Whether you're playing English billiards, billiards, snooker or European billiards: you'll want to learn the correct placement for the balls before you start.

Each game of English billiards, billiards, snooker and even European billiards **starts with the placement of the balls**.

But, how do you place the balls **correctly**? And, why does it matter?

Placing the balls correctly ensures an **even distribution**, which makes the game fair.**Make sure the balls are touching**, especially the ball at the top of the triangle. Space between balls (no matter how small) can ruin your break and hurt your strategy due to weak impact.

English billiards is played with a white ball (cue ball), 7 red balls, 7 yellow balls and 1 black ball (the 8).

How should you place them? Follow these steps…

Step 1

Place a red ball at the top of the triangle and then place another red ball directly under it.

Step 2

Add three yellow balls in a diagonal line starting from the base of the two red balls you just placed.

Step 3

Place two red balls to the right of the diagonal line you just created.

Step 4

Place one yellow ball in the open space left available in the corner.

Step 5

Next, place one red ball in the lower left corner of the triangle.

Step 6

Place two yellow balls up against the red ball you have just added.

Step 7

Repeat STEP 6 with two red balls.

Step 8

Complete the line with your last yellow ball.

Step 9

Finish the triangle by adding the black ball (8) in the centre.

*“For a game of eight-ball, you have to place the solid and striped balls in alternation.”*

Actually, **this is not true**. It is a common misconception!

It’s actually very simple…

For a game of eight-ball, you use balls that are numbered from 1 to 15, but only three of these balls have a specific placement in the triangle.

The** 8 ball** **must be at the centre** and the **two balls in the lower corners of the triangle** must be different (one solid and one striped), but it doesn’t matter which one is in which corner.

The other 12 balls must be placed in alternation, including the one at the top corner of the triangle.

Easy, right?

A game of nine-ball, as the name suggests, is **played with balls that are numbered from 1 to 9**. Only two of these balls have specific placements for this game.

The balls must be **placed in a diamond shape**. The **9 ball has to be in the centre**, and the **1 ball has to be at the top of the diamond**.

As for the other balls? They simply have to be placed in alternation.

For a game of ten-ball, you **play with balls numbered from 1 to 10**. Only two of these balls have specific placements for this game.

The **10 ball has to be in the centre** and the **1 ball has to be at the top of the triangle**.

As for the other balls? They simply have to be placed in alternation.

Snooker is different from the other games we’ve mentioned, mostly because of the **number of balls used**.

Snooker is not played with 16 balls; it is played with **22 balls**.

The white ball, 15 red balls and 6 coloured balls: 1 yellow, 1 brown, 1 green, 1 blue, 1 pink and 1 black.

Generally, for snooker, **the coloured balls have specific placements**.

- All of the red balls must be placed inside the triangle.

- Position the tope of the triangle at the second spot indicated, in the middle of the table (white mark on the diagram).

- The pink ball should be at the tip of the triangle, without touching it.

- The black ball should be many centimetres away from the triangle (in the specified position).

- The yellow ball should be at the right corner of the “D-zone”– from the perspective of the person who is going to break.

- The green ball should be at the left corner of the “D-zone”.

- The brown ball should be in the middle of the “D-zone”.

- The blue ball should be in the middle of the billiards table.

European billiards is **played with 3 balls**: one **red**, one **white** and one **orange** (the orange ball is often replaced by a white ball marked differently).

The placement of the balls is indicated on the table.

There are three positions aligned on one side:

- The **orange ball** (or the marked white ball) must be placed in the **centre**.

- The **white ball** **can be placed to the right or the left**. The position of the white ball is not important. It depends on the preference of the person who is starting the game (in our diagram, the ball is placed to the right).

- The** red ball** must be placed **in the fourth position, on the other side of the table** (facing the orange ball).

For European billiards, English billiards and billiards, **align the ball at the top of the triangle with the intersection of the two diagonal lines formed between the first four pockets on the table**.