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# 9 Ball Billiards Rules

By: Elizabeth Nelson

Break Studios Contributing Writer

If you need a change from your basic pool game, learn 9 Ball billiards rules to add some excitement to your pool game. Unlike class 8 Ball pool, 9 Ball is played with only 9 balls, plus the cue ball. The first nine numbered pool balls are used, according to 9 Ball billiards rules. 9 Ball billiards rules may be easier to learn than those for 8 Ball, and the game is a great one for beginning pool players. The object of 9 Ball billiards is to pocket the 9 ball.

1. Rack the balls in a diamond shape. You don't use the traditional triangle shape in 9 ball billiards, as it is too large. Place the 1 ball in the top, foot spot of the diamond and position the other balls behind it. The 9 ball needs to be in the center position. Push the balls together so that they are in contact with each other.
2. Decide who breaks by performing a lag. You and your opponent each shoot a ball across the length of the table. The balls need to bounce off the cushion on the opposite side. Who ever's ball returns the closest to you without touching the cushion wins the lag. 9 Ball billiard rules state that you can choose to break or not based on whether you win the lag. The rules also state that you can determine who breaks for each subsequent game, whether it is the previous winner or if you and your opponent will alternate.
3. Take the first shot. The person who will break shoots first. He needs to hit the 1 ball with the cue ball before hitting any other balls. The break is valid in 9 Ball Billiards if at least one ball goes in a pocket or if at least 4 balls hit the cushions.
4. Perform a push-out if necessary. If you pocket a ball on a break, it remains your turn until you miss. Immediately after the break, you can do a "push-out," meaning you can move the cue ball without touching another ball or cushion and without it being a foul.
5. Continue to play the game. You need to hit the balls in order, so you would aim for the 2 ball next, followed by the 3 ball. You can hit any other balls on the table, and pocket them, provided you hit the next-numbered ball first.
6. Win the game. You win 9 Ball Billiards by putting the 9 ball in a pocket. This can happen at any time, provided you hit the next-numbered ball first. You can also win the game if your opponent takes three foul shots in a row. You must warn him after the second shot that he risks losing if his third shot is a foul. According to 9 Ball billiards rules, the game can also end in a stalemate if you and your opponent determine that neither of you can win based on the position of the balls on the table.
Posted on: Feb. 05, 2011