American pool tables are designed to give a fast, exciting game, with plenty of rebounds and ricochets. As a result, they are bigger, with larger pockets, larger balls and faster nylon cloths. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that American pool is easy, though – judging angles for long shots over an 8-foot table takes plenty of skill.
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8-BALL POOL RULES
1. Set up the rack like this…
2. The first player hits the cue ball into the rack. This is known as the break. 4 of the balls in the rack must bounce off the cushion. Anything less and it’s a foul.
3. The objective of the game is to pot either the spot or striped balls using the cue ball. If none of them end up in the pockets following the break, then the two players exchange shots until one of them drops. If a player pots a stripe, then the striped balls are now allocated to that player. It becomes that player’s objective to pot all the stripes and then eventually the black ball in order to win. Vice versa with the spots.
4. If a player fails to pot, the opposing player comes to the table. Keep potting the right balls and you’ll stay at the table.
5. A foul can occur in a number of ways and results in the opposing player having the ball in hand (meaning that they can place the cue ball anywhere on the table for their next shot).
6. A foul can be given for failing to hit any ball on the table with the cue ball, hitting the cue ball into a ball that isn’t designated to you before any other one or potting the cue ball accidentally.
7. A player will automatically lose the match if they accidentally pot the black ball before they’ve potted all of their designated balls or if they pot the cue ball and black ball in the same shot. Hitting the black ball off the table is another way to immediately hand your opponent victory.
8. The game can also be played in pairs. Good luck!
There’s also an exciting format of the game known as nine-ball pool. As the name suggests, the game is played with just nine balls (plus the cue ball) instead of the usual 15. The objective is to pot each consecutive ball based on its number. So starting at one and ending with nine. The winner is the player that legally pots the nine-ball once all others are down. The nine-ball version of pool is popular at pro-level with the annual Mosconi Cup contested between the best players in Europe and USA in what is known as the Ryder Cup of pool.
9 BALL-POOL RULES
1. Rack the balls in a diamond. one at the top, nine in the middle. The remaining balls can be placed randomly in the rack.
2.You have to hit the one ball first. Pot a ball & you keep going. Fail to pot and your turn is over.
3. If you foul, your opponent gets the white ball in hand and can place it anywhere on the table (one shot only).
4. If you don’t have a clear shot at the lowest number ball after the break, tell your opponent you are playing a push out shot. Hit the white ball anywhere on the table. You don’t have to hit another ball but it’s OK if you do.
5. You opponent either takes the next shot, or asks you to play the next shot.
6. Pot the balls in number order. Miss a pot & it’s your opponent’s turn to pick up where you left off.
7. The nine ball should be the last ball on the table – whoever pots this wins!
8. Potting the nine ball in a combination shot wins too, as long as the first ball you hit is the lowest number ball on the table.