Whether you love six reds snooker or hate it - and many snooker fans really do hate it - it's here to stay.

Jimmy White today beat Barry Hawkins 8-6 to win the Sangsom Grand Prix in Bangkok.

For those who think the whole tournament was some kind of joke, consider this: White won £18,000 - over £5,000 more than he pocketed for the whole of last season.

Why does six reds snooker appeal?

Well, it should guarantee shorter frames in theory because the reds are quickly split. That said, there's no reason why a half an hour safety battle on the green can't ensue in this form of snooker just as it can in the 15 red version.

Perhaps it's more that it is regarded as 'new' and therefore some sort of answer to the game's problems.

Twenty/20 has been heralded as doing the same for cricket. But anyone who followed the conclusion of the first Ashes Test from Cardiff today knows that the traditional game is still capable of delivering great entertainment.

Even so, three of the WPBSA's new Pro Challenge Series events will be played using only six reds. It's been used in the World Series and is being used in various club competitions in the UK and beyond.

So does this spell the end of 'normal' snooker?

Of course not. The slow burning drama served up during the World Championship is what makes it such a highpoint of the sporting calendar.

Taking away reds or having a shot clock would wreck it as a spectacle.

But I predict more six reds events will crop up. The fact that they level the playing field goes against the survival of the fittest ethos of top level sport but it also makes them an attractive proposition for players of varying abilities.

Perhaps this should be remembered, though: snooker is only played using 15 reds through the arbitrary decision of a bunch of British army officers who messed around with other cue sports in inventing the game in the late 19th century.

They did so because they were bored while it was raining outside. Had it stayed sunny, snooker may never have been invented at all.

More than a century later the 15 red version isn't going anywhere, so I think we can all be relaxed about the six reds experiment.


Anonymous said...


20/20 cricket has different rules to tests.

6 reds play with same rules but less reds.

i find it dull and boring it needs to change.

fact jimmy won shows how flukey it is aswell no disrespect but in a full game he would have got hammered.

Anonymous said...

"the 15 red version isn't going anywhere"

You're right there Dave. With ranking events disappearing, thank goodness we've got a bright new innovation to take the game forward.

Dave H said...

My point was that six reds isn't a threat to the traditional game

Anonymous said...

Can't believe England held out. Come back warnie all is forgiven! Can't say i'm a fan of six reds.

Anonymous said...

I think 6 red is great, but I prefer 15 red and 15 red is the true test of skill for a snooker player.

6 red is a great game for improving comp play. I have played 6 red comps using round robins then knock out - a player gets into frame winning positions more frequently which sharpens match play at a greater rate.

Anonymous said...

@ anon 10.55:
"fact jimmy won shows how flukey it is"

Don't think you can fluke wins over zeven top-32 players in a couple of days, even in a six-red format (which is not my favourite either, btw...)


Anonymous said...

I don't mind 6 reds as it's actually quite cool if you play it down the club. Obviously though matches should be played first to 10 frames at least to make it more fair. I wouldn't think that would take much more time than the current 15 red best of 9 match.

Anonymous said...

Fine if you want to play it down the club- I played lots of frames with fewer reds when I was playing regularly and I'm sure a lot of players have done.

But for professionals to be playing it is just a nonsense. What on earth is the point of it all?

The game doesn't need changing, and the only reason World Snooker are pursuing this rubbish is to make it look as though they're trying to do something for the game, because it's easier than doing something worthwhile.

Any fool can take nine reds off the table, whereas it takes a bit of intelligence and effort to go out and find new sponsors, improve the game's media profile and market tournaments properly.

Such things seem to be beyond the capabilities of the people running the game, so they go for an easy option like this six reds nonsense.

If they actually want to do something positive for snooker, they can do that by resigning en masse.

But that won't be happening, because the point is that they don't want to do anything positive; they just want to preserve their own positions of power and squeeze as much money out of the game as they can.

Their prospects of doing that are greatly helped by people reacting positively to this Six Reds charade.

Dave H said...

Why does everyone look to World Snooker for all the answers?

Yes, they are the governing body but they are not the only promoters in town.

Having a six reds event in Thailand promoted by someone else is not going to make the slightest difference to whether Sir Rodney Walker remains chairman of World Snooker or not.

Thundering against six reds isn't going to make any difference either.

Anonymous said...


World Snooker is running the sport and have spent years trying to undermine everyone who has the games intrest at heart..

Barry Hearn and Ian Doyle came and went because the WSA was stamping on them and even Clive Everton who only reports the game cant be honest or he ends up in court.

i agree the sport has to look to the future and look beiond the WSA but they will from experiance try to stop that happening out of selfishness.

Dave H said...

I dare say they would disagree

What is true, though, is that snooker's prospects will come to rest more and more on independent promoters rather than a governing body hamstrung by its constitution

Anonymous said...

someone said once snooker was around before the WSA and will be around long after the WSA.

what it needs is someone with money and guts to come along now like Altium 10 years ago and i think this time the WSA will be history but the game will carry on.

despite a lot thats been said its a great product and stil very popular in britain and is growing in other countries.

the suport is there all it needs is a injection of Adrenalin from somewhere and it will get out of the hole its found itself in.

Anonymous said...

I see the United States Cricket Association is keen to stage a Twenty20 professional competition in the land of baseball and gridiron. Informal approaches have been made, including from the organisers of the Indian Premier League, who are said to be keen on expanding the T20 game to foreign shores. It's amazing how making some small changes, whilst still retaining the very playability that has made it popular, can propel a sport to new and wider audiences. Maybe it's time for the snooker authorities to follow suit and give some meaningful backing to a shorter version of the game?

Anonymous said...

Hi Dave,

Am all for including this experiment and the group games at a tournament - GP two seasons ago -if there is enough tournaments around the world to fill the official seasoned diary with the traditional world ranking/invitational tournaments. But we all know there isn't, so let the promoters have there fun in Thailand and the far east for now.

And come back when there is or, more to the point when the WSA disappear.

Just on the point of tournaments, wasn't there a court case in 2001, regarding that tournaments could be set up without the WSA's approval (or am I making this up?)

Can you clarify and, if that is the case, it doesn't help the game now does it?

Thanks, Joe

Anonymous said...

Reducing the game to six reds is definitely a move in the right direction. Some twenty years ago we used to run weekly snooker tournaments at our local club using just one red. It was possible to run an entire tournament over the course of an evening and it was very popular. However we found that we could make the game even more interesting by also taking off all the colours and giving your opponent his own cue-ball. It was raining at the time, and we were bored. Strange how these ideas come about.