Uncovering The History of Billiards

Pool history

history of billiards has nothing to do with this awesome table

Billiards has a long interesting history. Did you know that billiards was originally an outdoor game that was played on green grass instead of a green table top? That is actually why the felt on the table is green. There are many other billiards facts that might surprise you.


Billiards was said to be a sinful game almost from its inception and was banned by the church and the state of Great Briton for quite a while. Apparently there have always been some connections between billiards and people doing things that are a little bit shady.The term pool even refers to gamblers who would meet in billiards halls in order to pool their money before a horse race that they were going to bet on. There are still many people today who see pool and billiards in general as a slightly disreputable.


Billiards is actually a pretty well practiced game and has a pretty good following. Billiards is actually a well-known sport because it is among the very safest sports that can be played and has a championship age group that is higher than that of any other sport including golf.  Billiards and golf are actually distant cousins. Both the game of billiards and the game of golf evolved from an outdoor garden game that was something like croquet. Golf and billiards have both been played more by men then by women and both have something of a history about discriminating against women.


futuristic pool table

Look at how far we have come.

The game of golf actually got its name from an acronym that said gentlemen only ladies forbidden. Billiards cues were used to replace the mallet like implements that were used earlier in the game’s history but  only men were allowed to use the sharper pointed cues instead of the maces since many men feared that women would tear the cloth on the billiards table by miscuing.  Many people that are familiar with billiards are also aware that billiards balls were originally made from ivory from elephant tusks. These tusks became extremely hard to come by and many people started looking for new materials.


One of the reasons that ivory became such an impractical material is that a single elephant could only supply enough ivory to make six to eight billiards balls. Billiards balls needed to be made from the exact center of the elephant’s ivory tusk so that they wouldn’t be lopsided at all and this made it possible to obtain no more than three or four billiards balls from each tusk.