All cue sports are generally regarded to have evolved into indoor games from outdoor stick-and-ball lawn games (retroactively termed ground billiards), and as such to be related to the historical games jeu de mail and palle-malle, and modern trucco, croquet and golf, and more distantly to the stickless bocce and bowls. The word “billiard” may have evolved from the French word billart or billette, meaning “stick”, in reference to the mace, an implement similar to a golf club, which was the forerunner to the modern cue; the term’s origin may have also been from French bille, meaning “ball”. The modern term “cue sports” can be used to encompass the ancestral mace games, and even the modern cueless variants, such as finger billiards, for historical reasons. “Cue” itself came from queue, the French word for a tail. This refers to the early practice of using the tail of the mace to strike the ball when it lay against a rail cushion.
A recognizable form of billiards was played outdoors in the 1340s, and was reminiscent of croquet. King Louis XI of France (1461–1483) had the first known indoor billiard table.[5] Louis XIV further refined and popularized the game, and it swiftly spread among the French nobility.[5] While the game had long been played on the ground, this version appears to have died out in the 17th century, in favor of croquet, golf and bowling games, while table billiards had grown in popularity as an indoor activity.[5] Mary, Queen of Scots, claimed that her “table de billiard” had been taken away by those who eventually became her executioners (and who covered her body with the table’s cloth).[5] Billiards grew to the extent that by 1727, it was being played in almost every Paris café.[5] In England, the game was developing into a very popular activity for members of the gentry.

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Cue sports

Cue sports (sometimes written cuesports), also known as billiard sports,[1][2] are a wide variety of games of skill generally played with a cue stick, which is used to strike billiard balls and thereby cause them to move around a cloth-covered billiards table bounded by elastic bumpers known as cushions.

Historically, the umbrella term was billiards. While that familiar name is still employed by some as a generic label for all such games, the word’s usage has splintered into more exclusive competing meanings in various parts of the world.

For example, in British and Australian English, “billiards” usually refers exclusively to the game of English billiards, while in American and Canadian English it is sometimes used to refer to a particular game or class of games, or to all cue games in general, depending upon dialect and context. In other countries, the term “billiards” may be used colloquially to refer to pool.

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