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Tag Archives: pool

  • Does a Knowledge of Physics Give You an Advantage Playing Billiards?

    Physics - Legacy Billiards

    If playing billiards is all about physics, then theoretically a physicist would be the ultimate pool player. There are definitely times when a knowledge of physics can be useful. For example, when hitting a cue ball, much like when hitting a baseball, there is a ‘sweet spot’ that can be struck so that no friction force develops between the ball and the billiard table. A knowledge of physics can help you determine the location of this sweet spot, enabling you to hit the cue ball deliberately hit off-centre — this is called shooting with ‘English’ — so that it develops backspin or forward spin. Knowledge of physics can also help a player learn faster and feel more confident. It can give the player a new appreciation for why the balls behave the way they do.

    Theory is one thing, putting it into practice is another

    There are difficulties when applying knowledge of physics to a game of billiards, however. Knowledge of momentum and collisions is useful, but there are a wide variety of variables to consider, resulting numerous potential complications. Balls that slide, roll, or spin will behave differently. Also, there may be friction or irregularities in the surface of the pool table. In the end, calculating what happens once the cue ball is hit can be a very complex and difficult physics problem to solve.

    Practice. Practice. And more practice

    Overall, knowledge physics alone won’t make a great player — after all, it is possible to overthink a shot. While thought and planning can help before a shot is made, the shot itself should not require a lot of thought - it should be borne of intuition, and this intuition comes from practice and experience. This means there is no substitute for spending a lot of time practicing. Many top players are able to make fantastic shots without any formal physics knowledge — through practice, they've developed their intuition to the point where they ‘just know’ where the ball will go with each shot. An extraordinary amount of practice means that the player will have done a lot of experimentation, thusly will be able to predict the balls’ movement through experience.

  • What is the Difference Between Billiards, Pool, and Snooker?

    billiards, pool & snooker - LegacyBilliards.Com

    Although the terms ‘billiards’ and ‘pool’ are often used interchangeably, the two do not mean the same thing. ‘Billiards’ was originally a term to describe a game called ‘carom billiards’ exclusively, but has since evolved into a general term to describe a variety of games played on a table with balls and a cue stick. While carom billiards and pool are often played with similar equipment, each game is different and thus has different rules. Likewise, snooker is also a game played with similar equipment, yet has its own set of rules.

    Ball Differences

    One key difference is in the number of balls used. Snooker uses twenty-two balls, including a white ball known as the ‘striker’ ball. The other balls used are fifteen red balls, and one each of yellow, brown, blue, pink, black and green. Each ball is 2/16 inches in diameter. Billiards, on the other hands, uses only three balls: one each of white, yellow, and red, with both the white and the yellow able to act as the striker ball. The balls are 2 7/16 inch diameter. In pool, the number of balls can change depending on the variant of the game, however a full set of balls consists of sixteen balls, each 2 1/4 inches in diameter: eight balls of solid color numbered one to eight, seven balls with a stripe of color numbered nine to fifteen, and a solid white ‘cue’ ball.

    Table Differences

    Most carom billiards and pool games are played on either a seven-foot table (also known as a bar table), eight-foot table (sometimes called a home or recreational table), or nine-foot table (known as a pro or tournament table). Carom billiard tables do not have pockets, whereas pool tables have pockets. For snooker, pocketed tables are used. American tables are typically ten-foot tables, and English snooker tables are massive twelve-foot tables.

    Rules Differences

    Of course, each game has a comprehensive list of rules, including a number of variations. The main idea in a game of carom billiards games is to score points, called ‘counts’, by bouncing one's own ball, called a cue ball, off of the other two balls on the table.

    In snooker, the games are organized into frames. The player can win a frame by scoring the most points, using the cue ball to pocket the red and colored balls. The red balls are each worth one point, whereas the yellow is worth two points, the green three points, the brown four points, the blue five points, the pink six points, and the black seven points. Rules govern which ball can be pocketed at on a given turn. Balls that may be pocketed on any given turn are the “on” balls. For example, if a red ball is pocketed, this must be followed by a colored ball, which must in turn be followed by a red ball. If the wrong ball is pocketed, this is considered a ‘foul’ and the player does not receive points for pocketing the ball.

