Russian pyramid, also known as Russian billiards (Russian: ру́сский билья́рд, russky bilyard), is a form of billiards played on a large billiard table with narrow pockets. It is popular across Eastern Europe as well as countries of the former Soviet Union/Eastern Bloc. In Western countries, the game is known as pyramid billiards, or simply pyramid within professional circles.
There are several rule variations of Russian pyramid. All games begin with fifteen numbered white balls racked in a pyramid pack, as in straight pool, eight-ball and blackball. Players may pocket any object balls on the table regardless of number, and the first player to pocket eight or more balls wins the frame. In addition, shots do not have to be called. Depending on the game variant some specific balls may have to be in specific positions within the rack. The first player firmly breaks the rack with the cue ball from just in front of the baulk line. The most common varieties are the following, each of which has slight local variations on the rules:
Versions of the game have featured prominently in notable Russian films such as The Meeting Place Cannot Be Changed (1979) and The New Adventures of the Elusive Avengers (1968). An episode of the popular animated television series Kikoriki has two characters playing the game. The main characters of Dead Man's Bluff, or Zhmurki (Russian: Жмурки) play Russian pool in the bar scene.
A Russian pool configuration can be seen in “Tulsa King” starring Sylvester Stallone in Season 1, episode 5, while making a phone call, he walks up to a pool table, and around it. You will notice the all white balls racked, and a white cue ball.
Russian pyramid has been adapted into video games, both in standalone form and as a play mode in multi-cue sports video games. Many recent releases have been mobile games for Android and iOS.
Colored numbered balls for playing eight-ball, nine-ball and other pool games on Russian billiards tables are also produced. The balls are 68 mm (2+11⁄16 in) in diameter, like the standard ones for Russian pyramid, and thus much larger than the American-style balls they are patterned after (as illustrated in the comparison image).
Sanctioned by the World Pool-Billiard Association (WPA).
|2000||Evgeny Stalev (2)|
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