Billiards is an incredibly popular game, played by millions of players around the world. From pubs to family rooms to international tournaments, there are tons of great ways to get involved with billiards. Whether you’re a casual player or a seasoned professional, knowing the history of billiards can help you get a better understanding of the game. Here’s a condensed history of billiards and how it grew to become one of the most popular games in the world.


Early History

While the earliest history and beginnings of billiards is widely unknown, it’s generally believed that the game originated sometime in the 15th century in Northern Europe. The early versions of billiards were actually played outside rather than on a table indoors. The large outdoor game quickly developed into a smaller version played on a table like we see today.

In the 16th and 17th centuries, the game began to develop into what we know today. Green cloth was laid over a table, and long mallets were used to push the balls into pockets. It wasn’t until later in the 1600’s that the slender cue stick was created and used.

Early tables also had railings installed to keep the balls from falling off of the table. Looking at original billiard tables and comparing them to now, not much has changed throughout the history of the game.

The Industrial Revolution

The Industrial Revolution saw major increases in the build and quality of billiards tables. Cue sticks were the norm and chalk was beginning to be used to influence the play of the game. While the style of the table may not have changed much over time, play styles certainly did.

Players were becoming good enough to add spin to the ball as they strike it, creating a whole new style of gameplay. Bank shots and jump shots were also new styles of play that were introduced during this period. The strategy of billiards was changing right at the time when production was becoming much easier.

Different forms of the game began to take shape, most notably in snooker. Snooker was played on the same table as billiards, but had vastly different rules and strategies than billiards. Snooker is another very popular table game today and is still played around the world.

The Modern Era

After 1850, there were countless table games that were created by players inspired by billiards. Snooker, caroms, 15-ball pool, and straight rail are some of the more commonly known offshoots of billiards. Of those, pool was by far the most successful, and is still wildly popular today. You can find countless versions of the game being played in pool rooms across the world today.

Today, billiards is one of the most popular hobbies in the world. You can find people playing in pubs, in their homes, in tournaments, and even on their phones. What started as a lawn game in the early 1400’s is now one of the most fun and popular games in the world.

T&R Sports Billiards

If you’re looking to get into billiards for the first time or are in need of a new table from playing so much, T&R Sports has just what you need. We carry high-quality tables at competitive prices, guaranteed. Our tables range from a 6-ft foldable table to a full regulation-size 12-ft table. Check out our products online to see our high-end tables and accessories. For more information on our products and prices, give us a call or send us an email today.

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