How To Play 9 Ball Pool
Enjoy a different type of pool game by learning how to play 9 ball pool. The game of 9 ball pool is a fun alternative to straight pool or eight ball pool. In 9 ball pool, the shooter aims for the lowest number ball on the table and wins by pocketing the nine ball with a legal hit.
To play 9 ball pool, you will need:
- Pool Table with 6 pockets
- Pool Cues
- White Cue ball
- Pool balls numbered 1 through 9
- Pool rack
- Rack the balls. The tip of the rack is placed on the foot spot on the table. Place the number one ball in the front of the triangular rack. Line up the other balls in the rack behind the number one ball in random order except for the nine ball that must be placed in the center of the balls.
- Break the balls. Break the balls means to use a cue stick to shoot the white cue ball into the racked balls to scatter them over the pool table. The shooter who shoots first breaks the balls by hitting the number one ball first and must pocket at least one ball or drive four balls to the rail of the table to be a legal hit.
- Push out. The breaking shooter has the option to accept the table as it stands after the break or call a push out. A push out allows the player to shoot the cue ball to a different location without touching any numbered ball while avoiding the pockets. The opponent becomes the active shooter after a push out and can hit the cue ball from the new location or can pass the play back to the first shooter. If the shoot is missed, the first shooter becomes the active shooter. The push out is used as strategy for when there is no shot after the break or to block shots for an opponent.
- Playing 9 ball pool. The shooter remains at the table after shooting any legal ball into the pocket and shoots until a miss is made. By committing a foul, a shooter loses a turn and the opponent becomes the shooter who can place the cue ball anywhere on the table or shoot from the position left by the other shooter. Shots are never called by the players.
- How to win the game. Each ball the cue ball hits must be the lowest numbered ball on the table. The game is won by the shooter who legally shoots the nine ball into a pocket using the cue ball or in a combination shot with lower numbered balls.
Always remember to shoot the lowest numbered ball on the table.
A game can be lost when a shooter commits three fouls in a row. A foul is called when a shooter hits the cue ball off the table or hits it into a pocket when breaking. A ball hit off the table is a foul. Failing to hit an object ball into a pocket and drive the cue ball or any numbered ball to the rail after contact with the cue ball is a foul. Striking a ball that is not the lowest number on the table is a foul.
David G. Alciatore, "The Illustrated Principles of Pool and Billiards." Sterling Publishing 2004