Classic Billiards Rules
If you want to learn to play pool the right way, you need to learn the classic billiards rules. Learning the classic billiards rules will cut down on arguments when you play pool with your friends, as you'll know the correct way to handle fouls or scratches. When you know the classic billiards rules, you'll be able to use them to play any type of pool games, from 8-Ball or 9-Ball to Cutthroat and other variations.
- Rack the balls properly. One of the most important billiards rules involves racking the balls. You need to place the balls in the rack, which is usually a triangle. The first ball should be in the apex, or top tip, of the triangle, and all the other balls must be pressed against it, so that they are touching. If the balls move out of position when you take the the rack off, you need to arrange them again.
- Decide who breaks. Billiards rules stipulate that you determine the person who will break first by doing a lag. You and your opponent each shoot a pool ball across the length of the table. The balls must bounce off the opposite cushion and return towards you. The person's who balls comes the closest to the starting point, without touching it, wins the break. Your ball cannot touch the side cushions or rest in the corner pocket, past the cushion.
- Break the racked balls. You place the cue ball on the table, behind a designated line, or head string. Billiards rules state that you can place the ball anywhere behind the line. You must shoot the ball, touching it only with the tip of your cue, so that it hits the racked balls and breaks them apart.
- Aim the cue ball so that it hits the balls and sends them into the pockets. In some cases, you must call your shot before taking it, meaning you need to say what ball you intend to pocket and which pocket you intend to put it in. You must hit a ball with the cue ball and put in a pocket or have either cue ball or the ball you struck hit a cushion.
- Take your shot only after all the balls on the table have stopped moving. Billiards rules consider it a foul if you take a shot when the balls on the table, including the cue ball, are still rolling. It is also a foul if you "push" the cue stick, meaning you retain contain with the cue ball for longer than a few seconds.
- Take turns shooting. During billiards, it remains your turn until you either foul, scratch or do not get a ball in pocket. It then becomes your opponent's turn.
- Pocket all your assigned balls. The winner of the game is the person who pockets all the balls first. That person then goes on to break the next game.