Welcome back my fellow learners, today we are going to learn about the history of billiards.
The history of billiards is surprisingly long, it is a game that was originally played by kings, then presidents, men and women, and even hustler. It has its roots in a lawn game quite similar to croquet played around the 15th century in Europe and France. However, it then most indoors to wooden tables that had green cloth to mimic grass, and a border was then installed around the edges. The balls back then were shoved, not struck, with wooden sticks referred to as maces. The word billiard is French, from the word billart, which was one of the wooden sticks, or bille, meaning a ball.
Most of the information regarding early billiards comes from royalty and other nobles. It was known as the Noble Game of Billiards since the 1800’s, however, there is evidence that individuals from all walks of life have played this game since its first began. In 1600, the game was familiar enough that Shakespeare made a mention of it in Anthony and Cleopatra.
The cue was created in the late 1600’s, when the ball came close to the rail, the mace was not convenient to use, due to the size of its head. In these such cases, players would simply turn the mace around and use the other way to hit the ball. This was called a queue, which means tail, this is where the word originated from. For a long time men were the only ones permitted to use the cue, women had to use the mace in case they tore their clothes with the shaper cue.
Tables originally came with flat walls for rails, and their only job was to ensure the balls did not roll off. They looked similar to river banks, and used to be referred to as banks. Players found out the balls could be bounced off the rails, and started to deliberately aim at them. Thus the bank shot was born, is when the ball rebounds from a cushion as part of a shot.