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Black Ball Fouls and Penalties in Snooker

If you are a billiards enthusiast, you can relate to the fact that the best of the snooker games you have witnessed were the ones that went down to the wire. It took hours to have the final winner. And in such games, we get to witness a dramatic play in the last phase of the game.

When only colored balls are left. And the excitement grows further when you see only cue ball and a black ball left on the table, with both players having less than 7 numbers of difference in their points.

However, for some this phase can be full of confusion. If you have not studied the rules regarding black ball fouls in snooker.

Many things can happen, you or your opponent can mistakenly pot the black ball. Or, you can even mistakenly pot cue ball in the last phase of the game while playing. And possibilities are countless. Thus, there is bound to be some sort of confusion even among pros.

In this article, I’m going to discuss what happens if you foul on the final black ball, and what are the rules regarding such fouls. So, if you really want to learn, make sure you read till the end.

Snooker Rule Foul On Final Black Ball

The thing is, fouls can occur in different forms on a black ball. Maybe you send a cue ball in the pocket instead of black. Or maybe you send any of the two balls off the table. To understand what happens next, you must take the current point situation in account.

Case 1: If The Score Was Tied….

Let’s say you are playing snooker with your friend, you both have the same number of points, and there’s only black ball left on the table.

It’s your turn and instead of pocketing the black ball, you sink the cue ball. In this instance, the frame will end and your opponent will be the winner.

Case 2: If The Score Gets Tied On Black Ball…

This is another interesting scenario. Let’s say your opponent was behind you in terms of points. But you make a mistake and pot the white before the black ball. As a result, scores are tied now because of the points your opponent gained. In this case, the frame won’t end.

The black will be respotted to its original spot where it’s put on the table in the start, and the first player plays from the D until one of the players pot the black.

Case 3: If There Is A Gap Of More Than 7 Point In The Score

If there’s a gap of more than seven points between the score of two players, the situation reaches a stalemate. Why? Because the player with the least points has no chance of winning.

Because of the fact that the snooker frame ends on the foul on black, except there’s a tie between the players after the foul, the player with the most points wins the match.

So even if your opponent makes a foul on the black ball in snooker, you can’t win because the match will end automatically after the foul on black.

Case 4: If The Gap Is Less Than 7

If you have understood the top three scenarios, this would become an obvious rule for you. Let’s say, the difference between the points between you and your friend is less than 7. Or make it more precise, it’s 5. And your friend has the lead while you are five points behind.

Your friend makes a foul on black — the game ends here! And you’re the winner. Because after this foul, you gain seven points and you find yourself two points ahead of your friend.

Why Snooker Players Don’t Pot End Black?

This is an interesting question, asked quite often by players having confusion regarding black-ball fouls in snooker. Why does the end of frame occur with black ball remaining on the table?

Once again, I’d suggest you read the top rules. Once it becomes obvious that you can’t win from a certain stage, let’s say your opponent has a lead of 20 with only black left on the table. You have no chance of winning. And thus, for some players there’s no point to continue.

That’s why snooker games leave the black and don’t pot the end black.


Here’s a confession. Understanding black ball foul rules in snooker can be difficult at first. But the more you read them based on the scenarios/examples with scores, the easier it gets to understand them. Hopefully, with the above mentioned points, you have learnt all about fouls on the black ball in snooker.

About Maryam Shaw

Hello Everyone! I am Maryam, the reason behind creating this website is to help people with the detailed information and reviews about sports products