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Because only one of the colours can be "on" at any given time, it is a foul to first hit multiple colours at the same time, or pot more than one colour unless a free ball has been awarded; see below.
If a player fails to pot a ball "on", whether a red or a nominated colour, the other player will come to the table, with the reds always being the balls "on" as long as there are still reds on the table.
The alternation between red balls and colours ends when all reds have been potted and an attempt successful or not to pot a colour is made after the last red is potted, or when the last red is potted or knocked off the table as the result of a foul and is not replaced.
All six colours have then to be potted in ascending order of their value yellow, green, brown, blue, pink, black. Each becomes the ball "on" in that order.
During this phase, the colours are not replaced on the table after being legally potted; however, any colour potted as the result of a foul is re-spotted.
After all six colours have been potted, the player with the higher score wins the frame but see below for end-of-frame scenarios.
A foul is a shot or action by the striker which is against the rules of the game. When a foul is made during a shot, the player's turn ends, and no points are awarded for any balls potted on that shot.
Common fouls are:  . If the cue ball is potted or leaves the table, the opponent receives it "in-hand" and may then place it anywhere within the "D" for the next shot.
It is sometimes erroneously believed that potting two or more balls in one shot is an automatic foul. This is only true if one of the potted balls is not "on" e.
When the reds are "on", two or more of them may be legally potted in the same shot and are worth one point each; however, the player may only nominate and attempt to pot one colour on the next shot.
If a free ball has been granted see below , a colour may be legally potted in the same shot as a red or another colour, depending on the circumstances.
Should a cue ball be touched with the tip while "in-hand", i. The following fouls award seven points to the opponent when committed: .
Any other foul awards points to the opponent equal to the value of the ball "on," the highest value of all balls involved in the foul, or four points, whichever is highest.
If multiple fouls are committed in one shot, only the penalty for the highest-valued foul is scored. The penalty for a foul is thus no lower than four points and no higher than seven.
Not hitting the ball "on" first is the most common foul. A common defensive tactic is to play a shot that leaves the opponent unable to hit a ball "on" directly.
This is most commonly called "snookering" one's opponent, or alternatively "laying a snooker" or putting the other player "in a snooker".
Because players receive points for fouls by their opponents, repeatedly snookering one's opponent is a possible way of winning a frame when potting all the balls on the table would be insufficient to ensure a win or tie.
This portion of the frame is known as the "snookers-required" stage. A free ball is a player-nominated substitute for the ball "on" when a player becomes snookered as the result of a foul committed by the opponent.
Once the free ball shot is taken legally, the game continues normally; however, if the player who committed the foul is asked to play again, a free ball is not granted.
For example, as illustrated in the provided picture, if the ball on is the red, but is snookered by the black due to a foul, the fouled player will be able to name either the blue or the black as the free ball.
The player could then pot the chosen colour as if it were a red for one point. The colour will then be respotted, the player will nominate a colour to be on for the next shot, and normal play will resume.
As a natural corollary of the rules, the free ball is always a colour ball. If the ball on is a red, then by definition it cannot be snookered via another red, as it merely provides an alternative clean shot with another ball on.
If the ball on is a red, and is snookered by a colour after a foul, then logically the red is either the final one or all reds are snookered by a colour ball, meaning the free ball has to be a colour.
If the ball on is a colour ball that is snookered by a red, a previous red must have been successfully potted; the snooker therefore must be self-inflicted and cannot have occurred as the result of a foul.
If the ball on is a colour that is snookered by another colour after a foul, all reds must have been already potted; thus the free ball still has to be a colour ball.
The scoring for a shot in which both the free ball and the actual ball on are potted depends on the point in the game at which it occurs. If the reds are on and both the free ball and one or more reds are potted, then each ball potted is scored as a red for one point.
If a colour is on and both it and the free ball are potted, only the actual ball on is scored. In both cases, the free ball will be re-spotted and the actual ball s on will remain off the table.
Penalties usually consist of a forfeit of a certain number of points to all opponents, loss of any score made on the foul stroke, and loss of the turn at play.
English and American versions of the game vary somewhat according to rules of the Billiards Association and Control Council and the Billiard Congress of America, respectively.
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External Websites. World Snooker - History of Snooker. The total number of consecutive points excluding fouls that a player amasses during one visit to the table is known as a break.
A player attaining a break of 15, for example, could have reached it by potting a red then a black, then a red then a pink, before failing to pot the next red.
A maximum break in snooker is achieved by potting all reds with blacks then all colours, yielding points; this is often known as a "" or just as a "maximum".
Points may also be scored in a game when a player's opponent fouls. A foul can occur for various reasons, most commonly for failing to hit the correct ball e.
Points gained from a foul vary from a minimum of four to a maximum of seven if the black ball is involved. A foul shot that leaves no valid shot for the opponent can leave them a free ball.
