Origins: Billiards is believed to have evolved from a lawn game similar to croquet in the 15th century in Europe. Initially, it was played outdoors on grass.

Transition to Indoor Play: By the 16th century, billiards had moved indoors, and wooden tables with green cloth surfaces were used. The game evolved with various rule sets.

Cue Development: The use of the cue stick was introduced in the late 17th century, revolutionizing gameplay. This allowed for greater control and precision in striking the balls.

Billiards’ Popularity: Billiards gained popularity among the European nobility and was considered a game of refinement and skill.

man in a suit playing billiard

Evolution into Pool: In the United States in the 19th century, the game evolved into what is now known as “pool.” The term “pool” originally referred to a collective betting pot, as players would contribute to it.

Innovation and Standardization: The innovation of slate playing surfaces in the mid-19th century greatly improved the consistency of the game. This era also saw the standardization of pocket sizes and other rules.

Cue Sports and Tournaments: The late 19th and early 20th centuries saw the rise of various cue sports, including snooker and English billiards. The first world championship was held in 1870.

20th Century Popularity: Billiards and pool became highly popular in the United States during the 20th century, with the game making its way into bars and recreational spaces.

Customization and Variety: Today, there is a wide variety of pool table sizes, types, and styles, including bar pool, snooker, and carom tables. Customization in terms of design and materials is common.

modern billiard tables

Professional and Amateur Leagues: The 21st century has seen the continued growth of professional and amateur leagues, with international tournaments and competitions attracting top players.

Throughout its history, billiards and pool have evolved from a lawn game played by European nobility to a popular recreational activity enjoyed by people of all backgrounds. The game has seen significant technological advancements and rule standardization, and it continues to be a beloved pastime around the world.