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Snooker (pronounced /ˈsnʊkər/ or /ˈsnuːkər/) is a cue sport that is played on a large green baize-covered table with pockets in each of the four corners and in the middle of each of the long side cushions. A regular (full-size) table is 12 × 6 ft (3.7 × 1.8 m). It is played using a cue and snooker balls: one white cue ball, 15 red balls worth one point each, and six balls of different colours: yellow (2 points), green (3), brown (4), blue (5), pink (6) and black (7).[1] A player (or team) wins a frame (individual game) of snooker by scoring more points than the opponent(s), using the cue ball to pot the red and coloured balls. A player wins a match when a certain number of frames have been won.

Snooker, generally regarded as having been invented in India by British Army officers, is popular in many of the English-speaking and Commonwealth countries,[2] with top professional players attaining multi-million pound career earnings from the game.[3] The sport is particularly and increasingly popular in China.[4]



It is commonly accepted that snooker originated in the later half of the 19th century.[5] Billiards had been a popular activity amongst British Army officers stationed in India, and variations on the more traditional billiard games were devised. One variation, devised in the officers' mess in Jabalpur during 1874[6] or 1875,[5] was to add coloured balls in addition to the reds and black which were used for pyramid pool and life pool.[7] The word snooker also has military origins, being a slang term for first-year cadets or inexperienced personnel.[5] One version of events states that Colonel Sir Neville Chamberlain of the Devonshire regiment was playing this new game when his opponent failed to pot a ball and Chamberlain called him a snooker.[7] It thus became attached to the billiards game now bearing its name as inexperienced players were labelled as snookers.[8]

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