A free ball allows a player to use any other coloured ball in place of the shot they were supposed to play. Doing so with all 15 red balls in play can result in a break exceeding a maximum, with the highest possible being a break , achieved via the opponent leaving a free ball , with the black being potted as the additional colour, and then potting 15 reds and blacks with the colours.
One game , from the balls in their starting position until the last ball is potted, is called a " frame ". A match generally consists of a predetermined number of frames and the player who wins the most frames wins the match.
Most professional matches require a player to win five frames, and are called "best of nine" in reference to the maximum possible number of frames.
Professional snooker players play on the World Snooker Tour. Events on the Tour are only open to players on the Tour and selected amateur players, but most events require qualification.
Players can qualify for the Tour either by being high enough on the world rankings from prior seasons, winning continental championships, or through the Challenge Tour or Q School events.
Reflecting the game's aristocratic origins, the majority of tournaments on the professional circuit require players to wear waistcoats and bow ties.
In recent years the necessity for this has been questioned, and players such as Stephen Maguire have been granted medical exemptions from wearing a bow tie.
The Tour also has an official world rankings scheme, with only players on the Tour receiving a ranking. Ranking points , earned by players through their performances over the previous two seasons, determine the current world rankings.
The elite of professional snooker are generally regarded as the "top" ranking players. The oldest professional snooker tournament is the World Championship,  held annually since except during World War II and between and Winning all three events is a difficult task, and has only been done by 11 players.
With some events having been criticised for matches taking too long,  an alternative series of timed tournaments has been organised by Matchroom Sport chairman Barry Hearn.
The shot-timed Premier League Snooker was established, with seven players invited to compete at regular United Kingdom venues, televised on Sky Sports.
While some success was achieved with this format, it generally did not receive the same amount of press attention or status as the regular ranking tournaments.
In , the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association submitted an unsuccessful bid for snooker to be played at the Summer Olympics in Tokyo.
Several players, such as Ronnie O'Sullivan, Mark Allen and Steve Davis, have warned that there are too many tournaments during the season, and that players risk burning out.
Some leagues have allowed clubs to refuse to accept women players in tournaments. Accessories used for snooker include chalk for the tip of the cue, rests of various sorts used for playing shots that cannot be played by hand, a triangle to rack the reds, and a scoreboard.
While pool tables are common to many pubs , snooker tends to be played either in private surroundings or in public snooker halls.
The game can also be played on smaller tables using fewer red balls. Smaller tables can come in a variety of styles, such as fold-away or dining-table convertible.
A traditional snooker scoreboard resembles an abacus and records the score for each frame in units and twenties and the frame scores.
They are typically attached to a wall by the snooker table. A simple scoring bead is also sometimes used, called a "scoring string", or "scoring wire".
Snooker players typically move one or several beads with their cue. The playing surface is The felt is usually a form of fully wool green baize , with a directional nap running from the baulk end of the table towards the end with the black ball spot.
The nap will affect the direction of the cue ball depending on which direction the cue ball is shot and also on whether left or right side spin is placed on the ball.
Even if the cue ball is hit in exactly the same way, the nap will cause a different effect depending on whether the ball is hit down table towards the black ball spot or up table towards the baulk line.
The cloth on a snooker table is not vacuumed, as this can destroy the nap. The cloth is brushed in a straight line from the baulk end to the far end with multiple brush strokes that are straight in direction i.
Some table men will also then drag a dampened cloth wrapped around a short piece of board like a two by four , or straight back of a brush to collect any remaining fine dust and help lay the nap down.
The table is then ironed. Some other cloths include a small percentage of nylon. In the professional era that began with Joe Davis in the s and continues until the present day, a relatively small number of players have succeeded at the top level.
After Davis retired from World Championship play, the next dominant force was his younger brother Fred Davis, who had lost the final to Joe.
After the abandonment of the World Championship in , with the final boycotted by British professionals, the World Professional Match-play Championship became the unofficial world championship.
John Pulman was the most successful player of the s, when the world championship was contested on a challenge basis.
Ray Reardon became the dominant force in the s, winning six titles , — and , with John Spencer winning three. Steve Davis ' first world title in made him only the 11th world champion since , including the winner of the boycotted title, Horace Lindrum.
Davis, for example, won more ranking tournaments than the rest of the top 64 players put together by By retaining his title in , O'Sullivan became the first player to successfully defend the World Championship since Hendry in Mark Selby would also do this in From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
For other uses, see Snooker disambiguation. Three-time world champion Mark Selby playing a practice game.
Main article: History of snooker. Main article: Rules of snooker. Play media. See also: List of snooker tournaments and Snooker organisations.
See also: Comparison of cue sports and Glossary of cue sports terms. See also: List of snooker players by number of ranking titles and List of snooker players with over century breaks.
See also: Snooker variants. BBC Sport. Archived from the original on 8 August Retrieved 16 September Macmillan Dictionary.
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