Snooker Rules

Snooker Rules – The Game

Snooker is played with 17 balls: one White shooter ball, 10 Red balls and one each of Yellow, Green, Brown, Blue, Pink and Black. Snooker Rules are very different from other Pool or Billiards type games.


Snooker Rules states that the 10 red balls are racked in the triangle and placed at the foot of the table behind the spot. Each red ball has a value of 1 point.


The coloured balls are placed on spots on the Table and have the following values:


  • BROWN ball placed on CENTRE of string line – value 4 points
  • YELLOW ball placed on spot to the RIGHT – value 2 points
  • GREEN ball placed on spot to the LEFT – value 3 points
  • BLUE ball placed on spot at CENTRE of table – value 5 points
  • PINK ball placed at APEX of pyramid – value 6 points
  • BLACK ball placed HALF WAY between pyramid base & back cushion – value 7 points


Playing the Game

Snooker Rules state that a  player must pocket a RED ball before he can shoot at a coloured ball. All red balls pocketed in turn count. After sinking the RED ball, the player can pick the colour of this choice. Flukes are not allowed on coloured balls. If two coloured balls are close together the player must designate the “on” ball.


When a coloured ball is pocketed, it is immediately replaced to its original position on the Table. If the spot is occupied the ball is placed on the nearest vacant spot. The RED ball is left in the pocket. After all the RED balls have been disposed of, the colour ball must then be pocketed in order of value starting with the YELLOW ball. It must be remembered that the game is termed snooker, and consequently snookering necessarily constitutes a vital part of it.



Free Ball


If you make a foul stroke such as “going in off”, striking a ball not “on”, making a miss etc. and through such foul you snooker your partner (preventing him from hitting the ball “on” by direct stroke) Snooker Rules stipulate that he may claim a “free ball”- that is choose any colour he chooses to serve as a red ball. However, the coloured ball will count as 1 and must be re-spotted.





If a player aims for a red ball and does not hit one or if the white cue ball goes into the pocket he loses 4 points according to Snooker Rules


If a player aims for a coloured ball and misses he loses the value of the ball missed except for the Yellow and Green balls which then carry the minimum penalty which is 4 points.


If he hits a different coloured ball than the one aimed at he loses the value of the highest number ball involved. The same penalty applies to pocketing a wrong ball even if the right ball is hit first.


If the player “on” Black misses it and no other ball is hit – penalty 7 points


Player “on” Yellow strikes Black and Yellow simultaneously – penalty 7 because of Yellow is (minimum forfeit 4) and if other ball struck Black is (7 points). The highest numerical forfeit applies.


When all balls are off the Table the player with the highest score wins. Detailed books on how to hold the cue and how to take different shots are available at any good Book Store.