A Game for the Elliptical Pool Table – Numberphile

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. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. "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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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!

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

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