Rules Of Billiards
The rules of billiards can change depending on the game you are playing. There are a variety of billiards games: nine-ball, straight pool, snooker and 8-ball. The most common type, 8-ball, is the easiest to learn and play on a moments notice. Below are the basic rules for 8-ball to get you playing at the local pool hall.
- To determine who goes first, each player must shoot the cue ball. The ball must hit the bumper opposite the shooter and come back towards the shooter. The person that gets the cue ball closest to the front bumper chooses whether to go first or second.
- The balls are racked. There are many ways to rack the balls and it will be different for each player. What is consistent is that the 8-ball is placed as the middle ball in the third row of the triangle.
- The first player breaks. This is done by hitting the cue ball as hard and as accurately as possible towards the racked balls. If the balls have been racked correctly and the hit is powerful enough, the billiard balls will scatter around the tables.
- Players take turns trying to get a ball into a pocket until it is determined who is stripes and who is solids. After that is determined, players will try to get all of their balls into the pockets and attempt to sink the 8-ball.
- If a player sinks the cue ball, that player has performed a scratch. The cue ball can then be placed anywhere behind the foul line on the table by the opposing player. If the game is being played with ball-in-hand rules, it can be placed anywhere on the table. If a scratch is committed while trying to sink the 8-ball, that player loses. If any of the player's balls were sunk, they are taken out of the pockets and placed on the starting location of the racked balls.
- If fouls are being played, the player must hit their own balls first. If the player does not hit a billiard from their own group of balls, it is treated as a scratch.
- Players must call the pocket that they are sinking the 8-ball into. If the 8-ball is sunk in a different pocket or it is sunk before all that players balls are pocketed, that player loses. If the 8-ball is sunk into the called pocket, that player wins.