Breaking, positioning balls, holding the cue stick correctly...by now you know how to play billiards. But did you know that there are other kinds of rules? Less official, but just as important? Etiquette, manners, sportsmanship...No matter the name, you must remember to play by these rules.
Feel Like You've Already Lost The Game?
Do not take apart or put up your cue stick before the eight ball is hit into the pocket. Be a good sport, let your opponent take pleasure in ending the game.
Do Not Stand In Front Of Or Behind An Opponent Getting Ready To Shoot!
Avoid the target line of other players (whether it be along their shooting line or the target pocket). The goal: avoid interfering with their field of view. You can also sit while waiting for your turn, and hope you don't have to suffer through the torture chair. What's that? It means to spend the entire game sitting down, endlessly waiting for your turn...
Take A Moment To Think It Over...But Don't Take Too Long.
If there isn't a time limit between each shot, avoid overly slowing the game and/or throwing off your opponent's game by taking an (excessively) long time to consider your shot. Yes, really. A minute rule can even be established: each player has one minute to take their shot.
Your Opponent Didn't See Your Foul?
Exercise fair play and admit your foul.
"Where's My Chalk?"
Hopefully not on the billiards table.Why? To respect your opponent and not do anything that could inconvenience them. Try using a magnetic chalk holder, they are very practical and can slip into your pocket.
Erwan Drapeau, holder of multiple English billiards titles, provides an additional explanation: "in English billiards competitions, very few competitors have a chalk holder. However, in keeping with fair play, players store chalk in their pocket or hold it in their hand".
Don't even think about leaning on the table during your opponent's turn. According to Erwan, "to keep the game as fair as possible, the other player should sit. If there are no places to sit, they should stand over a meter away from the table so that the person shooting has sufficient room to play." .
Are You Unhappy With The Cue Sticks Available? Did You Forget Your Own?
In this situation, you may have to depend on your opponent. Readiness to lend out cue sticks really depends on the player. If you're unsure, go ahead and ask, but don't immediately take one for yourself. "In competitions, each player has their own equipment, no one borrows it, even at the lowest level. Certain players may require more time to familiarise themselves with equipment."
Respect The Space
Do you enjoy arriving to find the balls neatly stored and a clean felt? If so, then you should do your part: At the end of each game, clean the balls and, if a small vacuum is available, vacuum the table's felt and cover it if you can.
Pool Kit: What Do You Need?
Do you want to play billiards? Good. Need to get kitted out? Very good. But what do you start with? You know you need a billiards cue... but what else? Follow our guide and we'll explain it all.
The Billiards Hall Is Not Your Local Pub
Do not talk during shots (like in tennis), do not talk loudly (like in golf), put your phone on silent, do not smoke (preferably... never), and do not put your glass on the table (respect the space for goodness sake!).In short, respect the tranquil environment necessary for concentration.
Be A Gracious Winner
Avoid celebrating your opponent's foul. Celebrate winning because you succeeded, not because your opponent failed (but try not to be so conspicuous about it).