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What are the Different Numbers and Colors of Pool Balls?

What are the Different Numbers and Colors of Pool Balls?
This article takes a look at the standard color and number combination in pool ball. This game is also known as billiards.
Anup Patwardhan
Did You Know?

Snooker, that is widely popular today, was invented by making variations in the traditional pool ball game. The variations were formulated towards the end of the 19th century in Jabalpur, India.

Billiards is a cue sport, that is, the players have to use a cue stick. This sport is believed to have been invented some time during the 15th century, somewhere in the European continent, most probably France. This game is very similar to the lawn game of 'croquet'. The game had achieved the peak of its fame during the 19th century. It is one of the games that is loved by people from all over the globe. It is also famous among the enthusiasts of this game as the 'Noble Game of Billiards'.
There are various rules that have been established to govern how this game is played. The game is played on a table that is covered with a green cloth, while, the cue sticks are used to pocket the cue balls. The orders in which these cue balls are pocketed depends on the game that is being played. The standard color and number combination of the pool balls is given below.
Standard Combination of Ball Numbers and Colors
Ball Number Color
1 Solid Yellow
2 Solid Blue
3 Solid Red
4 Solid Purple
5 Solid Orange
6 Solid Green
7 Solid Maroon
8 Solid Black
9 Striped Yellow
10 Striped Blue
11 Striped Red
12 Striped Purple
13 Striped Orange
14 Striped Green
15 Striped Maroon

It is clear from the table above that the solid balls numbered from 1 to 7 have counterparts with same colored stripes numbered from 9 to 15. This combination does not include the solid black 8 ball which does not have any striped partner. Apart from these there is also another ball which the players strike the cue stick to pocket the other numbered balls. This white ball is known as the cue ball.
Racking Up Pool Balls
For an Eight-Ball Game
  • The shape of the rack for an eight-ball pool game is triangular. Place the 1-ball at one of these vertexes. This will be the apex of the rack.
  • Place a striped ball at one of the remaining two vertexes and a solid colored ball at the remaining last vertex of the rack.
  • Now place the remaining balls randomly to fill up the rack. The only condition when placing the remainder of the pool balls is that the eight-ball must be at the center of the third row from the apex.
  • Place the apex of the rack in such a way that the one-ball is at the center of the table.
  • Lift up the rack from the pool table without disturbing the formation of the balls and the table is set to begin playing.

For a Nine-Ball Game
  • The rack of a nine-ball game is diamond-shaped. Place the 1-ball at the front of the rack which is either of the vertexes along its length.
  • Place the remainder of the balls randomly in the rack other than the nine-ball.
  • The nine-ball should be placed at the center of the rack which must overlap with the center of the table.
  • Remove the rack while maintaining the pool ball formation and get cracking.

Billiards had become quite famous a few years after its invention. A mention of this game can be found in a 17th century play, 'Antony and Cleopatra', written by William Shakespeare.
Pool Ball
Playing Pool