You have probably played a frame or two of pool (yeah, they call a game a frame), and have a pretty good idea at how the game works, but do you really know all of the ins and outs?
I bet that there have been times when someone has called you out on something, and all that you can do is believe that they have the best intentions. Well, fear no more, for we have some handy rules to keep you one step ahead of the competition.
From some of the basics to the more obscure, here are our handy pool rules.
- When the game begins, the object balls should be racked in a triangular rack and positioned at the lower end of the table. The balls can be placed randomly, as long as the black ball is in the middle.
- For a break to be legal, the cue ball must hit the balls, and at least four balls must hit cushions. When you are breaking, the cue ball can be placed anywhere in the kitchen (the space at the top of the table, behind the white line).
- If the cue ball goes into a pocket at any time, then it is considered to be a foul.
- The first player to pocket an object ball is assigned those balls (stripes or solids). The aim now is for that player to pocket all of their balls and finish with the black, while the opponent is responsible for all of their balls and then the black. The first player to pocket all of their balls legally and pocket the black legally wins the game.
- If a player makes a foul, then there are a couple of ways to deal with this. Some players play that you can place the cue ball anywhere on the table and take your shot from there, while others play that you can play the cue ball anywhere in the kitchen (the space at the top of the table, behind the white line), and play from there. Check before playing, which rules you are playing by.
- The cue ball can only be struck with the cue tip. No hitting with the butt, the side, or your finger (hopefully, you know this already).
- If you fail to pocket a legal ball, then your turn is over. You and your opponent go back and forth like this until someone is deemed the winner.
- For a shot to be legal, you must have at least one foot on the floor when taking your shot. This is a great one to catch your friends out with.
- If any ball is in motion when you take your shot, it is deemed a foul. Wait until all of the balls have stopped moving (including spinning balls) before you take your shot.
- There are a few other ways to make a foul: hitting the cue ball off of the table, pocketing an opponents ball, double-hitting the cue ball, pushing the cue ball, taking a shot when it is not your turn.
- A push shot is when your cue remains in contact with the cue ball for too long. Your cue should hit the cue ball momentarily and not touch after that.
- If you strike the cue ball and it does not hit an object ball, then it is considered a foul.
- If a ball drops into a pocket and bounces back out and onto the table, the ball is not considered to be pocketed and remains on the table. If that was the only ball which went into a pocket, the player’s turn is over.
- A shot is considered to be complete when all of the balls have stopped moving. This can be important on the east shot if the black ball is pocketed, and the white ball is still moving. Wait until it has stopped, as it could drop into a pocket.
- If the black ball is pocketed and the white ball drops into a pocket on the same shot, then whoever took the shot loses the game.
- Remember to have fun when you play, that is the main aim of the game and should be an official rule, and it never hurts to have a beer too (or a cup of coffee).