A recognizable form of billiards was played outdoors in the 1340s. King Louis XI of France (1461–1483) had the first known indoor billiard table. He further refined and popularized the game, and it swiftly spread among the French nobility. Billiards grew to the extent that by 1727, it was being played in almost every Paris cafe. In England, the game was developing into a very popular activity for members of the gentry. The games with regulated international professional competition, if not others, have been referred to as "sports" events, not simply "games", since 1893 at the latest. There are 3 major subdivisions of games within billiards sports: Carom billiards, Pool and Snooker, and there are other variants, too.
Carom billiards is thought to date to the 18th century, although no exact time of origin is known. The principal governing body of the sport is the Union Mondiale de Billard (UMB). Pool, more formally known as pocket billiards, is an umbrella term for a number of cue sports and games played on a six-pocket pool table, with the World Pool-Billiard Association (WPA) as the international governing body. Snooker is a variation of the billiards originated in 1875. The amateur snooker is governed by the International Billiards and Snooker Federation (IBSF). The World Confederation of Billiards Sports (WCBS) is the international umbrella organization encompassing the major billiards sports including UMB, WPA and IBSF.