View Full Version : Q-Ball 1950's-1970 Game in NY and NJ?

11-24-2012, 09:03 PM
Does anyone here remember a bar game called Q-Ball? It was in most of the bars in NY and NJ...and maybe other aea's. elieve the table was 3' x 6' and you always shot from one end. The game had 6 white balls and one red ball. The table had 9 holes on it to score points. There was a wooden mushroom guarding the 200 hole. ittle by little Q-ball tables were replaced with the Bar Box. This game was on NY TV once a week for about a year. Thank you for any feedback. I am looking to buy one or have one made out of a BB. Johnnyt

11-24-2012, 09:28 PM
I distinctly recall a table from my youth with such a description though I do recall the balls being smaller and the table being decorated as a childs toy.

I do not recall an adult version.

11-24-2012, 09:40 PM
Bar billiards

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Bar Billiards is a form of billiards which is often thought to be based on the traditional game of bagatelle. It actually developed from the earlier French/Belgian game billard Russe, with supposedly Russian origins.

Bar billiards in its current form started in the UK in the 1930s when an Englishman David Gill saw Billard Russe being played in Belgium and persuaded the Jelkes company of Holloway Road in London to make a similar table. It is a traditional game played in leagues in Sussex, Berkshire, Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Surrey, Kent, Cambridgeshire, Hampshire, Norfolk and Northamptonshire. These counties comprise the All England Bar Billiards Association. There are also leagues in Guernsey and Jersey. Tables were also made by Sams, Riley, Burroughs & Watts and Clare. The standard "league" tables have a playing surface approximately 32 inches wide. Sams also made a narrower version with a 28 inch width playing surface.

[edit] The game

Bar billiards is played on a special bar billiards table without side and corner pockets, but with 9 holes in the playing surface which are assigned certain point values (from 10 to 200).

There are eight balls for play - seven white and one red. Potting the red ball in any hole scores double points.

Table with mushroom-style skittles
On the playfield are normally placed three pegs (skittles) with a horizontal wire through the peg. The wire prevents the peg from falling completely down the hole. There are two white pegs, one either side of the 100 hole, and one black peg in front of the 200 hole. Earlier versions of the game used mushrooms instead of pegs, as they used to have a thin stalk and a flattish rounded cap. In this version the mushrooms were normally placed just in front of the 50 and 200 holes, often with a fourth mushroom in front of the 100 hole. This version was often referred to as "Russian billiards", probably named after the very similar French and Belgian game billard Russe which has a longer history (neither are to be confused with the common billiard game in Russia, Russian pyramid). There are a couple of leagues that still play this version in East Anglia in the Norwich and Sudbury areas.

If a white peg is knocked over then the player's break is ended and all score acquired during that break is discarded. Knocking down the black peg ends the player's break and all points are lost. In the case that a white and a black peg are both knocked over, then only the first peg to be knocked over is used.

Table showing holes, note the lack of access to the sides
All shots are played from one end of the table so access to all sides of the table is not necessary (ideal for a smallish bar or pub). A white ball is placed on a starting spot, then another ball (the red ball, if available) will be placed on a spot a few inches in front of that. This may be done a maximum or 3 times before one ball must remain on the table, known as "the 1-up" – failing to leave this one ball up results in a foul shot and loss of break. Players take alternate turns (innings) at the table playing from where their opponent has left the ball(s) or the table. The turn is sometimes also known as a break. If the player fails to pot a ball then the break has ended and the second player takes his break by placing another ball on the first spot. If all balls are in play, then the closest ball to the "D" (the semicircle around the first spot) is removed and put on the spot. If a player fails to hit a ball, then the break ends and all points earned in that break are lost.

The play is time-limited (normally a coin will give 15–20 minutes of play dependent on region). After this time, a bar drops inside the table stopping any potted balls from returning, leading to a steady decrease in the number of balls in play.

The last ball can only be potted by getting it into the 100 or 200-point hole after banking off one side cushion.

[edit] Bar Billiards World Championship

11-24-2012, 10:10 PM
I made a post about Bar Billiards some time back after hearing a reference to it on "Last of the Summer Wine", the longest running sit-com ever, I believe, 30+ years on British tv.