Snooker is a game of precision, accuracy, and nerve. The skill involved in my opinion is unrivaled in cue sports, I would even say it beats the beautiful game of Artistic Billiards to the top spot.
Top professionals of the game have mastered every aspect of the game, from the snooker table setup to hitting the white off 4 cushion to sneak it behind the green for a perfect snooker.
They are at the point where you could even be convinced that you are watching a robot play. They are that good!
The snookers they manage to untangle themselves from is nothing short of a miracle. Watching someone like Ronnie O’Sullivan play when he is in rocket mode is incredible.
But they didn’t just get all that knowledge and experience overnight, this isn’t the matrix here, sadly this is just plain old reality – and in the real world, to become a master at anything you need to put in the hours of practice and study and mix in some natural talent too.
So, feel happy that even the top professionals started somewhere and there would have been a time when they even asked the questions of “how do you set up a snooker table?” or “how many points are the snooker balls worth?”.
Maybe you were like me, and asked so many times during my early days “which sides do the green and yellow balls go on”.
Rest assured that this article will give you some general snooker knowledge as well as the answers to all your questions about:
- Snooker table setup
- Snooker ball values
- snooker table anatomy
I’ll even explain a little on how the point system works, so you can be ready to start practicing ready for your crucible appearance.
Snooker table anatomy
Before I answer the main question of “snooker table setup & snooker ball values”, I think its important to understand the terminology used when describing points on a snooker table.
For example, if I said the top of the table, would that be where you cue for the break or where the black ball is placed?
Without a solid knowledge base to work from, things can easily get lost in translation.
So, that’s why I’m here to help you out. No more misunderstand.
So, you may know one of the biggest differences between a snooker table and a pool table. There is one HUGE difference, and that’s the size of a snooker table compared to a pool table.
Even the biggest tournament sized American pool table at 9ft long is nothing for the length of a snooker table.
Standard size for a snooker table is an impressive 12ft long and 6 ft wide. Making it the biggest table of all cue sports.
The bed of the table is usually 3 piece slate and that’s covered with felt, traditionally green in color. The table is surrounded by cushions and 6 pockets for the balls to enter, this is contrary to billiard tables which have no pockets
Below I have made a handy diagram so you can see the snooker table anatomy… let’s be honest, infographics make info much better!
Are you interested to know more about the differences in pool and snooker? There’s more that you realise! If so check out my Snooker vs Pool article HERE
As you can see from the above infographic there are a number of things to note:
The baulk cushion is situated at the “top” of the table, where a player would break from. The cushion spans from the baulk cushion left pocket to its right pocket
The baulk line is marked usually as a white line from the left side of the table to the right.
From the top of the slate at the baulk cushion, You’ll find the baulk line 31 inches away. The line spans the full with of the table.
The D is found on the baulk line. Its surprisingly enough, shaped as a “D”, hence the name.
The D is a semi-circle with a radius of 11.5 inches which is centred along the baulk line.
The cue ball is placed on the Baulk line within the D to break off from
Standing at the Baulk cushion, the yellow spot on the right side of the D
Standing at the Baulk cushion, the brown spot is in the center of the D
Standing at the Baulk cushion, the green spot on the left side of the D
Smack bang in the center of the table, 72 inches from the slate at the top cushion side, you’ll find the blue spot.
Below the blue spot, 36 inches from the slate at the top cushion, you’ll find the pink spot.
The closest spot to the top cushion and therefore, the furthest from the baulk cushion, 14 ¾ inches from the slate at the top cushion, you’ll find the black spot.
The opposite end of the table to the baulk cushion you’ll find the top cushion.
Ever considered by you shouldn’t use a snooker cue to play pool? interested to know the reasons? If so then check out my article on Snooker cue vs Pool cue HERE
Snooker table setup
Let’s take a look at the correct way to setup a snooker table.
Before you start, you need to make sure you have placed all the colors in their correct spot and racked the reds, only then are you ready to break off and start the game.
On the baulk line in the D, the Green, brown and yellow balls need to be placed.
If you were anything like me and keep forgetting the correct order then I used to say to myself, “God Bless You” which would help me remember the correct order.
The first letter of the words represent the colors, so, God = Green.
Knowing this, you will now know, while standing at the baulk cushion that the green ball is placed to the left and the yellow is placed on the right.
Standing at the baulk line:
Within the D – Green – left
Within the D – Brown – middle
Within the D – Yellow – right
Center of the table – Blue
Below the blue – Pink
Bellow the yellow – Black
Between the Pink and the black balls – Reds
Check out this infographic to see the correct snooker table setup:
Snooker ball values
A big question people always have is “how much is the red worth?” or “how much is the pink worth?” There is always some confusion over the snooker ball values so im here to inform on the correct points assigned to each ball
The colored balls are placed on the table in order of their point value – except the red balls.
In order of value:
Red ball = 1 point
Yellow ball = 2 points
Green ball = 3 points
Brown ball = 4 points
Blue ball = 5 points
Pink ball = 6 points
Black ball = 7 points
- After a red is potted, pot a color.
- Replace the color to its original spot after its been potted.
- Continue until all the red balls have been potted
- Then after your chosen color is potted, go for the yellow ball
- From yellow to black, pot them in numerical point value, leaving the black last.
How many balls does a snooker table have
Of all the cue sports, a snooker table has the most amount of balls, 22 in total.
White ball = 1
Red ball = 15
Yellow ball = 1
Green ball = 1
Brown ball = 1
Blue ball = 1
Pink ball = 1
Black ball = 1
After reading through my article, you should know the snooker table setup and where each ball is located at the start of the match. Also with a knowladge of the snooker ball values you should have no issues getting stuck right in with a game.Keep practising and good luck getting that 147 break!
Rob is an avid player and fan of all cue sports, particularly 8-ball, and snooker. He has competed in a few local 8-ball tournaments and although he is not a professional, he can compete with the best of them.