Tuesday, 28 May 2024

Auralpressure: Exploring the Fascinating Game of Bar Billiards

Bar Billiards

Bar Billiards, also known as Russian Billiards, is a beloved game in the UK, particularly in the south of England and the Channel Islands. This unique variation of Billiards originated from the Russian game of ‘billard russe’ and was introduced to the UK in the 1930s by David Gill, an English gentleman who discovered it being played in Belgium.

The Allure of Bar Billiards

Unlike traditional Billiards, Bar Billiards is played on a table with holes instead of pockets. The game is governed by the All England Bar Billiards Association, consisting of various county associations across the UK, including Kent, Norfolk, Surrey, Hampshire, Oxfordshire, Northamptonshire, and Buckinghamshire. Each year, the Bar Billiards World Championship takes place on the picturesque island of Jersey, where players from the UK fiercely compete for the top spot.

Understanding the Game

The objective of Bar Billiards is simple: outscore your opponent by the end of the game. While the competitive aspect is significant, many players also enjoy the social and entertaining elements that come with playing in pubs.

Players & Equipment

A Bar Billiards table closely resembles a smaller version of a traditional Billiards table, measuring 56″ x 33.5″. Instead of pockets, the table features holes, with five in a row on one end and a diamond pattern of four on the other. The holes have varying point values, ranging from 10 to 200. When a ball is potted, it rolls into a trough at the end of the table.

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Similar to Snooker and Billiards, Bar Billiards uses seven white balls and one red ball. Additionally, skittles (often resembling mushrooms) are placed on the table in different formations. The black skittle, worth 200 points, is always positioned in front of a hole. The other skittles can be white or red, and the arrangement depends on the regional preferences within the UK.

Scoring and Fouls

To score points in Bar Billiards, players take shots by selecting a white or red ball from the trough and striking it with their cue, aiming to hit another ball and pot it in one of the holes. The point value of the hole determines the number of points earned. Opting to play with a red ball doubles the points for each pocket. However, players must be mindful of fouls, which result in the loss of points. Fouls include causing a skittle to fall over, a ball returning behind the baulk line, failing to hit another ball after taking a shot, or causing a ball to leave the table.

If a player knocks over the black skittle, their entire score goes back down to zero. Strategy and precision play vital roles in achieving high scores while avoiding costly fouls.

Winning the Game

In most cases, Bar Billiards games are played on coin-operated tables. The game duration typically lasts between 15 and 20 minutes, dependent on the payment. The player with the most points at the end of the allotted time emerges as the winner.


Q: How is Bar Billiards different from traditional Billiards?
A: Bar Billiards distinguishes itself by utilizing holes instead of pockets, with varying point values. It also incorporates skittles, creating a unique gameplay experience.

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Q: Is Bar Billiards predominantly played competitively?
A: While competition is a significant aspect, many players enjoy the social and fun atmosphere that comes with playing Bar Billiards in pubs.


Bar Billiards offers a delightful blend of skill, strategy, and enjoyment. With its distinctive table layout, intriguing scoring system, and regional variations in skittle arrangements, the game has captivated players across the UK. Whether you’re a seasoned player or a newcomer, the world of Bar Billiards awaits your exploration. Visit Auralpressure to dive deeper into the fascinating world of this beloved game.