How To Play Pool
How to play pool depends on if the game is Eight Ball, Nine Ball, or Straight Pool. Each game has very similar rules. If you learn the basic way to play pool, learning the differences in the games will be simple. When learning how to play pool, begin with a simple game of Eight Ball.
To play pool, you will need:
- Pool Table
- Cue Stick
- Pool Balls
- Chalk Cube
- Select a Cue Stick. Select a Cue Stick that feels comfortable. Make sure the Cue Stick is straight by placing it on the top of the pool table and rolling in gently while checking for uneven rolling or a wobble in the stick. Find a Cue Stick that is straight and balanced. Use the blue chalk cube on the tip of the Cue Stick before each shot to help prevent slipping when striking the Cue ball.
- Rack the balls. The rack is made from plastic or wood in a triangle shape. All 15 balls are lined up inside the rack with the eight ball in the center and with a stripe ball in one corner, and one solid ball in the other corner. The rack is lined up on the first dot at either end of the table at the beginning of each game. The rack is carefully removed and the game can begin.
- The Break. The first shot of a new game is called the break. The white ball (cue ball) is placed on the table behind first dot on the rail of the table. The object of the break is to strike the racked balls to hit a solid or stripe object ball into a pocket without scratching (hitting the cue ball into a pocket). If no balls are pocketed on the break, you scratch, or commit a foul, the next shot belongs to the opponent. A scratch on the break lets the opponent place the cue ball anywhere behind the first dot. If the eight ball is pocketed on the break the opponent has the right to re-rack the balls for a fresh break. Regardless of what balls are pocketed on the break, the player is assigned either solid or stripe balls only after succeeded in pocketing a called a shot (i.e. 7 ball in the corner pocket).
- Fouls on a Break. A foul is committed on a break if the cue ball is hit by the tip of the cue stick more than once. If the cue ball is pushed by the cue stick. If a ball is moved by anything other than the cue stick tip (i.e. clothing or hand). Neither foot is on the floor when the cue ball is hit. The cue ball or object ball is hit completely off the table.
- Game. The object of the game is to break the balls and successfully pocket one ball after another without missing. When a legal shot results in no ball being pocketed, a scratch, or a foul, the player loses his turn to his opponent. As long as a player is successful in pocketing called balls he retains his turn. A miss gives the opponent a turn. To win the game a player must pocket all his assigned balls and finally pocket the eight ball after calling it without a scratch or foul.
- Losing. A game is automatically lost when a player fouls or scratches while pocketing the eight ball, hits the eight ball off the table, or hits the eight ball into the wrong pocket after calling.