“ Learn how to play snooker online! „
I stumbled across funkysnooker a few months back and was so pleased that at last someone had had a good crack at an online snooker game. There are hundreds of Pool games online but I love tyhe whole tactical side of snooker!
Branded in a nice green colour the site itself is inviting and offers you the chance to get straight into a practice game or competitive game as a guest. This is a nice feature as many people are reluctant to sign up to something until they have tried it out. The site uses Java as a delivery engine for it's game which works well in the main browsers (I have used in IE, Firefox and Opera without difficulty).
The game of snooker is well represented with arcade and regular versions available (Arcade has 10 reds, regular the full 15) with appropriate table sizes. Gameplay itself is faithful to sooker rules with breaks being built up and play rotating between players. All the fouls are in there and so too is the use of spin on the cue ball. Shooting is handled by the mouse, aiming and then clicking and holding whilst pulling back and forward to generate the shot power. This feels really intuitive and you soon start knocking in shots.
If you sign up you get a ranking which will go up or down as you play other players. This is a nice way to judge yourself and gives you motivation to improve. Regular tournaments are also run which gives an extra dimension to the game. Tracking includes how many games you have played, won, lost and also your highest break.
FunkySnooker seems to have got the balance just right as this game is easy to pick up but hard to master. Just when I think I am on a great run of form I seem to miss an easy red! Tactical play can be rewarded as you stifle your opponent with snookers and I feel that my understanding of positional play has improved since using this site.
Review also on Ciao
It's been a little slow at work recently, it's always the same around the festive period, so I'm not too worried. But with the little lull in front of the PC's it is getting harder and harder to look busy, or at least to stop the boredom as I try and stretch out the last few things I have to sort before the Christmas break.
So whilst surfing the network I have comes across quite a few entertaining web sites, most being free to play, some asking for registration, and others being cheeky enough to ask for payment.
Anyway, I have played on-line pool on many occasions and I have spent many hours searching for a free on-line snooker site which is as close to the real deal as possible, so when I cam across funkysnooker.com I was instantly hooked.
** Funkysnooker.com layout...
When you first click onto the site you are greeted with a mainly green page, mostly covered by an image of a snooker table.
At the top of the page you are given the options of logging in , if you are already a member, or signing up to the site if you're not.
The other information along the top of the main page allows you to check out the sites players ranking, how they are doing in tournaments and more, including a link to playing pool instead of snooker, but that is a totally different review in itself.
Around the image of the table there lies some simple to understand writing, telling you the basics of the site, such as 'completely free to play', 'no download required', 5 sub games to play' and the amount of players currently on line.
Then there is the most important link which allows you to begin playing the game itself.
** To register or not to register, that is the question...?
You can choose to play as a guest by simply clicking on play without registering, although guests are not aloud in certain games and your scores are not registered, so if you get a 147 people will soon forget it was you.
But if you choose to register then your scores and results are remembered and you are entitled to play in most games, as some games require you to have a certain amount of points to play.
** How to register..?
Registering only takes a matter of minutes, you simply come up with a user name and a password, then fill in a few details, such as you name, e-mail address and maybe a few interesting facts about yourself, and you're almost away, the last stage is to click on the link that will be sent to the e-mail address you have given.
Once this link has been confirmed you should be ready to play with the big boys, looking for that elusive 147 maximum break.
Once registered it is then a matter of logging in with your e-mail address and your password....
** The Game options...
Registered or not the chose's are the same...
* Arcade.... With ten reds and the usual colours, the balls look a little on the large size which does make potting them a little easier.
* Regular... With fifteen reds and the usual colours, the balls being slightly smaller than on the arcade table, thus being a little more tricky to pot.
* Original... With fifteen reds and the usual colours, the balls are a lot smaller than arcade and smaller than regular, thus being even trickier to pot.
* Killer.... Which gives you 9 reds and a black, you start with 3 lives and each player takes a turn to pot a ball, if you miss a pot you lose a life, lose three lives and you're out.
Then there re other options such as 'carom', which is a red and yellow and no pockets, the aim is to... well, I'm still not sure about that one.
Then there is 'rack balls' which gives you a chance to practice in different ways and on three different size tables, clicking the link to change your options.
And from the home page you can also choose to play pool instead by clicking on the link, although the registration system is the same as funky snooker.
** HOW TO ACTUALLY PLAY THE GAME..
This is where you realise just how easily a game like this becomes addictive.
The simple instructions are on the screen and involve the use of your mouse, you simply place the white marker where you want the cue ball to go then you gently pull back your mouse, watching the cue slide backwards, then you push your mouse forwards, the speed depending on how fast you want the cue ball to go.
