Russian Billiards

This is a game for the pedant in all of us.  It is a game that has been painstakingly developed over many years,it has a more intricate set up than any other game, and it comes with more rules too.  Even with all the rules and regulations, there is no clearly defined end.  The game can continue on and on, interchanging players at random.


Setting up

This game makes use of six colored balls (red, pink, blue, yellow, black, and green) and a white cue ball.  At the beginning of each shot every ball should be in their starting position. Apart from having a specific starting location, each ball has a specified pocket. Diagram for Russian Billiards

  • White: within the semi-circle between yellow and green behind the kitchen
  • Yellow: Between the midpoint of the table and the left side rail.
  • Green: Between the midpoint of the table and right side rail.
  • Black: Aligned with center of table along the kitchen line.
  • Blue: Placed directly in the center of the table.
  • Pink: Spotted in between the blue and red ball along center line.
  • Red: Aligned with bottom diamond along the center line.


Each ball has a specific pocket and value associated with it as well.

 Blue ball correlates with the two center pockets and has a value of 9 points. 

Red ball correlates with the bottom two pockets and has a value of 1 point.

Green ball correlates with the top right pocket and has a value of 3 points.

Yellow ball correlates with the top left pocket and has a value of 6 points.

The pink ball and the black ball have some special characteristics.  Pink ball is known as the ‘declarative ball’. At the start of each players turn he/she can declare the pink ball to become any color, it then takes on the same characteristics of the called color.  For example, if the pink ball is declared to be blue and then it is pocketed into a center pocket the player then receives 9 points.  If the player chooses the pink ball can even be declared the white ball. In that case the shooter can strike either pink or white ball.  Once the ball is declared to have specific characteristics it keeps those characteristics for the duration of the that players turn.  The black ball has no point value associated with it.



The interesting thing about this game is there is no real ending, so you can accumulate more points than any other player simply by being more persistent. There are multiple ways to rack up points in this game.


Anytime two or more balls are hit by the cue ball two points are awarded for every ball contacted after the first.

In offs

When the cue ball ricochets off a ball and lands in that specific balls pocket, cue ball acts like the contacted color ball.  So if the cue ball falls into bottom corner pocket after contacting the red ball then one point is awarded.


When a colored ball is pocketed in its predetermined pocket points are awarded.



Scratching results in the forfeit of your turn.  There are a number of ways to scratch in this game:

  1. A player fails to make contact with a ball
  2. Any ball comes off the table for any reason
  3. A ball is pocketed in the wrong pocket
  4. The cue ball is sunk in a pocket that does not correlate with the first ball contacted.
  5. The black ball is contacted for any reason.


These are the rules of the game.  Find some billiards-buddies to start playing with. Games like this are interesting and fun, partly because they never end.  The only bad part about this game is you cannot play them on coin operated tables, on account of each turn balls have to be reset into position.