Bar Billiards Tables and Spares
Bar billiards or Russian billiards is a fascinating traditional game first imported into England from Belgium in the 1930s. Designed for pubs and clubs, shots are taken from one end of the Bar Billiards Table only which reduces the required floor space. A Bar Billiards table can be pushed into an awkward corner or niche turning a little-used area into a money spinner.
The game is time-based, each coin lasting 12 - 17 minutes, after which the internal bar drops and no more balls return to the front for replay. Players score points by knocking balls into the holes at the other end of the Bar Billiards table while avoiding toppling the skittles - Bar Billiards games are often decided by the last ball on the table.
Bar Billiards Tables
We sometimes have a beautiful old reconditioned / refurbished / restored Bar Billiards table available - most were made in the 1930s
Bar Billiards Accessories
Repairing a table can be tricky. Just because we supply spares doesn't mean you'll be able to fit them! Some people manage but the staff at our shop don't repair or make tables ourselves and so regret that we cannot offer advice for would-be DIYers. It's just that people often ask so we try to help out by offering useful spares and components.
Billiard Table Accessories - for Snooker, Pool and Bar Billiards
Billiard table cloth/baize, cushion rubber, brushes, irons, lighting and various minor accessories
History of Bar Billiards
The similarity of Bar Billiards with Bagatelle, the pub game that was most popular for at least a century after 1770 is so evident that it seems highly likely that Bar Billiards is a derivative of Bagatelle via some lineage but that lineage is, at present, unknown. Beyond that assumed and mysterious connection, it isn't known how Bar Billiards originated but in the early 1930s an Englishman called David Gill observed a game called Russian Billiards (Billiard Russe) being played in Belgium. A Russian link is therefore a possibility but it seems more likely that the game was named so as to sound slightly exotic to the ears of West Europeans at the time.
Gill convinced the English manufacturer Jelks to make a version of the game which he called Bar Billiards. Pubs seemed keen to buy tables and other manufacturers soon got in on the act. The first pub league was created in Oxford in 1936 and shortly afterwards leagues sprang up in Reading, Canterbury and High Wycombe. Eventually, a governing body was formed called the All-England Bar Billiards Association which supervises the game across 18 counties, mainly in the South of England.
There do not appear to be any standards to Bar Billiards rules and at least one other variation is in wide circulation that utilises 4 skittles instead of 3.
Bar Billiards is still popular in the South of England but has, unfortunately, lost a lot of its popularity due to the emergence of American 8 ball Pool.
For more information on the History of Bar Billiards, see the Online Guide to Traditional Games.