green – 3 points, brown 4 points, blue 5 points, pink 6 points and black 7 points).
After all 15 red balls are cleared; the colours will have to be potted in sequence (yellow, green, brown, blue, pink, black) to finish the game. The player with the most points wins the game and in tournament play, it is the player with the most number of frames (individual games) - which are decided prior to the contest - who then wins a match.
In snooker, players can also gain points as a result of a foul committed by their opponent. For instance, if the player pockets the cue ball, his opponent will receive points ranging from four to seven. The number of points that the opponent gains is determined by the severity of the foul.
Another aspect of scoring in snooker relates to the “break” which is the total number of points (excluding fouls) that a player accumulates during each visit to the table. For example, a player who attains a break of 50 would have amassed 50 points during his turn before he misses a shot
or commits a foul. The traditional maximum break in snooker is simply know as a “147” but the highest possible break is a “155 break” or super maximum achieved because one’s opponent leaves a free ball with the black ball being the one that’s potted as a result.
With two cue balls and only one object ball, scoring in billiards is vastly different to pool and snooker. Known as a “cannon”, a player gains two points if he strikes his cue ball so that it hits (in any order), the red ball and the opponent’s cue ball on the same shot.
A player also earns points by executing a “Winning hazard” or potting a ball in snooker parlance. Using one’s own cue ball to strike another ball, a player earns three points for potting the red ball and two points for entering the opponent’s cue ball into a pocket.
The third way to score points is by executing a “Losing hazard” which is done by striking one’s cue ball off another ball, resulting in their own cue ball to enter the pocket. Three points are awarded if the red ball was used and two points if the other cue ball was used or both the red and opponent’s cue ball are hit at the same time.
Combinations of the above may be scored from any single shot with the maximum points earned capped at 10 points. This happens when the opponent’s cue ball and red ball are both potted by means of a cannon - with the red ball being struck first - and the player’s own cue ball also ending up in the pocket to make a “losing hazard off the red”. Winning a game of English billiards requires a player to be the first to reach a fixed number points (which is determined before the start of the game) or by having more points than your opponent at the end of a timed game.
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