Russian Pyramid – Quite possibly the best billiards type game I’ve played

I consider myself pretty fortunate these days. I’m settled in a relatively new to me rental home in Central Asia where lurking in the basement is a full size tournament spec snooker table, or so it seemed.

whole in not the most naturally gifted player to ever pick up a cueI do enjoy cue sports, billiards, whatever you want to call them.

Being a Brit I’m used to playing pool and snooker. Over the years I’ve also played billiards and bar billiards a couple of times and thought I’d seen just about everything that could be played with a cue and a billiards table.

As they say everyday is a school day and what I was lucky enough to find is a game very specific to Russian and ex soviet countries called Russian pyramid.

I believe that the game is known to some in the states and that there is a world championship which is won predominantly by Russians or players of Russian descent.

So what makes this game writing about and sharing with the world?

Well for several reasons its a real challenge.

The game has roughly the same rules as pool when it comes to foul play. Like all billiards games the objective is to pot more balls than your opponent.

That’s where the similarities end. The game starts with a yellow cue ball and 14 white object balls, there is no black.

The winner is the first to pot 8 balls, there is no preferred sequence and no need to nominate pockets.

So far so easy right? Well yes but its about to get a lot more challenging

Those balls well they are 25% larger and heavier than a standard snooker or pool ball.

The pockets, well they are 5% smaller than those on a regular snooker table.

This is where the challenge, the fun and to be brutally honest the utter frustration of this brilliant game come into play.

Potting balls and playing 100% accurately with every shot becomes both a nessecity and an art form. Every pot has to lined up exactly to roll in, and the cue ball being much heavier is harder to control. No trick shots here…

If the ball is not 100% lined up with the pocket then you either simply leave the pot on for your opponent as you look on helplessly as the ball rattles the jaws, or watch on equally helplessly as the ball ricochets back from the jaws.

So far its provided hours of fun, frustration, triumph, challenges and learning.

If you have an interest in billiards in general and access to a table, check what’s available. Balls are generally cheap, its a real challenge and one thing I can guarantee is when this quarantine situation ends it will provide hours of fun with friends.


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