How Many Balls in Billiards: A Complete Guide

Billiards, also known as pool, is a popular cue sport enjoyed by millions of people around the world. One common question that often arises among beginners and enthusiasts alike is, “How many balls are used in billiards?” In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the details of this fascinating game and provide you with all the information you need about the number of balls used in billiards.

The Breakdown: Different Types of Billiard Games

When discussing how many balls are used in billiards, it’s essential to consider that there are several variations of the game. The two most prominent versions are American pool (8-ball) and English pool (blackball). Let’s break down each type:

American Pool (8-Ball)

In American pool or 8-ball, a total of 16 balls are used. These include:
– One white cue ball
– Seven solid-colored object balls numbered from one to seven
– Seven striped object balls numbered from nine to fifteen
– One black eight ball

The objective is for players to pocket all their designated group’s object balls (either solids or stripes) followed by legally pocketing the black eight ball to win.

English Pool (Blackball)

English pool or blackball utilizes a set of 21 colored resin balls:
– Fifteen reds
– Six yellows

Similarly to American pool, players aim to pot their respective color first – either reds or yellows – before eventually sinking the black ball.

So now that we understand both versions let’s further explore some additional variations commonly played worldwide!

Variations From Around The Globe


Snooker is another immensely popular billiards game, typically played on a larger table. It requires an impressive selection of 22 balls:
– Fifteen reds
– Six colors: yellow, green, brown, blue, pink, and black
– One cue ball (white)

The objective of snooker is to pot the red balls followed by any colored ball in a specific order to accumulate points.

Carom Billiards

Carom billiards or simply carom is played differently from pool games as it does not include pockets. Instead, players aim for direct contact between their cue ball and the two object balls.
A traditional carom set consists of three different colored balls:
– A white cue ball
– A yellow first object ball
– A red second object ball

Points are scored by successfully hitting both object balls with your cue ball during each turn.

In Conclusion

Now that you have gained a thorough understanding of different billiard games and how many balls are used in each variation let’s get ready to rack ’em up! Whether you’re competing against friends at your local pub or honing your skills in professional tournaments around the world, this guide has provided all the information you need about the number of balls used in various types of billiards games. So grab your cues and enjoy a thrilling game full of strategy and precision!