If you thought less traditional online casino games like
mahjong, backgammon and gin rummy were growing more popular,
take a gander at online billiards. Yes indeed folks - the
cue ball and stick are in virtual form, and it's catching on
quick. Thanks to sites like Billiards Magic and the World
Snooker Association (worldsnooker.com), the game of
snooker...err, billiards, pool (whatever you want to call
it), is catching on with players much in the same way that
online poker took, albeit far less explosively.
First off, why all the different names? Well, the term
billiards is actually the most encompassing, for it refers
to all sports played on the green table, including pool and
snooker. If you're from the U.S. you're probably more
familiar with pool. If you're from the UK, snooker is the
game you will know. It's kind of like calling football
"soccer" and vice versa. However, there are some slight
differences in how traditional pool and snooker are played.
Instead of trying to pocket all the balls in pool, snooker
works on a point system. It is played on a larger table and
consists of twenty-one balls total (15 are red; 6 are
colored), not to mention the white cue ball.
Having achieved a formidable level of popularity in the
land-based world, it was only a matter of time before
snooker and pool made their way on the internet. And yes,
I'm talking about real money betting here. Isn't that what
sporting is all about...making bets? Just kidding. I know it
should be about the fun and competition, which I must say is
still present in the online version of the game.
Apparently, the aforementioned site, Billiards Magic
sends players to download Play89's online billiards
software, which allows users to play snooker, pool and
another pool derivative called Carom. The software download
is free, and players can either play for fun or make a
deposit with the cashier (in the same way you would with an
online casino). Tournament competitions take place round the
clock, which seem to be growing in popularity by leaps and
bounds. Much in the same way that the World Poker Tour and
WSOP created a buzz for poker and online poker rooms took
off, the World Snooker Association is drawing together the
land-based circuit on its busy website.
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