Rules of Bar Billiards | How it is Played?

Bar Billiards is another form of billiards which is also known by the name of Russian billiards. The current form of the game was developed in the UK in the 1930s by a group of English men who saw billiard russe being played in belgium. They persuaded a private company in London to make a similar table, thus a new form of Billiards was developed.

Rules of Bar Billiards

Though Bar Billiards is played on a similar table like traditional billiards but it differs in terms of design. The game is largely popular in England and a Bar Billiards World Championship is also held every year on the island of Jersey, most of the players in this tournament are exclusively from the UK.

Object of Playing Bar Billiards

The object of this game is to score more points than your opponents. How points are scored, we are going to discuss it in detail below. But the important thing to mention here is this game is vastly popular in pubs in Britain, where this game is played for entertainment, so there are chances that players may mould a few rules of the game as per their own convenience.

How to Play?

Bar Billiards is a casual sport which is likely to have some small changes in its rules depending on where it is played. It is played with a cue stick and balls have to be hit in holes perched in the middle of the table. Each hole is worth a certain number of points.

But you need to learn more about the balls, the sequence in which they are hit and the common types of fouls that may occur during the play. Make sure you read all the rules mentioned below to avoid any ambiguity while playing.

General Rules of Bar Billiards

  • The player who is chosen to start the match takes a white or red ball from the trough end of the table. He places the chosen ball in D and hits the ball in such a way that it’d strike another ball pushing it down the hole.
  • There are 7 white balls and one red ball.
  • Players usually prefer to play with the red ball because it doubles the number of points for each pocket.
  • The player keeps taking shots until he is sending the ball in hole. Once he misses a chance, it’s now his opponent’s turn.
  • Now the opposite player does the same, he picks a white or red ball and hits it with the same aim.
  • The player who scores the most points at the end of the game is declared the winner.
  • Unlike traditional billiards, the worth of a ball going down the hole depends upon the hole, not the ball.
  • The holes are perched in the middle of the table, not in sides of the table, like we have in traditional billiards.
  • In some cases, there are skittles placed over each hole. These skittles are like mushrooms, and knocking down any of these skittles can cause you a certain number of points.
  • In some parts of Britain, they also use a black ball in this game. Hitting the black ball in the hole means that you lose all of your accumulated points from that turn and your turn as well.
  • You can lose a certain number of points if you fail to hit any ball while taking a shot or send the ball off the table.


Before the start of the play, a coin toss takes place and the winner of this coin toss gets the first go at the given balls on the table

Time Duration of a Game

There is no time limit. The game goes on until all the balls have gone and the player with the most number of points is declared the winner.

Playing Field & Equipment

The Bar Billiards is played on a similar table to traditional billiards, it measures 56” by 33.5”. A Bar Billiards table does not have side pockets but holes sunk in the middle of the table. Each hole has his worth mentioned over it in any form.

The worth of each holes can be between 10 to 200. These holes are perched down in the following patterns : 5 across one end of the table while four in a diamond pattern on the other half.

The balls used in Bar Billiards are the same as we have in Snooker and normal Billiards. These equipment can vary depending on in which part of Britain this game is played and how they have moulded the rules for it.

The very same cue sticks we use in normal Billiards are used in it.


In pubs, there is no concept of referee as the game is considered as a mere source of entertainment. However, in competitive games, we definitely need a referee to avoid dispute and maintain order in the game.

Famous Bar Billiards Events

The most competitive and famous event of the game takes place on the island of Jersey where professional players from all over Britain compete against each other.

Governing Body

The game doesn’t have an international governing body yet. In England, the All England Bar Billiards Association sanctions the game at all levels.