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The Rules of Snooker – EXPLAINED!

Ninh explains, the Rules of Snooker
The object of the game is for you to win more frames than your opponent. Snooker is a game that’s usually played
between two people, and to win a frame, you must score more points than your opponent. To score, you must use a wooden cue to hit
a white ball (known as a cue ball), into a coloured ball and for that ball to go into
any of the pockets on the table. This is known as ‘potting the ball’.
The table is roughly 12ft by 6ft, and the amount of points vary depending on the colour
of the ball being potted. The 15 Red balls on the table are worth 1
point each. The Yellow ball is worth 2 points.
The Green ball: 3 points. The Brown Ball: 4 points
The Blue Ball: 5 points The Pink Ball: 6 points
and the Black ball is worth the maximum of 7 points.
In Snooker, the rules stipulate that you must hit a red ball on the table.
If you manage to pot a red ball, you are then given free choice to pot a different coloured
ball to add more points to your total score. If you successfully pot a coloured ball after
a red, you score the relevant number of points, and the coloured ball is put back onto the
table. The entire process begins again, and you will
be allowed to try and get another red ball into one of the pockets.
If at any point you fail to pot the relevant ball, it is the end of your turn and you opponent
will be given the chance to aim for a red ball so that they can score themselves.
Once all red balls have been potted, you must aim for the rest of the coloured balls in
ascending order. The highest score after the black ball has
been potted … wins. Games will usually played to the best of 11,
15 or 17 frames. Winning more frames than your opponent wins
you the game. That sounds a bit too simple. There’s more
isn’t there? You guessed it! There’s a lot of things
you cannot do in Snooker. You cannot touch any of the balls with anything
except your cue. You cannot pot the cue-ball, accidentally
or otherwise. You cannot hit an incorrect coloured ball
out of turn. You cannot hit any of the balls off the table.
You cannot hit the cueball twice in one stroke. and you cannot move a touching ball.
These infractions result in a foul, and your opponent will be awarded 4 points and the
next shot. Fouls can also be awarded 5,6 or 7 points
for fouls involving the blue, pink or black balls respectively.
Snooker is a very strategic game, and that’s basically the rules in a nutshell, but there’s
a few things you’ll need to understand before playing or watching a game. For example:
Cannon – A cannon is where a player hits the cue-ball to contact more than one ball.
This is usually a strategic play to leave the cue-ball in a favourable position for
the next shot. Touching ball – If the cue-ball is touching
another ball, the referee will call ‘touching ball’. You must play your next shot without
moving this ball, otherwise a foul will be called against you.
Snookered – You can strategically hit the cue ball to make it difficult for your opponent
to hit the next required ball. When a ball is blocking a shot to the next required ball,
this is known as being ‘snookered’ and makes the next shot very difficult for your
opponent. Foul and a miss. – If a player fouls and
fails to hit the required colour ball, the opponent will be awarded 4 points (or more),
and has free choice to play the next shot where the balls lie … or have the balls
reset to their previous positions and to make the offending player try that shot again.
Free ball – If a player fouls and leaves the cue ball in a snookered position, he is
eligible to declare a ‘free ball’. He can pot any coloured ball and will only score
one point for it. However, he will retain the next shot, so
this is usually a strategic play to stay on the table.
Conceding – If a player does not think that he has a realistic chance to win the frame,
or realises that there isn’t enough points on the table to get a win, the player can
concede defeat and a new frame will start. Conceding is usually done verbally, or by
not returning to the table when it’s your shot.
Maximum Break (147) – The maximum you can score in one trip to the table is 147 points.
This involves potting a red, then potting a black, repeating this process 15 times,
and then proceeding to pot the colours in order without fouling.
If you manage to do this, this is known as a maximum break, or a 147. And is the equivalent
of a perfect game in 10 pin bowling or pitching a perfect game in baseball.
It’s not impossible, just rare. Snooker is a popular game worldwide, and once
you’ve played or watched a few games, the rules will become clear.
If you have found this video at all helpful, please like, share and subscribe.
It takes me ages to make one of these things and good karma is very much appreciated.
Be sure to follow me on Twitter also, but in the meantime, enjoy Snooker! Ninh Ly, @NinhLyUK, www.ninh.co.uk

David Frank



  1. Ninh Ly Posted on August 13, 2018 at 10:38 am

    Here is a response to the conspiracy nuts wearing tin foil hats indicating that the maximum break is actually 155.
    Under normal conditions, the maximum break is 147. This is widely considered fact and is taken as the maximum that a player can score by himself, without the assistance of fouls.
    Once you start adding fanciful and unrealistic scenarios that a pro player would foul on the black on the very first shot (they wouldn't) or be given a free ball near to the start of the game (unlikely), some uneducated individuals insist that the maximum break is 155. This has never happened in the history of professional snooker.

