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Billiards is a family of games played on a table with a stick, known as a cue stick, which is used to strike balls, moving them around the table. All billiard games are generally regarded to have evolved into indoor games from outdoor stick and ball games. The word "billiard" may have evolved from the French word billart, meaning "mace", an implement, similar to a golf club, which was the forerunner to the modern cue. The word "pool" generally refers to pocket billiard games such as 8-ball, 9-ball, straight pool and one-pocket. The word "pool" comes from "poolrooms," where people gambled off track on horse races. They were called poolrooms as money was "pooled" to determine the odds. Because such rooms commonly provided billiard tables, pool became synonymous with billiards by association. The terms "pool" and "pocket billiards" are now interchangeable.
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