Pool sometimes known as billiards is an American cue sport that uses a table with six pockets and numbered balls. The game originates from English billiards, a similar game with colored balls. Both versions originated from Carom billiards, a French game with the familiar table except no pockets. The green fabric seen on today's tables comes from the 1600s and 1500s when billiards was a lawn game played outdoors.
Pool has many varieties and each game has a simple set of rules you must learn. In the early days when a new culture started playing a version of billiards, they would often change a rule or add another ball to drastically alter the outcomes of each game or to increase the speed to make competitions more interesting. Some popular pool game modes are the following.
- 8-ball - The goal is to pocket all the balls of a group (striped or solid) and then to pocket the eight-ball (black ball).
- 9-ball - A player must pocket the lowest numbered ball. The goal is to pocket the nine-ball.
- Straight - The game continues until one player reaches an agreed-upon score. One point is scored for every pocketed ball.
Like any sport, the popularization of computers made it so billiard games were developed for computers to simulate the physical game that requires a large table and cue sticks. One of the first billiard games was Video Pool (1985), which was a 2D simulator of pocket billiards. In this game the player needed to complete the levels, pocketing 6 balls on each level and scoring as many points as possible.