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The Colors of Billiard (Pool) Balls: Solids & Stripes

The pool is a fun game you can play with friends or even alone! But looking down at all those different colored balls can undoubtedly be a little confusing. So, what should you do if you want to play pool?

Well, there is actually quite a lot to learn, from finding the best pool cues for beginners to learning about all the different games you can play. But one of the essential steps of playing Pool games is understanding what the different colored balls mean.

Seeing all those different colors can be a little confusing, but things are simpler than you might think. We’ll take a look at the basics first before we examine the solid and striped colors. Yes, learning about the different colors might not sound overly fun, but once you’ve got the basics down, you can have fun playing pool!

The Cue Ball

The Cue Ball

The first thing to remember about Pool balls is the cue ball. The cue ball will (usually) be the only ball that makes contact with your Pool cue. You use the cue ball to hit other balls into the pockets of the Pool table. The cue ball will usually be a solid white, so it’s easy to identify it on the table.

Unlike other Pool balls, it won’t have any markings or numbers on it. A cue ball will come with your standard set of Pool balls, but it isn’t counted as one of the 15 object balls you’d find in the set. This nicely brings us to the next section we need to discuss.

The Object Balls

The Object Balls

The object balls are the 15 colored balls in the standard Pool set. These balls are split into two categories: solids and stripes. Solid balls are entirely colored, while striped balls have a single colorful strip across them. Each ball will have a number adorned on it as well.

These two designs make the balls easily identifiable no matter how they are placed/ knocked on the Pool table. The 1 – 8 balls are solid colors, while the 9 – 15 balls are striped. The table below outlines the corresponding order of the balls. So, if you’re learning how to play pool, you can refer to the table below.

Billiard Ball Color – Solids & Stripes

NumberSolid Color/ StripeColor
Number 1 BallSolid ColorYellow
Number 2 BallSolid ColorRed
Number 3 BallSolid ColorBlue
Number 4 BallSolid ColorPurple
Number 5 BallSolid ColorOrange
Number 6 BallSolid ColorGreen
Number 7 BallSolid ColorBurgundy
Number 8 BallSolid ColorBlack
Number 9 BallStripedYellow
Number 10 BallStripedBlue
Number 11 BallStripedRed
Number 12 BallStripedPurple
Number 13 BallStripedOrange
Number 14 BallStripedGreen
Number 15 BallStripedBurgundy

If you want to get better at the pool, then learning each of the 15 balls is very important. While it might seem confusing at first, by splitting the balls into solid colors and stripes, it becomes much more manageable.

These balls are used to play many games, not just standard pool. For example, Cutthroat Pool and 9 Ball are two other popular games you can play using some of these balls. But you’ll need different kinds of balls to play other games. Let’s take a look at some of these in more detail.

British Pool

British Pool

British Pool is a little different from the standard American version of the game. In the UK, it’s often considered a traditional pub game. Like the regular pool, it uses 15 balls and a cue ball. However, the balls aren’t the regular solids and stripes.

The game is played with 7 solid red balls, 7 solid yellow balls, and a black eight ball. The cue ball typically follows the same design as the traditional pool, so it is ordinarily solid white. British Pool balls are also usually smaller than the balls used in American Pool as well.



Finally, let’s talk about Snooker. Pool, Snooker, and Billiards are often confused with each other. But Snooker is played on a different (although similar) table from the pool, and the balls are different as well. In Snooker, there is a total of 21 balls on the table.

The majority of the balls are red, and there is a small selection of colored balls and the cue ball. Generally, Snooker uses 15 red balls, alongside 6 colored balls. These colored balls can vary, but they are typically yellow, blue, pink, green, brown, and black. The cue ball, as always, is white.

So, that is everything you need to know about the solids and stripes in the pool and the balls used in other similar games. You can check out our Pool section to learn more about this famous game, like how to rack the balls correctly!

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