    But then you can take it hypothetically further … a player fouls on the black on the very first shot, the other player asks him to repeat the shot, he fouls on the black again, the other player asks him to repeat the shot, he fouls on the black AGAIN, but this time, the other player comes to the table and then scores the maximum 147. This leaves the final score 168 – 0.

    So therefore the maximum break is 168.
    Or is it 175?
    Or is it 770?

    Has this ever happened? Nope.

  2. Aa Gg Posted on December 31, 2018 at 6:10 pm

    1: Hit a Red one and miss,
    2: Your opponent comes to to the table and asks the referee what the price is for a maximum
    3: Your opponent will deliberately make a 140 or 146 as the amount will not be sufficient to him.

    That is snooker in a nutshell

  3. Nice Shot Posted on January 1, 2019 at 3:11 pm

    "Takes ages to make one of these things" (videos)😄

  4. mrjonnymac - Posted on January 2, 2019 at 7:33 pm

    Great explanation, great work! Needed a tutorial and this was perfect.

  5. Nicc11221 Posted on January 3, 2019 at 7:49 pm

    Video was VERY helpful, however no one I know would benefit from me sharing it, but trust me on this: I have not LIKED (pressed like) on a YouTube video since I was 12, but I will now just because I was looking for this specific video, that told me specifically this… and… thanks!

  6. Lau Bjerno Posted on January 5, 2019 at 1:50 pm

    Everything in this video I knew already – these are the rules you'll quickly catch by simply watching snooker being played. But there are quite a few rules not explained here, so the video answered none of my questions.
    For example: Sometimes when a player makes a foul and a miss, his opponent does not have the option of demanding the balls put back. When is that, and why is that?
    Your opponent is not always awarded the same amount of points when you make a foul shot – why is that, and exactly when is he awarded how many points?
    Sometimes a player can demand his opponent to play again. I have a rough idea when, but I'm not 100% sure.
    Is it legal to “shoot through”? In some forms of billards the cue must stop touching the cueball before it hits the object ball, so “shooting through” is not allowed. I'm not sure, but it does seem to be allowed in snooker. Is this correct?

  7. Ghostmod Posted on January 7, 2019 at 1:32 pm

    I've watched enough games I had a good idea of the point values but I wasn't aware of the foul scoring so thank you for the ez to understand detailed explanation

  8. xapie128 Posted on January 12, 2019 at 12:17 am

    I saw a video where a player potted the black ball, but then a red ball also rolled into another pocket. He sat down and the other player then shot. Also, the other player (not the one who made the black and red) was awarded 7 points. Can you explain the rule(s) that happened there?

  9. Aiter 918 Posted on January 15, 2019 at 1:32 am

    Thank you for explaining. Also I once pitched a perfect game, and it was great. Next game though I was complete trash.

  10. Dave B Posted on January 16, 2019 at 7:05 am

    Being an American that grew up playing pool in bars. When I first saw a Snooker video I had no idea what the hell was going on….Watched a few more videos and started to get the gist of it. But this video cleared up lots of confusion on my part 🙂

  11. Mark Hever Posted on January 19, 2019 at 10:16 am

    What happens when you are on the colour balls and you fail to pot one of them.

  12. Samuel Munaku Posted on January 19, 2019 at 1:40 pm

    Please edit the Wikipedia page for this game. It's long and confusing. This was perfect.

  13. jobje Rabbeljee Posted on January 22, 2019 at 4:24 pm

    0:44 fuck me pumps i'm dun' jenni

  14. Paylin Miles Posted on January 22, 2019 at 11:52 pm

    Yo I'm waaaaay late to the party here but I thought I've seen a call for maybe over reaching?

  15. Joshua Bullion 142 Posted on January 23, 2019 at 6:53 am

    Hi ninh. I have question for your knowings or just seeing if you know.
    How many 147's has Ronnie O'sullivan scored. Also i will tell you the Ronnie has the fastest 147 break. I think you'll find it was in 2002 when Ronnie made a 147 break in 5 minutes 20 seconds. Intresting hey?