You can control the spin of the cue ball by moving the dot on the large cue ball on the bottom right of the page.
That's all you need to do, pull back and push forwards, all on your mouse, the speed, distance and spin is up to you.
There is a section under the game play table which allows members to 'chat' to each other. It is a simple matter of typing a few words in and pressing enter, (it tells you what to do right there), and you'll be praising your opponent for his break of 79.
** IN CONCLUSION...
If you like snooker then you'll certainly like funky snooker.com as it's probably the closest thing to real snooker without having to have a massive room for the table to fit in.
I have played quite a few snooker games online, some being good, some being something on the lines of diabolical, some games offering nothing more than a stick and a ball to be whacked around a dodgy coloured table. So when I came across funkysnooker.com I was very impressed by its layout and the way the games played as smooth as silk.
When I first started playing on funkysnooker.com I simply practiced for a bit as a guest, just to see what it was like and how real it felt, but the opponents were a little limited. Then, once I started to get the hang of the game I quickly signed up as a member to play against more of the other members.
Then the fun began... almost to the point of addiction in fact.
The way the site offers you a choice of several games options, either ten reds or the normal fifteen, the size of the tables and even the colour is quite brilliant. For me it seemed to give me the chance to practice on the arcade tables, with the bigger balls and move onto the original table, with the smaller balls, getting used to the way the cue balls spins around the table almost like the real thing.
The tables all look great and are actually nice to play on, considering it is a game, giving you a great all round feel to the game, with the spin of the cue ball and the stroke of the cue, almost like the real deal in fact.
When I first started playing I was a little distracted by the few adverts which flashed on the left side of the screen, (the deal or no deal boxes really caught my eye), but after a while, and once i really get into a game, I found that my eyes, and concentration were on the table and not on the adverts.
What more can I say about this brilliant site? Not much really as I believe that you have to experience the game play to understand just how well this site is run and how enjoyable playing online snooker can be.
This has to be one of the best snooker sites I have ever come across for what can be hours of entertainment at a cost of zero pounds and zero pence, gratis, nothing, nought... you get the message.
Give it a try at www.funkysnooker.com and play a few frames, you'll soon be addicted and determined to get that 147 break.
The only downside I have noticed on this site, and it is a small downside, is that a very small number of members can be a little bit rude in the chat box, but if you can just ignore the ignoramus minority then there is no downside at all.
I am a massive Snooker fan - I will, not only, watch the main BBC2 snooker coverage, I will watch the Extra show from midnight to 2am, I just cannot get enough of it. However, as a player I am known to be fairly average. Historically I have been adept at potting, but ever so slightly terrible with positional play. Therefore I have aimed to establish myself as a competent player on funkysnooker.com.
Funkysnooker.com is a website where you can play online snooker, either practicing on the table by yourself, or by playing one of the hundreds of thousands of online members or guests.
There are two types of Snooker you can play on funkysnooker - Arcade Snooker and normal Snooker.
On the website, this is the more popular of the two snooker types, mainly because it is a lot easier to play.
The game is played in overhead format, but the table is not to scale, being more the size of a 9ft x 5ft American pool table than a 12ft x 6ft snooker table. The balls are about to scale for American pool too, along with fairly substantial pockets to fit them in.
There are 10 reds on the table, as opposed to the usual 15; hence the maximum break you can achieve is a 107, instead of a 147.
Similarly, this is played in overhead format. However, as the table is more to scale, it is a lot harder to break build - the pockets and balls are very small and the size of the table is large.
There are 15 reds on this table, therefore a 147 is achievable.
How to play
The way to hit an object ball is to point the cursor on the area of the ball you want to hit, click the left mouse button, pull the mouse towards you to draw back as far and as powerfully as you need to, and then push the mouse forward to hit the cue ball towards the object ball. You can control the type of spin you want to put on the shot e.g. back, running or check sidespin, and this is very accurate.
Playing on the site
You can either play on this website as a guest or as a member.
If you wanted to play as a guest, you can literally go to the website now, click on the option to 'play as guest' at the top of the left hand menu on the main screen, and then a separate window will open up that loads the table, and you can be playing within seconds. As a guest, there is no ranking system, hence you can only play friendlies, but you can still play against members and other guests in friendly games.
As a member, you have a personal profile. You can upload a picture, and put your basic details such as age and nationality. Your profile also contains two record cards - one to track your accomplishments for Arcade Snooker and one for normal Snooker. They contain your wins and losses (which are counted on an individual game basis, not match basis), ranking points, and the amount of maximum breaks, centuries and half-centuries achieved.
