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The Game of Pool
The most basic of Pool games is Eight ball. The point is simple: you will either be the solid pool balls ( 1 through 7) or the striped pool balls ( 9 through 15). The end result is to shoot all of your own pool balls in first and then sink the 8-ball before your opponent can do so.
Basic eight ball pool is universally known and most beginners may be unaware of other popular pool games such as 9-ball, Cutthroat, 7-ball, Alabama 8 Ball - also known as -Last Pocket, Misery, Missouri and 1 and 15 in the sides, Rotation eight ball, Soft eight and several others. But, for the purpose of not publishing a novel on this page, we will focus on the basic Eight Ball pool game. For your convenience, we have posted links to several "How To" articles at the bottom of this page that outlines the rules and "how to play" some different variations of the game.
Pool Ball - Racking
You will use all 15 balls for playing 8-ball. Place the 8-ball in the middle and the 1-ball in front using your pool rack. Then alternate the striped and solid pool balls throughout the remainder of the pool triangle (as shown in the illustration). It doesn't matter what order you place the balls in as long as the eight ball is in the middle and one ball is in the front.
First decide who is going to rack and who is going to break. You can flip a coin to choose the order. After the first game is won, usually the loser racks and the winner breaks.
If you sink the 7 ball (solid) on the break then you are solids and your opponent is stripes. If you sink multiple balls on the break (solids and stripes) then you can choose which pool ball you want to play. However, if you don't like the pool ball you sank you can choose to refuse it and try to shoot the other type of ball in. This can only happen on the break and if you choose this option, you have just pocketed a ball for your opponent.
If you don't pocket any balls on the break then you and your opponent switch turns until one of you sinks either a stripe or solid pool ball.
Once you have made a successful shot, you get another turn and continue to play until you miss a shot.
The object now is to pocket all your balls before your opponent does while avoiding the 8-ball. If you shot in the 8-ball in before you have cleared your balls then you automatically lose the game. If you shot the cue ball in (scratch) while attempting the 8-ball shot then you also lose the game. Exception is on the break. When you sink the 8-ball on the break you WIN!
When shooting the 8-ball you must designate which pocket you are aiming for before your shot to win. If it goes into another pocket, then you lose. If you miss and it doesn't go into any pockets then your opponent gets there turn until they miss.
What is "Scratching"? Basically it means that you hit the cue ball into a pocket, your opponent's ball into a pocket, or you didn't hit any pool balls at all. When you scratch, you automatically lose your turn.
When you pocket your pool ball and the cue ball on the same turn, your pocketed ball is placed back on the table on the rack marker and you lose your turn.
If you sink your opponent's pool ball, your turn is over and their ball stays in the pocket.
When you hit the cue ball and it doesn't come into contact with any other ball, then your turn is over; unless the cue ball bounces off 3 of the pool table walls before coming to a sopt. If you do scratch, then your opponent can choose where they want to place the cue ball either on, next to or behind the head spot.
If you scratch in any way described above and you only have the 8-ball left to pocket, then you lose. Some people find this rule to be frustrating and eliminate it until they become better players. It's up to you.
Pool Game Variations
As promised - here are some links to variations of the game of Pool.
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Inside Powers Candy Co
1155 Wilson Ave
Pocatello, Idaho 83201