This book details the early form of the game of billiards, describing the tables and accessories, from its vague beginnings to the present day, when the more recent game of snooker has largely displaced billiards from the position it occupied for at least five hundred years as the 'Noble Game'. Reference is made to the early form of billiards - played out of doors on the ground, and the distant links with games such as croquet and paile maile - and the two quite different disciplines of the game which have developed. The history of the game is charted from its primitive form with a wooden bed, surrounded by a plain wooden rim to prevent the balls falling on the floor, to the present day. The various types of balls and billiard table lighting are dealt with and there is a section on unusual billiard tables of the past, some of them circular, oval or even octagonal. The author shows that this is a game with a fascinating history.