# A Game for the Elliptical Pool Table – Numberphile

You can only spend a certain of time practising getting the white in the pocket. So I thought I would design a game. And I have called the game Loop. ‘Cause it’s loop in stead of pool but different and also because it is a loop. What I realize when I was
coming up with games is to play it with a small number of
balls is much more fun than with a large number of balls. you have a black, which I’ll put there.
You have two colours like this. And you have the cue ball. It’s a two-player game and the aim is you gotta get a colour in and then you got to get the black in starting if you’re cueing off, you put the cue ball somewhere in the line between the black and here and you got to say which ball is the one you’re going to go for. So let’s say I go for red. and then …. here we go. okay this is a hypothetical position. I got to get the red in the pocket I can’t hit the side here because the
black is in the way. And so what you need to do is I need to hit this red ball so it rebounds and goes in. How do I know where to hit it? Well, I can use the focus point because if I hit the red in such a way that it goes in that direction I know it’s going to rebound and go in. So I need to hit the red ball exactly in that way.
So I need to hit it like that. Because if it’s coming from there it will go in. I’ll give it a try but I won’t get it because I’m a really bad pool player. I guess I need to…. well, is it going to go in? It didn’t work. When you get good at this when you understand how it works, that is have to do it, and I just opens up lots of really fun patterns of play. Basically the trick is whenever you play you’ve got to be thinking about this
dot and how things will happen if they were coming from this dot. And that’s kinda the axis you use to pot all the balls. So you’re trying to get the red ball in. I will get the red ball in. Once I’ve got the red ball in, I will then go for the black ball I’ll get the black ball in. Then the
moment the black ball is in the pocket I have won. So I’m going to challenge
your nephew Jacob to a game of loop. I’m going for red. You need to go for the yellow. And the thing is what you know is if you hit the yellow, so that the yellow goes exactly through here, you know it’s going to rebound into there. But you need to, not only do you need to hit it in this direction you need to hit it at just the right force so not too hot, not too cold. Oh, Brilliant! That’s really good. That was your first ever time you’ve hit it. With a bit of practice, you would get that in. Whooph. What you need to do now. You have to try and find a way of getting that in. If you hit that yellow as if it’s coming from there it’s going to hit that
and it should just go straight from there. What you see is that there is a tendency for the balls to start in the centre and to go around.
And so you also need to start to think about trying to reposition the balls in the centre. But what I would try and do to get this in. Oooh, great shot! So this is a snooker in loop and it’s called a snoop. Yeah there’s no way I’m going to be able to get this. I’m just going to move this to here. Oh! You need to hit the yellow ball as if it’s hit by the white ball coming
from the focus point so, as if it’s coming in this direction here.
And then it’ll hit it and rebound there. Oh! Yes! So you need to –
– play it if white was coming there but then it’s going to hit that, isn’t it? Is that skill? I think that’s actually the best shot in the history of loop. Yeah, well, seeing as there’s
only been one game of it so far. What happens if you pot the cue ball? You lost. On the black you lost.
I mean that’s the rules of pool too, isn’t it? Then you’ve lost. That’s a loss?
Yeah, I think the black is the the… the… that’s happened in pool It’s a black ball game, but if someone pots the white they lose the game. I hit it too hard but I was on the money.
– It was your rule. It was the rule you wanted. It’s true. I beat the inventor of loop. Well done.

## 100 thoughts on “A Game for the Elliptical Pool Table – Numberphile”

1. whatever says:

whatever

2. PunkHippie says:

I do think a slightly larger hole might be better otherwise perfectly aligned shots will be messed up because they’ll roll right over the hole.

3. Lord Bardock says:

this is not pool this is golf

4. Dat Boi says:

whys this dude explaining it 100x

5. Commando00721 says:

What if you made multiple eclipses all sharing the common focal point???

