Billiard sports, also known as cue sports, are an assortment of games played on cloth-covered billiards (or pool) tables with a cue stick and billiard balls. Covering a range of play types and styles, cue sports can be categorized in three general types: Pool, Snooker, and Carom billiards.


Pool is a general term referring to a variety of different pool games, with the most popular games being nine-ball and eight-ball pool. Nine-ball is played with nine balls in a diamond rack labeled one through nine. Eight ball is played with fifteen balls in a full triangle rack.

There are many variations of pool with differing play styles and strategies, but the most common games are straight pool, rotation games, and eight-ball. Straight pool games allow players to shoot openly at any ball on the table to earn points. Rotation games (nine-ball) require that players shoot at balls in order from one to nine. Eight-ball is played with each player shooting at either the striped or the solid balls until they have successfully made them all and can then shoot the eight-ball to win.


The two most common racks for pool are the diamond rack used in nine-ball pool and the full triangle rack used for eight-ball pool. Nine-ball pool is racked with the one ball at the apex and the nine ball in the center. Eight-ball pool is racked with the eight ball in the center and the other balls organized at random with a stripe and a solid at each of the back two corner locations.

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