Bar billiards

Bar billiards

Bar billiards is a form of billiards which was possibly initially based on the traditional game of bagatelle. The origins of the game are uncertain, yet it has been suggested that there is a link to a traditional Russian game.Bar billiards in its current form started in the UK in the 1930s and the tables were made by the Jelkes company of Holloway Road in London and sold to many pubs. It is a traditional game played in West Sussex.

The game

Bar billiards is played on a special bar billiards table without side and corner pockets, but with 9 holes in the playing surface which are assigned certain point values (from 10 to 200).

There are 8 balls for play - seven white and one red. Potting the red ball in any hole scores double points.

On the playfield are normally placed three pegs (often called mushrooms, as they have a thin stalk and a flatish rounded cap) - two white pegs, one either side of the 100 hole, and one black peg in front of the '200' hole. If a white peg is knocked over then the player's break is ended and all score acquired during that break is discarded. Knocking down the black peg ends the player's break and all points are lost. In the case that a white and a black peg are both knocked over, then only the first peg to be knocked over is used.

All shots are played from one end of the table so access to all sides of the table is not necessary (ideal for a smallish bar or pub). A white ball is placed on a starting spot, then another ball (the red ball, if available) will be placed on a spot a few inches in front of that. Players take alternate turns at the table, the 'turn' being known as a 'break. If the player fails to pot a ball then the break has ended and the second player takes his break by placing another ball on the first spot. If all balls are in play, then the closest ball to the 'D' (the semi-circle around the first spot) is removed and put on the spot. If a player fails to hit a ball, then the break ends and all points earned in that break are lost.

The play is time-limited (normally a coin will give 15-17 minutes of play). After this time a bar drops inside the table stopping any potted balls from returning, leading to a steady decrease in the number of balls in play.

The last ball can only be potted by getting it into the '100' or '200' point hole after bouncing off one side cushion.

The game is played mostly in southern England and the Channel Islands. The county with most leagues is Sussex (currently 10).


ITN television newsreader Reginald Bosanquet was well known for his love of the game and was at one time official Patron of the All-England Bar Billiards Association.

World Championships – Jersey (1981-)

The Bar Billiards World Championship (previously called the British Isles Open up to 1999) is held every year in Jersey. This is a list of past winners and runners up:-

ee also


External links

* [ Guernsey Bar Billiards]
* [ Jersey Bar Billiards]
* [ Sussex Bar Billiards]
* [ Brighton Bar Billiards]
* [ Lewes and District Bar Billiards]
* [ Bar Billiards] - Tournament News Coverage
* [ Online Guide to Traditional Games] - also has information about the French and Italian versions

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • bar billiards — bar .billiards n [U] a type of ↑billiards played in ↑pubs in Britain …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • bar billiards — bar ,billiards noun uncount a game like BILLIARDS in which long sticks are used for pushing balls into holes on a table …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • bar billiards — noun a table game in which short cues are used to knock balls into holes that are guarded by wooden pegs; penalties are incurred if the pegs are knocked over • Syn: ↑bagatelle • Regions: ↑United Kingdom, ↑UK, ↑U.K., ↑Britain, ↑United Kingdom of… …   Useful english dictionary

  • bar billiards — noun A game resembling billiards, sometimes found in public houses, with pegs and holes in the surface of the table instead of side and corner pockets …   Wiktionary

  • bar billiards — plural noun [treated as sing.] Brit. a form of billiards played on a small table, in which balls are struck into holes guarded by pegs …   English new terms dictionary

  • bar billiards — UK / US noun [uncountable] a game like billiards that is played in some pubs in which long sticks are used for pushing balls into holes on a table …   English dictionary

  • bar billiards — n [U] (BrE) a game played mainly in pubs on a special table. Players use cues (= long wooden rods) to try to hit balls into holes on the surface of the table. * * * …   Universalium

  • bar billiards — noun (U) a game played in pubs in Britain in which players use long sticks to push balls into holes on a table …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

  • bar billiards — /ˈba bɪljədz/ (say bah bilyuhdz) noun a table game in which short cues are used to pocket balls in holes that are guarded by wooden pegs, the pocketed balls scoring various points …   Australian English dictionary

  • BAR — 1. n., v., & prep. n. 1 a long rod or piece of rigid wood, metal, etc., esp. used as an obstruction, confinement, fastening, weapon, etc. 2 a something resembling a bar in being (thought of as) straight, narrow, and rigid (bar of soap; bar of… …   Useful english dictionary

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.