    There are many games that can fall under the umbrella of ‘pool’, however in straight pool, players can score points by shooting the balls into the table’s pockets (called ‘pocketing’ the ball). Before the game, players agree to reach a certain number of points to be declared the winner (a typical game is one hundred points, whereas a professional game is usually one hundred fifty points). Players can pocket any ball on the table, and each successfully pocketed ball awards the player one point.
    Straight pool is a ‘call-pocket’ game, meaning players must declare which ball they intend to go in which pocket before shooting. For the shot to be successful, the intended ball must reach the intended pocket.

  • What to Drink When Playing Pool

    Drinking is a common pastime when playing a casual game of billiards. It’s important to remember, however, not to lose your head. If you want to play effectively, it’s important to be able to remain focused. When you drink beer, for example, do you tend to sip it slowly, or gulp it down? If you choose a drink that you can sip and enjoy over time, it can help prevent you from losing your competitive edge.

    Conversely, it can’t really be considered cheating if your opponents consume quite a bit before the game has even started. Serving delicious, easy-drinking cocktails when guests first arrive — and having refills readily available — can give you an advantage once the game has started.
    Drinks For Billiards - Legacy Billiards
    Here are some drinks we enjoy when playing pool. You may want to give them a try:

    Guinness Black Lager

    Forget everything you know about Guinness. Guinness Black Lager may be as black and opaque as a cup of coffee, but the taste is far lighter than your typical Guinness, and drinks like a traditional lager. Best served cold and from the bottle, the light flavor and dark color may seem at odds with each other, but in the end the taste is delicious.

    American Whiskey

    For a good value, consider an American whiskey, such as Evan Williams Single Barrel 2002, which can be found for $30 a bottle. Big Bottom Port Cask Finished Whiskey is another American whiskey that’s big on taste, but soft on the budget.

    Manhattan Cocktail

    With two ounces of bourbon, one ounce of sweet vermouth, a dash of Angostura bitters, and garnished with a Maraschino cherry, the Manhattan Cocktail is another that should be stirred, not shaken. The bitters should not be overlooked, as they’re a critical part of the cocktail — without them, you just have a glass of bourbon and vermouth. If preferred, the Maraschino cherry can be substituted with a brandy-soaked fresh cherry.

    Margarita

    With it’s cool, refreshing taste, the Margarita continues to enjoy enduring popularity. While there seem to be endless variations on the recipe, the classic combines one and a half ounces of tequila with half an ounce of triple sec, a dash of lemon or lime juice, three ounces of sour mix, and a lime wedge for a garnish. Salt is traditionally added to the rim of the glass.
    Drinks For Billiards - Legacy Billiards
    Vesper Martini

    Although inspired by the classic James Bond novel, Casino Royale, this cocktail is actually best prepared stirred, not shaken. Composed of gin and vodka in a 3:1 ratio, with added Kina Lillet and garnished with a lemon peel, the Vesper Martini is a great drink for adding a touch of playful sophistication to the evening.

    Old-Fashioned

    With a style and taste reminiscent of the late nineteenth century, the Old-Fashioned is a great way to help get in the mood for a spirited game. This cocktail combines a sugar cube with three dashes of Angostura bitters, two ounces of rye whiskey, and a splash of club soda.

  • What sizes do billiard balls come in?

    The standard size for American billiard balls is two and one half inches, or six and seven twentieths of a centimeter, with the white cue ball being slightly larger.

