On the scoreboard issue, I have never seen one of these old scoreboards with a star on it. From a description of a snooker variation called 'Life Pool'The other game was Life Pool, which employed various coloured balls, depending on the number of players. Each player would have his own cue and object ball. The following player’s object ball would be the previous player’s cue ball. When the cue ball was potted, a ‘life’ was lost, which would be registered on the score board by hiding one of three stars by means of a sliding shutter which can be found on old marking boards today. An agreed stake would then be placed into the ‘pool’
I found this beauty on ebay - Aces you need to get that in the club. I wonder what the colour descriptions are for?https://www.ebay.co.uk/i/113627404517?chn=ps
If only I were Jeff Bezos.....I would buy this old scoreboard and launch it in my rocket to track the score on the billiards table that I had set up on the Moon! That is a beauty!
You have touched on a topic of considerable interest to me here. Everyone on the Island knows Snooker quite well but few know (or probably much care) about the history of the Game and how it has gotten to be the way that it is today. I am not expert at all as there is too much else in one's life to occupy limited time, but I have delved a little bit into the history of Snooker and connected a few dots as to how Colonel Sir Neville Chamberlain of the Devonshire regiment (not the Prime Minister) came to "invent" Snooker in 1875.
And Life Pool is very much a part of that story. Here is my understanding of it....
English Billiards is the grand-daddy of the English games of course. English Billiards is a head-to-head affair between two players using two White balls (referred to as "White" and "Spot" or "Spot White" for the small identifying spot on it). But the larger recreation of billiards in general was more social than just two players. Like a game of cards, there could be a number of bodies present in the pub or parlour looking to get into the "pool" of wagers and swing the cue. And so there was Life Pool.
A hundred years before the first video game arrived to bless a player with three lives to reincarnate after they are "killed" by a mortal combatant of some sort, it was the billiard players who invented this whole idea of "three lives" in the first place. Each player had his own cue ball. Very sadly, back in those days, the balls were mined from the ivory of the tusks of majestic elephants and so only available in the colour of ivory white. To identify different balls, they could be stained with a variety of pigments but unlike today's composition ball with the colouring agent blended directly into the material, the ivory balls would be only temporarily stained as needed. And so for Life Pool, each player who had paid into the Pool would have his own colour for his cue ball (if you look closely, the second "WHITE" to the bottom right, it is actually " · WHITE"). There could be any number of players up to the maximum of eight as shown on the board. So your first pay in bought you 3 "lives". The players would be introduced to the game from in hand in the order of colours on the board. I am not certain of exact rules but it would seem logical to me that no potting would be allowed until all players cue balls had been entered on the surface. So as a Snooker player, you can probably see the benefit of purposely leaving your own cue ball in a safe position when you were not confident to pot another's. As the striker would go along and pot the others' cue balls, the potted ball's owner would lose one life and hold it in hand until it was their turn again to play from in hand. Each loss of life would slide your colour board thus revealing how many times you had "died" so far. After 3 "deaths", you are out so you have lost your money paid into the Pool. Except, depending on the venue and the other players in the game, there may be the option of buying your way back in to more "lives"..... Just like today's Betfred, this was about gambling after all, so the rules of the game might allow you to pay more into the Pool and buy an additional life or lives. That is what the little Star of David looking slider is for. After the 3 circles are exposed, you are DEAD unless the rules of this particular game allow you to pay in more money, then you would slide the Star of David over if/when you lose those extra "lives".
Last one alive gets all the money in the Pool.
from there, Life Pool developed into Black Pool, which then evolved into Snooker's Pool, eventually becoming the game we lovingly call Snooker today.
And to repeat the disclaimer, I am not an expert about this so it is very likely that I have some details of the game of Life Pool incorrect so for that, I apologize. To have at least some vague understanding of what came before us is better than to have no understanding at all.