  16. Joshua Bullion 142 Posted on January 23, 2019 at 2:59 pm

    I have just worked out 1:54 Mark Allen so unlucky. I have worked out that he just lost the match by accidently potting the cue ball.

  17. jhaga bat Posted on January 26, 2019 at 3:43 pm

    pushing, a foul. when the cue tip is in contact with the q ball while the q ball is in contact a colored ball. when you play the q ball, didnt hit it hard enough and poke it again, a double hit, a foul.

  18. Lau Bjerno Posted on January 26, 2019 at 6:49 pm

    Any possible points that a player may have been awarded before the break is not part of the break. So even if the final score is higher, the maximum break is still 147.

  19. Michael Rexrode Posted on January 31, 2019 at 11:08 am

    Perfect! I get it now. Just an American not knowing. But now knows like a pro thanks to this EO

  20. Kritijonas Guobys Posted on February 2, 2019 at 9:58 pm

    2:08 'move a touching' or 'touch a moving' ball

  21. Eric Thexm Posted on February 4, 2019 at 4:25 pm

    Can anyone please clarify the following TWO situations for me, as I'm unable to find a definitive rule:
    Scenario 1:
    The blue ball in 'on'. The cue ball first strikes the blue ball but then proceeds to strike and pot the pink ball. Is this a 5 or 6 point penalty?
    Scenario 2:
    The blue ball in 'on'. The cue ball first strikes the blue ball but then proceeds to strike and and go in-off the pink ball. Is this a 5 or 6 point penalty?

  22. hegotaspare Posted on February 4, 2019 at 10:41 pm

    I like watching snooker and playing it but they make it look so easy but it isn’t in the slightest.

  23. Cody Thompson Posted on February 6, 2019 at 7:56 pm

    seriously wouldve never figured this out watching matches, it looked nonsense until seeing this, thanks!

  24. slade ippie Posted on February 9, 2019 at 11:23 pm

    Knowing how to play snooker is one thing, actually being able to play snooker successfully is quite another.
    Apparently the two most frustrating games in the world are played with a stationary ball, snooker & golf.

  25. PLB525 Berry Posted on February 10, 2019 at 9:42 pm

    I wished I knew the rules to this game back in 1987 when the REC room I went to had a Snooker table. Alas, I don't play pool anymore.

  26. Kenji Mori Posted on February 14, 2019 at 11:57 pm

    who decided to come and figure out the rules after watching a countless number of snookers games?

  27. NBT 3 Posted on February 15, 2019 at 3:09 am

    Hard work trumps karma.

  28. Micco Millchris Reyes Posted on February 17, 2019 at 2:55 am

    I wish all explanations video was like this 👍👍👍

  29. Ahmad Shafiq Posted on February 18, 2019 at 4:06 pm

    You forgot to mention about "century break".

  30. Ma ei Tea Posted on February 19, 2019 at 4:40 pm

    High af atm but ty for the help

  31. Davesh Malik Posted on February 27, 2019 at 5:40 am

    There must be a car to travel the table

  32. mytube4440 Posted on March 6, 2019 at 8:36 am

    is it a foul if a color ball is pocketed while trying to pocket a red ball even though the red ball is touched first?

  33. ROBBIS TV Posted on March 9, 2019 at 4:13 am

    Great video, explanation and breakdown! Thanks so much, cheers. m/

  34. Daniel Salazar Posted on March 17, 2019 at 4:55 am

    Nice explanation!

  35. Blaine Reid Walker Posted on March 18, 2019 at 8:48 am

    This was the most informative video I’ve ever watched, the only tutorial video I’ve understood ever! Great work

  36. Phi Posted on March 20, 2019 at 10:20 pm

    That covered most of it.
    Pretty easy rules and a most difficult game.

  37. Michael Rabich Posted on March 22, 2019 at 12:56 am

    How about a video on English Billiards, there are no good videos on YouTube to my knowledge. I saw good explanation of 3 carom.

  38. Claude C Posted on March 22, 2019 at 6:43 pm

    I think you've left out at least one rule. I've heard commentators say after a player has been snookered and failed to hit a red, "if he misses it one more time he'll forfeit the frame." How does that work? Also, I think the instance of a "free Ball" needs further explaining with examples.

  39. Zaki Zohor Posted on March 24, 2019 at 12:43 am

    Cheap short to break the snooker is foul…??

