There are 21 balls in the game of snooker, not including the white cue ball. Fifteen of the balls are red and the rest are different colors and are known as the "colored balls." These balls all have specific places on the table at the start of a game. A snooker table should have spots on the cloth to indicate where most of the balls go.
Place the green, brown and yellow balls on the baulk line along the "D" formed by the arc drawn along the baulk line. The spots should be color-coded. Place the brown ball in the center and the other two in the spots where the arc meets the line. If you're at the bottom edge of the table near the line, green goes to the left of brown and yellow to the right.
Place the black, pink and blue balls on their color-coded spots on the table: the blue ball in the center and the pink ball between the blue ball and the top cushion. Place the black ball 32-1/2 cm from the top cushion. These three balls and the brown one are arranged in a line down the middle of the table.
Assemble the 15 red balls into a triangle with five balls at the base and one at the top. Place the triangle between the black and pink balls so that the tip of the triangle is next to the pink ball.
Place the cue ball anywhere inside the "D" on the surface. The cue ball is hit for the opening "break-off" shot from anywhere within the "D." One popular place to hit the break-off shot is right on the baulk line within the arc, in between two of the balls set up on the baulk line.
Begin the game by having the first person perform the break-off shot. This person is positioned at the bottom end of the table and hits the cue ball with the stick so that it hits the triangle of red balls, dispersing them across the table. Players alternate break-outs from one game to the next.