  • Interesting Facts and Statistics About The Game of Pool

    Pool & Billiards Facts

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    Stats and Facts

    • Pool evolved from a lawn game that is similar to croquet, which is likely why the pool table is green (to represent the grass).
    • The word ‘cue’ comes from the French word ‘queue’. Billiards was originally played with a mace, which made shots difficult if they were close to the guard rail, so players would turn the mace around and use the narrow ‘queue’ (which means ‘tail’) end.
      Pool is considered one of the safest sports in the world.
    • “Pool” is originally a gambling term, one that is still used today — for example, the office ‘football pool’. In the 1800s, a ‘pool room’ was a place for betting on horse racing, and billiard tables were used so patrons could entertain themselves by playing games between races.
    • Wool has been the primary fabric used in making billiard cloth for over four centuries.
    • Legend has it that Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello home in Virginia contained a hidden billiard room, as they were illegal in the state at that time. Monticello however, refutes this claim, stating that Jefferson frowned upon activities such as billiards and that they were never outlawed in Virginia while Jefferson was alive.
    • The term “scratch”, when a player accidentally pockets the cue ball, comes from the early days of pool, where the penalty for such an action resulted in a point being ‘scratched’ off the players’ score.
    • In the movie The Color of Money, from 1986, Tom Cruise performed nearly all of his trick shots.
    • At 35.6 years, billiard champions have the highest average age of any sport.
    • In 1873, Billiards became the first sport to have a world championship.
    • The patent for the first coin-operated table was awarded in 1903, which enabled players to play a game for one penny.
    • Before modern plastics such as celluloid were invented, billiard balls were made out of ivory, and needed to be cut from the exact center of a tusk. Only three or four balls could be made from a single elephant tusk.
    • The leather cue tip was invented by Captain Mingaud, who was a political prisoner during the French Revolution. He was able to have a billiard table installed in his cell, and fell in love with the game. When it came time for his release, he asked to remain in prison for a longer duration, so he could continue to play.
    • When Mary Queen of Scots was killed in 1586, the cloth from her billiard table was used to cover her body.
    • The first billiard room was built in England in 1765.
    • The largest billiard hall in the world was built in Detroit in the 1920s. Called The Recreation it sported 103 billiard tables, 88 lanes of bowling, twenty barber chairs, three stands for manicuring, fourteen cigar stands, a 300 seat restaurant, an exhibition room with theater-style seats for 250 guests, and a lunch counter on every floor.
    • The beauty of pool tables and cues owe a big debt to marquetry, which is the centuries-old art and craft of applying thin slices of wood to a structure to form decorative patterns, designs or pictures.
    • Since close to its inception, the Church has been harshly critical of pool, denouncing it as an activity for the sinful and morally bankrupt. In 15th century France, the King and the Church prohibited billiards play. Likewise, in the early days of American history, laws reflected the views of the Church and consequently billiards play was illegal in many areas.
    • The first known billiard table in recorded history comes from a personal inventory of the French King Louis the XI. The inventory describes a bed of stone, a cloth covering, and a hole in the middle of the playing field, into which balls could be driven.
    • The term “behind the eight-ball” is derived from pool. In many pool games, the player will lose if her cue ball hits the eight-ball first. If the cue ball is right behind the eight-ball, this makes for a difficult shot and the player could easily lose the game.
    • When a player makes a shot that bounces the ball off the side rail, this is called a “bank shot”. The reason for this is because in the early days of billiards, the tables featured rails that were flat walls and looked like riverbanks. They were therefore called “banks”.
    • A “masse” shot is a shot made by hitting the cue ball with the cue held nearly vertically, so the cue ball spins around another ball before hitting its intended target ball. Many pool halls have banned this shot because it’s possible to rip the cloth covering the table.
    • An “English” shot is the term used for putting spin on the ball, whereas in Britain this is called a “side” shot. While visiting USA, English players showed the spin shot to American players, hence the term’s use in America.
    • It is said that during the American civil war, billiard results were given more coverage than war news, and that players were so famous, cigarette cards were made featuring them.
    • Made By Legacy Billiards
  • Are You Familiar With These Pool Game Varities

    how to play pill pool

    If you are a regular pool player you are probably most comfortable playing 8-ball or 9-ball.  These games are the most commongames played in American homes, bars, and pool halls.  You may not realize, however, that there are many variations of pool that keep the game interesting and challenging for even the most experienced players.

    Straight Pool

    If you’ve seen the movie “The Hustler” you’ve seen straight pool.   Straight pool was the game of choice for decades and in the movie Paul Newman and Jackie Gleason play straight pool for money and bragging rights among other things.  This game is a part of our culture and heritage.

    Straight pool is played with all fifteen balls in the rack.  Players must “call” the ball and designate the pocket they plan to shoot it into.  The point is only awarded if the ball goes in the designated pocket.  A player may continue to shoot until missing or causing a foul.  Play continues until someone reaches an agreed upon point total.

    When fourteen balls are pocketed they are racked again with the fifteenth ball left in its position.  The next player must then sink that ball in a way that disturbs the other racked balls for play to continue.

