In snooker, the maximum break under normal circumstances is 147. This is often known as a maximum, a 147, or a one-four-seven, and is amassed by potting all fifteen reds with fifteen blacks for 120 points, followed by all six colours for a further 27 points. In total the black ball is potted 16 times.
Joe Davis compiled the first officially recognised maximum break in a 1955 exhibition match in London. In 1982, Steve Davis achieved the first official maximum in professional competition, which was also the first televised one. The following year, Cliff Thorburn became the first player to make a maximum in the World Championship. Ronnie O'Sullivan holds the record of thirteen competitive maximum breaks, and he also has the record for the fastest competitive maximum break at 5 minutes 20 seconds, set at the 1997 World Championship.
Maximum breaks have gradually become more commonplace in professional snooker. Only 8 maximums were achieved in the 1980s, but 26 were attained in the 1990s and 35 in the 2000s. Thus far in the 2010s, over 50 maximums have been achieved. The 100th official maximum break in professional competition was achieved by Mark Selby at the UK Championship on 7 December 2013.
Breaks greater than 147 are possible in a free ball situation. This has been achieved only once in professional competition, when Jamie Burnett made a 148 break in the qualifying stages of the 2004 UK Championship.