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Snookers

A Guide to Snookers in the World Rules

Sometimes it's hard to visualise how the "written" rules should be interpreted. So here you will find some images, courtesy of Steve Camp from Shropshire, which explains how Snookers are defined within the World rules.

Total Snookers

Prior to taking a shot that does not follow a foul, if you cannot hit any part of any ball "on" (including the black ball if you are on black), by way of a straight line shot, then you are in a "total snooker". See the examples below.

NOTE: All examples show the fouled player's colour as yellow.

sc_total_snooker1

The cue ball has a "straight-line" path to the yellow ball between the two red balls.

 This situation IS NOT a "total snooker" to the player on yellows.

sc_total_snooker2

The cue ball has no "straight-line" path to the yellow ball. It would hit one or other of the red balls (arrowed) before it reached the yellow ball.

 This situation IS a "total snooker" to the player on yellows.

sc_total_snooker3

The cue ball has a "straight-line" path to the yellow ball between the two red balls. Even though you can only see a thin edge of the yellow ball, you can still hit it.

 This situation IS NOT a "total snooker" to the player on yellows.

sc_total_snooker4

The cushions are taken into account when deciding if a "total snooker" exists (unlike for "foul snookers"). Although the cue ball has a path between the red balls to hit the yellow ball, it would hit the cushion (arrowed) before the yellow ball and would have to bounce to make contact with the yellow ball, so is not a "straight-line" path.

 This situation IS a "total snooker" to the player on yellows.

Foul Snookers and Foul Jaw Snookers

If your opponent has fouled and left you in a situation where you cannot play the finest cut possible on BOTH sides of at least one of your balls, by way of a straight line shot, then you are either "foul snookered" or "foul jaw snookered". See the examples below.

NOTE: All examples show the fouled player's colour as yellow.

sc_foul_snooker1

The right hand red ball is stopping you (arrowed) from making the "finest cut possible" on the right hand side of the yellow ball.

 This situation IS a "foul snooker" to the player on yellows.

sc_foul_snooker2

The closer the cue ball is to the object ball, the close together the "finest cuts possible" become. The right hand red ball is stopping (arrowed) from making the finest cut possible on the right hand side of the yellow ball.

 This situation IS a "foul snooker" to the player on yellows.

sc_foul_snooker3

You cannot be snookered on an object ball if the cue ball is touching that object ball. When the cue ball is touching the object ball, BOTH "finest cuts possible" are effectively in the same place as where the balls are touching (arrowed). As the cue ball is touching the yellow ball, this counts as having "hit" the yellow ball when a shot is played. You can play a legal shot away from the yellow ball in any direction.

 This situation IS NOT a "foul snooker" to the player on yellows.

sc_foul_snooker4

You cannot be snookered by a ball of your own colour. If you remove the offending yellow ball (arrowed), it is possible to play the "finest cut possible" on BOTH sodes of the other yellow ball.

 This situation IS NOT a "foul snooker" to the player on yellows.

sc_foul_snooker5

The cushions are ignored when deciding if a "foul snooker" exists. You could play BOTH "finest cuts possible" on the yellow ball if the cushion was not there (arrowed).

 This situation IS NOT a "foul snooker" to the player on yellows.

sc_foul_snooker6

Even though the cushions are ignored when deciding of a "foul snooker" exists, the right hand red ball (arrowed) is stopping you maing the "finest cut possible" on the right hand side of the yellow ball, even if the cushion was not present.

 This situation IS a "foul snooker" to the player on yellows.

sc_foul_snooker7

Although the yellow ball can be "seen" clearly, the red ball would be contacted (arrowed) before you could make the finest cut possible on the right side of the yellow ball.

 This situation IS a "foul snooker" to the player on yellows.

sc_foul_snooker8

The jaw of the pocket (arrowed) is preventing you from making the "finest cut possible" on the left side of the yellow ball.

 This situation IS a "foul jaw snooker" to the player on yellows and only exists when the cue ball is in the jaws of the pocket, not the object ball.