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Some dirty pool in Ireland


It's called "snookering."

Derived (of course) from the game of snooker, the word refers to placement of the cue ball so that the opponent has no direct shot. The opponent risks a foul by unallowed contact or by failure to contact any of their own remaining targets.

Snookering is also called "doing the dirt," and is sometimes referred to as "you know what to do."

A principal difference between pool on this side of the Atlantic and the other side is the rule about "two shots on a foul." In American pool, one suffers the end of one's turn on a foul (scratch) — nothing more.

The allowance of two shots on a foul gives the dirty play a magnitude of greater importance — the potential for two shots in sequence enables an extra dimension of strategy. All you have to do is properly snooker. Generally, the two shots carry, so one's turn lasts until missing two shots in total. (I say that two shots "generally" carry, because in Ireland rules vary from pub to pub, and from region to region.)

In any case, the snooker is a critical strategic element on the Irish pool table.

Sometimes it is a better strategy to snooker, gaining two shots, than it is to "pot" a ball. Sometimes, it's the only good option.


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