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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 and sold to many pubs.

The Game

Bar billiards is played on a special table with no side or 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 of which are white and one is red. Potting the red ball in a hole scores double points. On the playfield are normally placed three skittles - guarding the highest scoring holes (the two 50 point holes and the 200 point hole). Knocking down either of the 50 point skittles ends the current players turn and removes any score obtained during this visit to the table. Knocking down the 200 point skittle ends the turn but also removes the players entire score.

All shots are played from one end of the table so access to all sides of the table is not necessary. A ball is placed on a starting spot, the another ball will be placed on a spot a few inches in front of that. The ball on the starting spot is struck with a cue so that it will hit the ball on the second spot. If either ball is potted and no skittle is knocked over, points will be awarded and the player may put another ball on the starting spot. If there are no other balls on the table the player may put a ball on the second spot as well, otherwise he must try to hit a ball already on the playing field.

If the player fails to score or knocks over a skittle, the next player gets to start his turn (if skittle have fallen over they will be replaced).

The play is time limited (normally a coin will give 10-20 minutes of play). After this time a bar drops in the table stopping any potted balls from returning, leading to a steady decrease in the number of balls in play. If no balls are in the starting tray, yet there are balls left on the table, the nearest ball to the from is taken and placed on the starting spot - play continues from here.

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

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