6. john paul porrelli says:

I want a loop table

7. Gavin Larson says:

Rematch, if you hit the cue ball in, the rules of pool have it so you can place the cue ball anywhere on the table

8. DreamChas3rs_YT says:

Well in pool if u hit the 8 ball u lose but the white ball means u can put the ball wherever u want to.

9. Eddard Stark says:

Now let’s invent a triangular table and call it opol, or a square table and call it olop!

10. im.xx7 says:

you should get pro pool or snooker players to play this, like Ronnie O'Sullivan

11. Triggered Brian says:

You lose when you make the 8 ball in and the cue ball at the same time
If only the cue balll goes in then the other player has the ball in hand

12. James Blain says:

How do you make your own

13. James Blain says:

I want to play this

14. Manuel Bourgault says:

I want one

15. Manuel Bourgault says:

you neeed to sell this

16. SiphonicAtom says:

All the dumbasses in the comments screaming "SCRATCHING ON THE 8 ISNT A LOSS" yes it is mate

17. Cuberates says:

Without the focus point, it would be more fun

18. Swymco says:

Looks like fun. I think the hole needs to be a little bit bigger.

19. Kobe Cheung says:

Where can I by this table?

20. Bragg Pluto says:

Loop is pool backwards

21. Torry Chen says:

The math faculty of my university added one of these to the student lounge – I love it

22. Wisnu OPS says:

"You need to hit the ball as if it was coming from the point"

True only if the ball won't spin. The spinning will cause the angle of reflection differs from the angle of incidence. But hitting the ball with angle will always cause the ball to spin. So, this is actually a very bad tip for winning the Loop game.

23. Wai Shing Tseung says:

is worng

24. Nhf1185 says:

Take a drink every time he says focus point

25. Siyabonga Thembinkosi Mngomezulu says:

Golf-Pool?

26. Kerbal Zone says:

I need an English version of this

27. Ace the Dolphin Guy says:

I want one know, more than normal pool

28. Tijana Cupic says:

Great! Now all I need is the table…

29. Puget Sound Transit Blog says:

Some time later…
WELCOME TO THE NUMBERPHILE LOOP WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS!

30. FuN DuniYa says:

31. dannypeck666 says:

its actually a billards table. pool has pockets, billards has holes

32. OmikronWeapon says:

The way they keep explaining where to hit it, imagining from a fixed point, like it's some huge revelation… Isn't it literally the same thing you should do on a normal table, but dumbed down; to just have 1 situation to consider instead of loads?
It still looks like quirky fun, but shouldn't mathematicians be turned off by this? It REDUCES the amount of maths you would have to do compared to a regular table, to almost zero.

33. rotlavir says:

Drink every time you hear the mathematician explaining over and over again how to pot the ball to Jacob

34. mehmet emin yünce says:

The 'side' phenomenon is neglected here. Still, an excellent and exciting video .

35. A-a Ron says:

Young guy is simply hitting it too hard…

36. doge says:

3:08 OOOF!

37. Noah Stone says:

at 0:42 if you look at the guy in the back hes just walking by and pops his head back out like WTH xDD

38. Mac Swanton says:

Brilliant! get some furniture mate

39. gamex 000 says:

Who else saw a guy in the background at 0:43 looking at what he was doing

40. republiccommando1138 says:

I really like slightly modified versions of normal games like this

41. Thomas Campione says:

I’m completely serious, how much for one of these

42. Owen Arroyo says:

Golf table

43. the blue tiger says:

44. Kimpo 1000 says:

Please make this a official game

45. Kristian Murphy says:

Could other people play this games

46. salm0nslayer420 WOLF says:

I'll take 10

47. epic gamer says:

I want to play loop with this guy

48. Legend Mixer says:

Where are the lööps brøther

49. Just Debra says:

That looks really fun

50. Zachary Johnson says:

I want one, where can i buy one smh

51. Ciarán Cooling says:

While a cool mathematical idea, it doesn’t quite pan out in reality, even ignore friction, assuming you aim correctly, any inadvertent sidespin will render this moot

52. Peppe Frasca says:

03:10 OOF

53. I like Toastbrot says:

The queue has children size.

