Billiards is a game for two or four players. It requires good coordination, plus hours and hours of patient practice. Billiards was developed in England more than 600 years ago, in an attempt to make lawn bowling an indoor game. Early colonists from England, France, and Spain brought the game with them to America. Gradually the equipment and rules became established.
   The game is played on a special table made of slate and covered with green felt. A standard table is five feet wide and ten feet long. The sides of the table above the flat surface are padded with rubber, and are called rails or cushions.
   There are three billiard balls. One is red. The other two are white. One of the white ones has two red dots on it. A player uses a cue (a long wooden stick) to hit his cue ball, one of the white ones. He makes a point if his cue ball touches the other two balls before it stops rolling. A game is usually 50 or 100 points.
   A popular variation of billiards is pocket billiards, or pool. The players use the same kind of cue sticks. The table is similar but it is smaller and has six pockets, one in each corner and one half way down each long side.
   Pool players use 15 numbered balls and one cue ball. The cue ball is white, and the numbered balls are different colors. Balls 1 through 8 are solid colors, each with its number showing. Balls 9 through 15 are white with colored stripes, and the numbers are on the stripes. The object in most pool games is to hit the cue ball into the other balls and knock them into the pockets, without the cue ball's falling in.