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Billiards, any of several indoor games in which balls set on a felt-covered rectangular table with cushioned edges are struck by the end of a long tapering stick (the cue). Billiards was popular in France and England as early as the 14th century. In most forms of the game, the table has 6 pockets, one in each corner and one midway along each of the longer sides. The object is to sink balls into the pockets by playing one ball off another or, in games played without pockets, to hit the balls against each other successively. Carom billiards and English billiards feature 2 white cue balls and 1 red ball. Snooker has 1 white cue ball, 15 red balls, and 6 balls of other colors. Pool (or pocket billiards), as played in the United States, has 1 white cue ball and 15 numbered colored balls and is the country's most popular billiard game.

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