You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘a maths snooker puzzle’ tag.

snookerA Maths Snooker Puzzle

This was suggested by Paul our Physics teacher – and is a nice little maths puzzle.

The maximum break score in snooker is 147 which is achieved by:
15 reds (1 point each) , 15 blacks (7 points each), then yellow ( 2 points), then green (3 points), brown (4 points), blue (5 points), pink (6 points) and finally black (7 points).

Now, if you wanted the maximum break in snooker to be 180, but wanted all the balls to still have a distinct value and for black to remain the highest ball, how could you change the values of the balls to get a 180 top score? And can you prove there is only one answer?

Answer below in white text (highlight to reveal)

1) Firstly we can show that if red has to be 1.  For red-black combinations (2,8) (2,9) we can show that no solution is possible.  For (2,10) and above, and for (3,9) and above we reach 180 without the other colours.
2) The only options are (1,8) (1,9) or (1,10).  (1,8) leaves us needing 37 from 5 balls valued between 2-7 – which we can’t do.  (1,10) leaves us needing 5 from 5 balls – which we can’t do.  (1,9) is the only possible solution – and this requires 21 from 5 balls valued (2,3,4,5,6,7,8).  This can only be achieved with 2,3,4,5,7.

Like puzzles?  Then you might also enjoy some other brain teaser posts here.

Website Stats



All content on this site has been written by Andrew Chambers (MSc. Mathematics, IB Mathematics Examiner).

New website for International teachers

I’ve just launched a brand new maths site for international schools – over 2000 pdf pages of resources to support IB teachers.  If you are an IB teacher this could save you 200+ hours of preparation time.

Explore here!

Free HL Paper 3 Questions

P3 investigation questions and fully typed mark scheme.  Packs for both Applications students and Analysis students.

Available to download here

IB Maths Super Exploration Guide

A Super Exploration Guide with 168 pages of essential advice from a current IB examiner to ensure you get great marks on your coursework.

Available to download here.

Recent Posts

Follow IB Maths Resources from Intermathematics on