  40. Juan Rojas Posted on April 2, 2019 at 10:39 pm

    Where does the referee decide to place the black ball once it goes on

  41. Ian Mutisya Posted on April 5, 2019 at 9:36 pm

    Thanks alot very well explained video

    You got my thumbs up

  42. miguel R Posted on April 7, 2019 at 4:42 am

    If you pot the correct ball then the cue ball do the points count?

  43. All Roads Lead Here Posted on April 7, 2019 at 5:33 am

    I imagine games run on awhile.

  44. mkaali Posted on April 8, 2019 at 4:06 pm

    You didn't mention that non-red balls are returned to the table, aren't they?

  45. Browning Lui Posted on April 12, 2019 at 5:26 pm

    There's 147 dislike lol

  46. Are you gonna finish that croissant Posted on April 14, 2019 at 6:28 am

    That, actually looks fun to learn

  47. João Paulo Lima Posted on April 21, 2019 at 11:23 am

    Very well done!

  48. sebasgutisala Posted on April 29, 2019 at 12:39 am

    Almost pool but not pool

  49. Hamza Haytham Posted on May 3, 2019 at 7:19 pm

    So basically Snooker is the fancy sport, and pool is the practical sport

  50. Arek P Posted on May 4, 2019 at 7:18 pm

    no mention what is a re-rack.It should have been included.

  51. Allan DKR Posted on May 5, 2019 at 9:24 am

    Ricky Walden isn't a snooker player 😆

  52. Mark Fleener Posted on May 7, 2019 at 3:12 am

    Where's the cue ball go after a scratch?

  53. Lisa Marie Posted on May 8, 2019 at 3:27 am

    If you had a Foul & a Miss, leaving the cueball snookered, how can you call a Free Ball if your opponent makes you retake the shot? Also, when you say 3:35 "he can pot any colored ball", do you mean any ball that's not red? Thanks for teaching us.

  54. NeoTrggrTheGammer Posted on May 9, 2019 at 7:55 pm

    very helpful, played billiards (8 and 9 Ball) all the time and Snooker seemed kind of confusing but this video was pretty easy to understand and I have a grasp on how Snooker is played

  55. Aaron Lord Posted on May 11, 2019 at 11:46 am

    Thank You for this video, man!

  56. jables3377 Posted on May 13, 2019 at 9:41 pm

    I have been playing pool since I was 10 years old (32 years ago) and always wanted to a quick lesson on Snooker.  Thanks!

  57. KILLOVER 007 Posted on May 18, 2019 at 10:33 am

    Instructions unclear I broke the table

  58. Hoony K. Posted on May 19, 2019 at 3:07 pm

    It’s that simple huh?…

  59. Michael Scauzzo Posted on May 22, 2019 at 12:39 am

    Thanks for the video.

  60. Raj Pahuja Posted on May 23, 2019 at 9:43 pm

    U explained so well..that now i can defeat Ronnie 😂🤟🏼

  61. Duong Hoang Minh Posted on May 24, 2019 at 11:52 am

    Snooker is entertainment thing…

  62. DKDexter999 Posted on May 24, 2019 at 2:19 pm

    Is there a rule about reracking the balls?

  63. Sloppy Beaner Boi Posted on May 27, 2019 at 2:18 am

    Thanks man I was curious of the rules

  64. Darnell Robinson-Johnson Posted on May 31, 2019 at 2:38 am

    Nice video. I played this game with my dad.

  65. niklas kartberg Posted on June 2, 2019 at 1:41 pm


  66. MARCUS Posted on June 3, 2019 at 1:34 pm

    Just came to dis vid to understand youtube recommending snooker games… Really helps

  67. thelocustemperor Posted on June 4, 2019 at 10:23 pm

    The brown ball should be orange and the pin ball should be purple… for a better visual aesthetic.

  68. Ali Soukarieh Posted on June 5, 2019 at 7:13 am

    Where do put yhe cue ball after i pott it ?

  69. Vishal Vashist Posted on June 9, 2019 at 10:58 am

    tnx mate! , I have a doubt though, What if I pot a colored ball and the Que ball simultaneously. Would it be a foul or I would get the score, not the turn or nothing for me and 4 points for my opponent?

  70. The Street Network Posted on June 12, 2019 at 5:47 pm

    Thank you

  71. Ageless Warrior Posted on June 13, 2019 at 3:01 am

    How is the foul penalty points determined? 4 points or …?

  72. The Holy Experience Posted on June 14, 2019 at 8:56 pm

    Watching a Snooker video to see if I want to get a Snooker app or not…..