Only members can play ranked games and create games with their own title for it, such as 'sean_paul's game or 'Good players only', and time limits on shots can be set.
How to join a game
Once you have accessed the game window, underneath the table will be a chat window saying that you are in a chat room, and you can talk to other people in the room. If you sign in as a member, you will go into the 'members bar', and if you are a guest you will go into the guest chat room. Along the bottom right corner, to the right of the chat window, you can bring up an options screen where you can either move to another chat room, create a game, join a game or watch a game currently under progress (you'd mostly use this to watch friends or a really exciting head to head). There will also be a list of games on the left hand side of these options, and if a game has '(waiting)' next to the title, e.g. "sean_paul's game (waiting)", then you can click on this game, and click 'Join' to access the game room facing the opponent. You then click the icon that has a rack of balls to start the game.
There is a ranking system on funkysnooker. When you register, you start off as a 'Newbie' with 650 ranking points. As you win ranking games you accumulate points which is explained more below, and if you lose, ranking points are taken away from your total.
Once you have played over 50 or so games, you will lose the title 'newbie', and be classified by one of the following ranks:
Intermediate: 600 - 699 points
Adept: 700 - 799.9 points
Professional: 800 - 899.99 points
Virtuoso: 900 + points.
The amount of points you accumulate when you win a game is relative, dependent on your rank, and the rank of the player you beat. If you are an intermediate and you beat a virtuoso, you will attain around 10 to 15 points, whereas if you beat another intermediate, you will obtain around 2 or 3 points.
Single games are classified into two parts - a friendly game or a ranking game. The main difference between the two is that if you win or lose a friendly, your wins / losses record will change, but your ranking score will be unaffected. In a ranking match, the time limit to take a shot can be much less - usually 20 seconds or less, and the outcome of the match will either see you gain or lose points from your ranking score. In a friendly, the time limit can be around 2 minutes to take a shot.
Five tournaments take place on the site per day for both Arcade and normal Snooker, and there are usually 6 rounds in each tournament dependant on how large the intake for the tournament is - 1st round, 2nd round, 3rd round, Quarter Final, Semi Final and the Final. All matches leading up to the final are a best of 1, and the final is usually a best of 5.
Entering a tournament is very simple, but you have to be logged on as a member to play it - on the homepage, when you click on 'tournaments' on the left side menu, you are taken to a page which informs you of the upcoming tournaments. 10 minutes before a tournament is to begin, there is an option on the tournament screen to 'Enter Tournament'. You will then have to click 'Play game' on the main page to open up the game window, and then when the tournament begins, in the chat window underneath the table, an invite will appear to play your opponent for the first match, which you can accept. Once you accept, it takes you straight to the match table to play the first round. If the intake is not that high, you may get a bye straight into the second round.
Normally, the best players come out for the tournament to take on each other. The professionals and virtuosos are expert break builders and normally leave absolutely nothing when they miss, so they nearly always triumph. There are about 15 virtuosos that are nearly impossible to beat, and have around 30 tournament wins between them. One of them is called sean_paul, who has amassed around 40 maximums on Arcade Snooker and achieved multiple centuries on normal. He has posted a couple of these onto youtube.com, which are worth watching.
Quality of the website
I have been a member of funkysnooker.com for over a year, and in that time the website has undergone a few changes. They have a forum, which can be accessed from the main screen, and the moderators of the site are very keen to take ideas on board and implement them if very good. The general layout is presented very neatly and professionally, and you can navigate your way around the options with ease.
Furthermore, the moderators make sure that bad language is non-existent within the chat rooms and dialogue during games. They do this by warning offending members to not swear if they are doing so, and subsequently 'booting' them, if they persist, from playing games or accessing the chat rooms. They will not be able to log in for 10 minutes.
There is a FAQ section, accessible from the menu on the main page for any queries that you cannot find answers to on the general website. Overall, therefore, this site is excellent and managed closely and effectively.
I personally think funkysnooker is incredibly addictive for two reasons, a) because I am extremely competitive, and b) because I am constantly trying to beat my highest break. I do play it obsessively, but I very often play as a guest, meaning that as a member, my record card does not reflect how successful I am at the game. I have beaten four or five of the best virtuosos, although I have amassed only 3 half-centuries. For the general population, it is a lot of fun if you like snooker.
It is very easy to play once you get the hang of it, and the way the cue ball responds to the type of spin you put on it is very accurate. This means that this game is as close to reality as possible. So much so that it has done wonders for how well I play snooker and pool in real life. I am now no longer so bad with positional play and coupled with my potting skills, I am far more adept. Having said that, I have never amassed a break of over 40, but I am getting there.
Thanks for reading!