How Many Colored Balls Are There in Billiards?

The Basics of Billiards

Billiards is a popular cue sport that has been enjoyed by people all over the world for centuries. It involves using a cue stick to strike balls on a billiard table, with the objective of sinking them into pockets. One aspect of billiards that often intrigues beginners and enthusiasts alike is the variety of colored balls used in the game.

The Standard Set-Up

In traditional billiards, also known as pocket billiards or pool, there are 16 colored balls in total. These include 15 object balls and one cue ball. The object balls are further divided into two main groups: solids and stripes.

Solid Colored Balls

The group of solid-colored balls consists of numbers 1 to 7, each assigned with a different color. These colors typically include yellow (1), blue (2), red (3), purple (4), orange (5), green (6), and brown (7). Solid-colored balls are usually referred to as “low” or “solids” during gameplay.

Striped Colored Balls

On the other hand, striped-colored balls range from numbers 9 to 15 and have their own unique hues. These can include white with thin black stripes (9-ball), yellow with thick black stripes (10-ball), red with thick white stripes (11-ball), purple with thin white stripes(12-ball),
orange with thick white stripes(13-ball),
stripes(14- ball)
and maroon(
or burgundy)
with thin wite stripres.
These striped-colors are commonly referred to as “high” or “stripes.”

The Importance of Color Distinction

The distinction between solid and striped colored balls is crucial in various billiard games like eight-ball, nine-ball, and straight pool. Players are often assigned either the solids or stripes at the beginning of a match, determining which group they must aim to sink into pockets.

The Cue Ball’s Color

While all other balls on a billiards table have specific colors, the cue ball is typically pure white. This color contrast allows players to easily differentiate it from the object balls during gameplay.


In summary, a standard game of billiards involves 16 colored balls: seven solid-colored balls numbered from 1 to 7 and ranging in different hues, plus an additional set of striped-colored balls numbered from 9 to 15 with their own unique patterns. The distinct colors play an essential role in determining gameplay strategies and goals for different variations of the game. So next time you step up to a billiards table or start watching a game unfold before your eyes, take note of these vibrant cues!