Pool, or pocket billiards, was a game with several variations played on a six-pocket billiard table, usually with fifteen colored, numbered balls, and one white cue ball.
The Enterprise NX-01 had a pool table on board. In 2151, Charles Tucker III suggested that he and Jonathan Archer play a game of nine-ball following first contact with the Kreetassans. (ENT: "Vox Sola").
While people such as Tom Paris saw pool as a game of skill and entertainment, Tuvok viewed it as a simple exercise in geometry. They were able to play on many occasions using USS Voyager's holodeck despite limited power reserves, as the holodeck ran on a separate generator from the rest of the starship. (VOY: "The Cloud", "Jetrel", "Parallax", "Macrocosm")
One strategy the desperate pool player might have tried was called a "safety". When using this strategy, the player tried to force the cue ball into such a position that the opponent could not win in one shot, allowing the first player extra time. Paris recommended this strategy to Neelix, and while the strategy worked, Tuvok was sure he could beat it. Unfortunately, Tuvok was unaware that Sandrine's table was tilted slightly to the "east." (VOY: "Jetrel")
In order to get to know him better and to socialize, Lieutenant Tuvok invited Crewman Kenneth Dalby to a pool game. Dalby mentioned that he played pool often when he was younger but hadn't played the game recently. (VOY: "Learning Curve")
Boss Bela Okmyx of the Northside Territory on Sigma Iotia II was also known to play pool, which means that the game must have been mentioned in Chicago Mobs of the Twenties upon which Iotian society was based. (TOS: "A Piece of the Action").
Vulcans, with their mathematical reasoning, seemed to play pool very well. The first known instance of a Vulcan playing the game was in 1957 in Carbon Creek, Pennsylvania. Much like Tuvok's much later observation of its relation to simple geometry, they realized the math involved could not challenge a Vulcan child. (ENT: "Carbon Creek")
Other references Edit
- VOY: "Investigations"