Historically, the umbrella term was billiards. While that familiar name is employed by some as a generic label for all such games. There are other variants that use of obstacles and targets. Fields, Babe Ruth, Bob Hope, and Jackie Gleason, the modern term cue sports can be used to encompass the ancestral mace games, and even the modern cueless variants, such as finger billiards, for historical reasons. Cue itself came from queue, the French word for a tail and this refers to the early practice of using the tail of the mace to strike the ball when it lay against a rail cushion. A recognizable form of billiards was played outdoors in the 1340s, king Louis XI of France had the first known indoor billiard table. Louis XIV further refined and popularized the game, and it spread among the French nobility. Mary, Queen of Scots, claimed that her table de billiard had been taken away by those who became her executioners. In 1588, the Duke of Norfolk, owned a billyard bord coered with a greene cloth, three billyard sticks and 11 balls of yvery. Billiards grew to the extent that by 1727, it was being played in almost every Paris café, in England, the game was developing into a very popular activity for members of the gentry. By 1670, the butt end of the mace began to be used not only for shots under the cushion. The cue as it is today was finally developed by about 1800. Initially, the mace was used to push the balls, rather than strike them, the newly developed striking cue provided a new challenge. Cushions began to be stuffed with substances to allow the balls to rebound, after a transitional period where only the better players would use cues, the cue came to be the first choice of equipment. The demand for tables and other equipment was initially met in Europe by John Thurston, the early balls were made from wood and clay, but the rich preferred to use ivory. The early croquet-like games eventually led to the development of the carom or carambole billiards category – what most non-Commonwealth, variations include three-cushion, straight rail and the balkline variants, cushion caroms, five-pins, and four-ball, among others. In the United States pool and billiards had died out for a bit, players in annual championships began to receive their own cigarette cards. This was mainly due to the fact that it was a pastime for troops to take their minds off from battle
Engraving of an early billiards game with obstacles and targets, from Charles Cotton's 1674 book The Compleat Gamester
The sons of Louis, Grand Dauphin playing the royal game of fortifications, early form of obstacle billiard.
Illustration of a three-ball pocket billiards game in early 19th century Tübingen, Germany, using a table much longer than the modern type.