In English, "billiards" often denotes the gamut of cue games (especially in North American usage). Sometimes, however, "billiards" standing alone will refer in particular to carom games played on a pocketless table, as opposed to games played on tables with pockets, which may be referred to either as "pocket billiards" (or "pool"), as "snooker" or as "English billiards" (depending upon equipment size and rules). However, in some dialects, "billiards" always refers unambiguously to a specific game; for instance, in Britain and Ireland, "billiards" denotes "English billiards" exclusively. This article addresses the broadest of these usages.Billiards in early 19th century Germany, using a table much longer than the modern type

Billiards is a family of games played on a table with a stick, known as a cue stick, which is used to strike balls, moving them around the table. All billiard games are generally regarded to have evolved into indoor games from outdoor stick and ball games.[1] The word "billiard" may have evolved from the French word billart, meaning "mace", an implement, similar to a golf club, which was the forerunner to the modern cue. The word "pool" generally refers to pocket billiard games such as 8-ball, 9-ball, straight pool and one-pocket. The word "pool" comes from "poolrooms," where people gambled off track on horse races. They were called poolrooms as money was "pooled" to determine the odds. Because such rooms commonly provided billiard tables, pool became synonymous with billiards by association. The terms "pool" and "pocket billiards" are now interchangeable.