If you are a snooker player, you will find that this page contains alot
of useful guides.
There are some nice pictures to view as well.
For those who have just started this game, you might not have found the
beauty of the game yet.
That is quite normal. Snooker, unlike many other games, does not give you
much satisfaction when you are an absolute beginner.
I like to classify this game into many phases. For those who do play, see
which phase you are at...
PHASE1: First timer, not sure how to aim the ball for a pot, just hoping
to touch it. Constantly hoping for balls sitting by the pocket. Still then,
not very confident on the shot, thus hitting it very softly. Cueball ends
up very close to the cushion. Panic!!! Do not know how to make a good
bridge. Not sure where to grip the cue. Stroke through the ball clumsily,
gets a miscue. Your opponent laughs wickedly while you curse and swear at
your miserable luck. Your score range from negative to around 5 points.
PHASE2: Knows how to judge angles. Fairly confident up to half table
distance. Dare to choose colour balls with higher value that are more
difficult to hit. Very obsessed with shooting Pink and Black after potting
a red. Likes to hit easy balls very hard, letting the cueball run all over
the table. Your opponent being at phase2 as well makes comments like "Wah",
"Bo Sia, Bo Seng(No sound,No count)", "See Beh Zhun(Damn accurate)". You
feel very high, goes to your next shot and takes it almost immediately
without aiming. You miss this next pot completely, but still feeling very
high from the previous shot. Sometimes, you pot a ball and end up
self-snook. To you, it was no luck(but is it???). Your score is around 10
to 15 points.
PHASE3: You are now potting more balls at one turn, ie. higher breaks.
However, you still have phobia of cushion-balls and spider. You want to
screw the cueball whenever there is an easy pot(cueball one foot from the
object ball). You suceed with a screw distance of about one foot and your
opponent comments "Tarik See Beh Chia(Powerful Screw)". You feel very high
and can't wait for another chance. A chance to screw comes again and you
want to screw back even more this time. You hit the cueball even lower and
much harder, ends up jumping the cueball straight into the pocket. You
feel very embarrased, quickly look for the chalk and start chalking
furiously. Your score is around 25 points.
PHASE4: You learn more about cueball control. You know that you can follow,
screw, hit harder, hit softer, swerve the cueball when snooked(Not much
success). You are now concerned about placing rather than just hitting the
highest valued colour ball. You can now hit cushion-ball and spider without
fear but still can't pot(excusable). Breaks improve with an average of four
balls each turn. When your opponent leaves the cueball tight on the cushion
for you, you scold him and ask for better situations. Both players expect
to get better chance on every turn. The game is usually quite smooth
flowing until when the table has few balls left. This is the point where
the game becomes very draggy(Up to 45 mins). Your score is still around 30
PHASE5: You are now fairly accurate with long shots. You have just learned
about siding, and can't wait to use it on every shot. You have become
obsessed with not hitting plain ball. However, since you have not mastered
the techniques, you start missing balls which you can normally pot. Your
game starts to worsen. You leave your opponent with more chances and this
really frustrates you. Your opponent actually thinks he has improved.
However, it is better that you are trying out new things than being too
reserved. Your score has dropped tremendously to around 20 points.
PHASE6: You become enthusiastic to get the techniques for cueball control.
You practice these strokes whenever your opponent goes to the toilet or
makes a phone call. You seem to be doing quite well when practicing but
never seem to be able to reproduce them in an actual game. However, you can
place balls that only require strength control and mild screw/follow quite
well. You place your cueball for a straight pot and can have pretty good
breaks. But you realise that you have to use alot of power to place certain
balls. This is because you have left yourself too straight a pot on the
previous shot. Such a situation is usually where your break ends. You now
know that when the pot is impossible, you can still play a safety shot.
The game is more draggy towards the ends because of excessive safety play.
On better occasions, you can pot 2 colour balls at one turn and thus speed
up the game(and piss you opponent off). Your score is now close to 40
PHASE7: You can have high breaks of around 15 points most of the time. Your
placing now has more planning(2-3 steps ahead). Safety play is one of your
tool to guard your opponent. Your opponent does not blame you for leaving
him with a good safety. You have the composure to fight back when you are
down on points. You can manufacture snooks as well but you are not good at
clearing snooks yourself. Your break can usually continue quite well until
situations when the object balls are in awkward positions like near the
cushion or stuck in a bunch. Hang in there, you are not far from calling
yourself an accomplished amatuer. Your score is consistently 50+ with
occasional 60+ points.
PHASE8: Very composed, in control. Take 20+ points and take your cueball
to a safe position(hit and run). No problem up to half table distance.
Long shots are accurate 70% of the time. Good safety play and killer
snooks. Able to clear snooks and still be in a safe position.
Concentrating your break around blue, pink and black. No handicap except
long-ball cushion/spider. You are now taking the game very seriously. You
know the statistics of the more successful professional players. You even
try to mimic some of them. On a good break, you can take as many as 30
points. Your score is at least 60+ points. You are very proud of yourself
(you should be!) Such is a standard others look on with admiration.
That's all the phases possible for a non-professional. There are 8 phases
altogether. I'd like to represent them as such:
PHASE9: ALL COLOURS (Professional standard, clear table)