# What is the difference between billiards and pool?

While the term "billiards" is appropriate to use when naming any game played on a billiards table, before laying out the rules of a pool game, let's quickly distinguish the difference between "billiards" and "pool" and thus, the objects of the games. Some die-hard pool and billiards players consider "billiards" to be "carom" games only, a carom being the act of hitting two balls with one stroke of a pool cue. Pool, on the other hand, is "pocket billiards": the act of hitting a ball into a pocket. Now, to be sure, pocket billiards takes on many forms, each differentiated largely by the number and size of balls used in play. Most traditional American pool games, though, such as the kind you'd play at the corner pub or in your own basement, are "8-ball pool" games played with 16 balls: 15 colored and one white "cue ball." Basic Rules of the Game

At the start of a pool game, players must "rack" the balls in a triangular pool rack; all balls must be touching. The first shot of the game is a "break shot": one player breaks the group of colored, or "object," balls by hitting the cue ball into the mass. Object balls come in both solid colors and stripes; during a game, one player will use the solid balls and the other will use the striped balls. Each player will take turns attempting to hit his group of balls into one of the six pockets on a standard pool table. During play, players are required to "call their shots," or announce which ball is intended for which hole at the time of a shot. A player's turn lasts until he does not shoot a ball into a pocket. Whichever player pockets all his balls first is the winner, though sinking the black 8-ball at any point in the game ends it; the player who pocketed it, before pocketing his remaining assigned balls, loses. * http://www.billiardsauthority.com/pool-tables/billiardspoolrulesarticle.cfm