54. Franco Trujillo says:

LOOP TIME

55. Matthew Huereca says:

That was a scratch it’s only if the 8 ball goes in he loses

56. Duck sauce says:

Id love to play.

57. Powerzize says:

Anyone know how much the table is?

58. Irish Wristwatch says:

Try-hards you didn't call the pocket! Lol

59. Dr. Stein says:

That actually looks quite fun.

60. Benjamin Holcomb says:

If a player pots the cue, the other player should be able to place the cue before shooting it, so they could likely put it on the focus

61. Lior Segev says:

Top ten anime comebacks

62. angel bernal says:

Beautifull i want one of this

63. Ok Gaming says:

Amazingly inventive game. Can’t wait to have a loop table of my own

64. Firebolt 67 says:

Cheater

65. Flik says:

This needs to be sold

66. shane dhanraj says:

Loop backwards is pool

67. jacob marr says:

Love ur channel

68. Jose Briceno Reza says:

He understands just let him play

69. Jose Briceno Reza says:

It’s annoying you explain every time

70. Trystan Hooper says:

play it like billiads, thatd be cool

71. game changer says:

1 very clever man. Love it

72. Garret Jacobs says:

I would like to get a feel for how spin effects this table.

73. TWCuber says:

4:40 what?!?

74. Łukasz Czarkowski says:

Gra na takim stole, musi być strasznie irytująca.

75. Brent Dallyn says:

10 ft table and a bigger pocket, first rule is both players must smoke a big fatty before play begins

76. Poptartcat The pastry slayer says:

The pocket looks like a butthole

77. Money Origami Originals says:

PLAY MORE LOOP GAMES!

78. perchingparrotproductions says:

Shut up and take my money 😂

79. Savage Beast says:

White isn't lose its a scratch which allows you to move it any where u want

loopirovanie ekko

81. Gafy says:

0:06 when you flush the toilet and it keeps spinning but doesn't flush

82. DerSibbe says:

I neeeeed this😫😄

83. Asher Nelson says:

1:00 so lucky he did not sratch

84. SALIH HAMANDI says:

pi

85. David Issel says:

I want to know how much they spent building this Loop table.

86. Al Guien says:

It really annoyed me that he felt himself necessary to explain the angle of shot to his nephew EVERY shot. Let the kid play and figure it out!

87. Space Red says:

If you get snooped you forfeit your shot and the other player gets two shots, one to get it unsnooped

88. Swi ckens says:

The hole is just too small. They normally aren't that small, I'd say make it a tad bigger and put 1 or 2 pockets on the edges of the table, make it a tiny bit bigger of a table and you might have a real variation

89. Michael hunt says:

Would it still work if you made the table bigger?
That really looks like fun!

90. Pablo Cendejas says:

Gabriel Orozco.

For God's sake, they are very weak indeed.

92. Millie Tant says:

I don't like it.

93. Simplicio says:

You've reinvented minigolf in a fantastic way

94. lilday ._. says:

"if you pot the white ball you lose" every pool player 🤢🤮🤮🤮🤮🤮

95. Teddi786 OG says:

I think I'll stick to snooker and pool lol

96. Alex Banton says:

It barely works because hes hitting slowly causing the ball to pick up top spin, altering the angle by widening it , meaning you want to aim to miss slightly

97. Ross Miller says:

Game is cool although harder than just hitting to get the angle from the focus point due to a phenomenon called cut induced throw which actually throws the object ball off slightly with most shots on a table like this

98. Judy Chen says:

Loop is pool in reverse

99. Jacob Simpson says:

The only bad thing about making this a buyable thing is that if a machine or something making it messes up the position of the pocket by even a centimeter then the whole thing is screwed

100. Ryan says:

can you do an update applying this to a standard pool table.