  73. Mark Fleener Posted on June 15, 2019 at 11:03 pm

    Question – Is it okay if a colored ball gets hit as long as you hit the intended object ball first, whether it be a red ball or colored ball, and what if that colored ball gets potted, is it a foul? Also, can you do any combos? Like a red to a red, or a colored to a colored?

  74. Constantine Stavropoulos Posted on June 18, 2019 at 5:46 am

    so its basically just pool

  75. Nisse Jansson Posted on June 18, 2019 at 11:42 pm

    good work on the vid man 🙂

  76. Benton Xavier Posted on June 21, 2019 at 5:40 pm

    2:04 so do you mean you can't let the cue ball hit another ball, say if you were hitting to cue ball into a red ball as in intended but then it hits another red ball would that not be allowed? Or does it mean you can't hit the cue ball with your stick more than once, which of course that wouldn't be allowed.

  77. Classicrocker6119 Posted on June 23, 2019 at 6:47 am

    Back in the 1980's I used to play snooker on an eight ball table. I found it a little easier with a smaller surface! I guess that's a form of cheating.😀

  78. abhiZDI Posted on July 1, 2019 at 7:17 am

    It's very helpful, thanking you

  79. Edan Coll Posted on July 1, 2019 at 11:40 pm

    Excellent job explaining! Very clear and well put.
    One tiny correction: A snooker is when the cue ball cannot "see" any object ball whatsoever. In a free ball situation, it is called when less than 100% of an object ball can be "seen".

  80. Viper Posted on July 4, 2019 at 5:16 am

    Thanks a lot! Down here in Colombia, snooker is not that popular, but we play a lot of poole variations

  81. Andy Wright Posted on July 10, 2019 at 10:19 pm

    Excellent video. I have spent a lot of time, in the past, trying to explain snooker, and now I know there is an excellent resource out there

    I have therefore, saved this video to its own playlist so it's quick and simple to find. I will share it with anybody who needs to know.

  82. one-of-us Posted on July 11, 2019 at 12:43 am

    I'm gonna say that 147 stuff…

    Mad ball bro… mad! Bravo!

  83. Bob Marley Posted on July 13, 2019 at 12:46 pm

    God bless America are the pockets small on a snooker table. I can appreciate the skill involved. At least I now understand some of the rules. They are about as complicated as I imagined. And then everyone is talking about Cricket being the next game to learn. I keep thinking about the British Comic Jimmy Carr saying how fricking boring that game is. But I am sure in reality it's pure excitement.

  84. Jeffery Rowan Posted on July 13, 2019 at 11:39 pm

    One, very minor, point. At 1:25 you say, "Once all the red balls have been potted you must aim for the rest of the colored balls in order." But, once you pot the final red ball you can still aim at any colored ball regardless of order to fulfill the first red then any color progression. That single odd point in a game has been confused by professional referees.

  85. Ben Dover Posted on July 25, 2019 at 4:49 am

    Finally someone explains this damn game to me. The YouTube algorithm randomly started showing me snooker videos and I had no idea wtf I was watching :/

  86. Glenn Davis Posted on July 30, 2019 at 4:51 am

    I've always wondered what the rules are.
    Now I know.
    Thank you.

  87. Joseph Smith Posted on July 30, 2019 at 5:56 pm

    Thanks for this. I was utterly confused. Haha

  88. Nathan Bingham Posted on July 31, 2019 at 5:55 pm

    Thank you!

  89. Gulf Relay Posted on July 31, 2019 at 8:49 pm

    What is meant by required snookers? I know what a snooker is, but why are a certain number of these shots requirdd to be played?

  90. ayoub bouzerda Posted on August 4, 2019 at 10:41 pm

    i've beeb getting videos of snooker on my faceboon recentely , i got amazed by how people score points and so on , but never understood how it goes untill i watched ur video . thank you 😍

  91. Douglas Hanlon Posted on August 11, 2019 at 12:46 am

    this game had to be conceived of and the rules stipulated by some seriously drunk people

  92. Rajesh Chris Posted on August 12, 2019 at 4:57 am

    What happens if player fouls blackball at end of the frame, will the opponent wins or considered by points?

  93. Howard Shinhyung Kim Posted on August 17, 2019 at 8:35 pm

    Wow!!!!! Master Joshua Did this!!!!

  94. Vishal Roychowdhury Posted on August 20, 2019 at 3:42 am

    2:06 you mean 'touch a moving ball' ?