Cue sports, (sometimes written cuesports), also known as billiard sports, and historically referred to simply as "billiards", are a wide variety of games of skill generally played with a cue stick which is used to strike billiard balls, moving them around a cloth-covered billiards table bounded by rubber cushions. Virtual games of this type have been around as long as video games have been.
The three major types of cue sports are:
- Carom billiards, referring to games played on tables without pockets, typically 10 feet in length, including balkline and straight rail, cushion caroms, three-cushion billiards, artistic billiards and four-ball;
- Pool, covering numerous pocket billiards games generally played on six-pocket tables of 7-, 8-, or 9-foot length, including among others eight-ball (the world's most widely played cue sport), nine-ball (the dominant professional game), ten-ball, straight pool (the formerly dominant pro game), one-pocket, and bank pool; and
- Snooker and English billiards, games played on a billiards table with six pockets called a snooker table (which has dimensions just under 12 ft by 6 ft), that are classified entirely separately from pool based on a separate historical development, as well as a separate culture and terminology that characterize their play.