C. A few books on games, including billiards, published since 1674.

1674. COTTON Charles, The Compleat Gamester. Ed. Henry Brome, London, Great Britain, 1ed., 232 p.
Lists the first billiard rules (2 p.) published in Great Britain.
Below a picture excerpted from the book.

As can be seen, at that time the game used to be played with sorts of curved mallets (called maces) and two balls, on a table provided with six pockets, a King (skittle) and a port (fixed arch also called pass). In the 18th century, a red ball (called carambole) replaced the King, the port disappeared and straight cues were increasingly used instead of maces.

This book was reissued in 1970 by Barre, Massachusetts, U.S.A.


Notice that the first rules written in French are older and given in 'La maison académique. Contenant un recueil de tous les jeux divertissans...'. Robert de Nain & Martin Leché - Marchand Libraire. Paris, France, 1654, 236 p.

1696. ANONYMOUS, Divertissemens innocens contenant les règles du jeu des échets, du billard... Ed. Moetjens, De Hague, The Netherlands. Pages 324 and 325.

Very old book

Some of its billiard rules are still in use.

1776. ANONYMOUS, Le jeu de dez anglois suivi de celui du billard... Ed. Bollen, Liège, Belgium. Cover and page 7.



1779. DEW John, A Treatise on Billiards. Printed for Rivington..., London, Grreat Britain, 52 p.
The earliest English book on billiards.

1806. PHILOBILL (pseudonym), a Philosophical Essay of Billiard ... by an Amateur, Bath. Printed by W. Meyler, Grove, Great Britain, 59 p. Probably the first scientific analysis of the game in English [2].

1818. C. B..., AMATEUR, Nouvelle Académie des jeux...Traité sur le jeu de billard (64 p.), Ed. Hubert, Paris, France, 2ed., 298 p.


The National Library of France attributes that 1818 book to Charles Bouvard. This author does not mention therein the existence of the cue tip, although he writes on page 13 of a later book (1823, see book lists) 'Like the leather tip, affixed to the end of the cue, of which I established the use in Paris ten years ago, after having spread it all over Italy since 1801…' (translation).

1862 (ca) BONNEVEINE = ROSTAING Jules, Académie des jeux, Ed. Delarue, Paris, France. 396 p.


Game book containing 15 pages of billiard rules in the early 1860s.



[1]. HAASE Dieter, Das Billardspiel. Eine Bibliographie. Ed. kassel university press, Kassel, Germany, 2016, 677 p.

[2]. CRAVEN Robert R., Billiards, Bowling, Table Tennis, Pinball, and Video Games. A Bibliographic Guide Greenwood Press, Westport, United States, 1983. 1ed., 163 p.