Billiards history is a bit undefined… It’s not known exactly when or where the sport originated. It’s believed that the earliest form was from France. It was a version like that of an indoor lawn game similar to croquet. The object of the game was to push a ball through a croquet-like wicket to hit a peg, similar to the stake in croquet. Players used a club-like stick, which became known as the “mace”.
Billiards history tells us that during the early 19th century, American craftsmen began to make tables. Billiard tables originally had flat vertical walls for rails, and their only function was to keep the balls from falling off the table. The rails resembled river banks, and used to be called banks. When players found out that the balls would bounce off the rails, they began to deliberately aiming at the banks. That was the invention of the “bank shot”.