Snooker is a cue sport that is played on a large baize-covered table with pockets in each of the four corners and in the middle of each of the long side cushions. A regulation (full-size) table is 12 ft × 6 ft (3.6 m x 1.8 m). It is played using a cue and snooker balls: one white cue ball, 15 red balls worth one point each, and six balls of different colours yellow (2), green (3), brown (4), blue (5), pink (6) and black (7). A player (or team) wins a frame (individual game) of snooker by scoring more points than the opponent(s), using the cue ball to pot the red and coloured balls. A player wins a match when a certain number of frames have been won.

Snooker is particularly popular in many of the English-speaking and Commonwealth countries,and in China, with the top professional players attaining multi-million pound career earnings from the game.


The game of snooker grew in the latter half of the 19th century and the early 20th century, and by 1927 the first World Snooker Championship had been organised by Joe Davis who, as a professional English billiards and snooker player, moved the game from a pastime activity into a more professional sphere. Joe Davis won every world championship until 1946 when he retired. The game went into a decline through the 1950s and 1960s with little interest generated outside of those who played. Things saw some improvement when in 1969, when David Attenborough who was then a top official of the BBC, commissioned the snooker tournament Pot Black to demonstrate the potential of colour television, with the green table and multi-coloured balls being ideal for showing off the advantages of colour broadcasting. The TV series became a ratings success and was for a time the second most popular show on BBC2. Interest in the game increased and the 1978 World Championship was the first to be fully televised. In the professional era that began with Joe Davis in the 1930s and continues up until the present day, a relatively small number of players have succeeded at the top level. Reaching and maintaining a place amongst the snooker elite is a tough task, with the standards of the game being such that it requires many years of dedication and effort as well as natural ability. Certain players have tended to dominate the sport through the decades:

  1. Ray Reardon
  2. Steve Davis
  3. Stephen Hendry
  4. Mark Williams
  5. John Higgins
  6. Jimmy White
  7. Ronnie O'Sullivan

maximum of 147 - Maximum break without fouls

The highest snooker break possible without the benefit of an opponent's foul is 147. This is known as a maximum break and also regularly called a 'One-Four-Seven'. The 147 is amassed by potting all 15 reds with 15 blacks for 120 points then all six colours for a further 27 points. The maximum break possible is 155. This can only occur while all 15 reds are still on the table. If an opponent fouls but leaves the player snookered on all 15 reds then he may elect any other ball as a red, this is called a "free ball". By potting that free ball followed by a colour, then all of the reds followed by blacks, then all six colours, the player achieves a break of more than 147. If the free ball is followed by a black, and the player goes on to clear the table following all the reds by blacks, the total score for the break is 155.