    One Pocket

    One pocket also uses all fifteen balls in the rack.  Players are each given one of the corner pockets at the foot of the table as the one pocket that will be used through the entire game.  Balls are sunk into that pocket only.  The player or team who sinks the last ball, or in some variations the 8 ball, is the winner.

    Cutthroat

    Cutthroat is a popular pool variation when three people want to play together.  Each player is assigned five of the fifteen balls and play begins.  The game gets its name from the ruthless way the game is played.  The object is to sink all the other player’s balls while one of yours remains on the table.  When a player “scratches” and sinks the cue ball he must place a ball from each other player back on the table.

    Golf

    Imagine going to a pool table to play golf?  Seems strange, doesn’t it?  In this game each player has only one ball and must sink it into the pockets in a designated order.  If a player makes a shot his opponent then “spots” the ball (sets it on the table wherever he wants) and the player may move on to try and sink it in his next designated pocket.

    Pill Pool

    Pill pool is an interesting variation that is even more ruthless than cutthroat.  In pill pool a bottle holding fifteen numbered chips is shaken and each player draws one pill.  The ball with the same number is now the player’s object ball.  To win a player must sink his object ball.

    The complexity comes with the play.  In pill pool the cue ball must first hit the lowest numbered ball on the table as a part of each shot.  Your opponent can “kill” you by sinking your object ball during their turn.  If that happens you must resign from the game.

    The Variations are Endless

    These games are just some of the recognized variations played on a pool table.  Games like these require controlled shots, complex strategies and often a strong competitive spirit.  The opportunities to place bets are equally endless.  Money often doesn’t even change hands since bragging rights are more important.

  • Are Billiards and Pool the Same Thing?

    Ever wondered about the difference is between Pool and Billiards?  To the casual observer both games appear to be the same.  The concept is similar.  A player uses a long stick with a white tip, known as a cue stick, and strikes the cue ball.  This white ball hits the other balls on the table.

    Players lean over the table to line up their shots.  They consider the angles and distance between the balls on the table and consider the best possible way to strike the white cue ball.  The goal, of course, is to hit one of the colored balls and push it into the pocket.  At least, that appears to be the goal, but is it?

    Billiards – The Gentleman’s Game

    Historically a gentleman’s game, Billiards was developed in the 19th century as a game of skill for men to play and wager on while enjoying a cigar in a private club.  Billiards involves a cue ball for each player and a red “striker” ball.  The object of the game is to use your cue ball to push the striker ball into your opponent’s cue ball.A billiards table does not have pockets.  Instead the table is surrounded by bumpers that allow balls to ricochet and move around the table.  Points in billiards are scored by striking your opponent’s cue ball and vary based on the difficulty of the shot.  Rather than the white cue ball found in pool, cue balls in billiards are colored to make it easy to tell your cue from your opponent’s.

    Pool – Similar, Yet Different

    The game of pool developed out of billiards and was originally considered a common man’s game.  A pool game has a single white cue ball and fifteen additional balls of different colors.  Balls are numbered and are either solid or white with a colored stripe.  There are several variations of pool, but the objective of all of them is sinking your balls in the pockets before your opponent can.

    Pool tables have a pocket at each corner as well as a pocket at the center of each of the long sides.  Just like the game of billiards, pool players consider the angle of each possible shot.  Using techniques with names such as English or Masse’ players hit the cue ball to create spin, curve or velocity and hit a specific ball or series of balls on the table.

    The Importance of a High Quality Pool Table

    Pool and billiards both depend on a high quality table for the best possible game play.  High quality tables have a playing surface made of the finest and smoothest felt stretched over a level piece of slate.  The quality of the felt affects the way the ball moves across the surface after a player’s shot.

    In the same way that a golfer rolls a ball over the putting green before planning his shot, players will roll a ball over a pool or billiards table and check for defects in the felt.  The level of the table is important also.  Even a slight slant can affect the roll of the ball and the accuracy of a shot.  Skilled players can spend several minutes assessing a table before making their first shot.

    If you want to learn either game, invest in a high quality table and a cue stick that is balanced and comfortable in your hands.  No matter which game you choose, you and your friends will enjoy hours of friendly competition as you develop your skills.

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