Hello and welcome to the Guide to Fifteen [Part I]. Below is the first half of the rules to the wonderful, yet little known, game of Fifteen.
1.OBJECT : To be first to pot the black in a 'break' or by a 'redblack' (a cannon of red ball onto black pocketing the latter) without fouling in doing so (a 'default'). Should neither of these objectives be achieved; to outscore the other player on pots. 2.TABLE SET-UP : 9 Reds [R]; 5 Colours [Y=Yellow,G=Green,Br=Brown,Bu=Blue,P=Pink); and The Black [Bk] (Total 15 balls) are placed in a triangle thusly : R Y G Bu Br P R R R R R R Bk R R The apex Red should be placed on the pink spot, the base of the triangle paralell to and nearest the top cushion. 3.BALL VALUES AND SPOTS : a)The balls are sequenced in the traditional snooker order (i.e. R,Y,G,Br,Bu,P,Bk) but each is only worth one point when potted (although a good 'break' can score up to 20 points in the 'For' column of a league table,see Rule 6b)). b)The balls also retain their traditional snooker spots but are only spotted when illegally potted or when jumped off the table (see Rule 11b))- i]ALL LEGALLY POTTED BALLS and... ii]...ALL potted REDS stay down. 4. BREAK-OFF a)The cue ball can be played from any point ON the Baulk line or ON the curved line of the D, but NOT within the Baulk or the D. b)For a break-off to be legal, the cue ball must make first contact with a Red. c)If, from a legal break-off (Rule 4b)), the Black ball alone is potted, this is VICTORY for the player making the break-off, provided the conditions laid out in the 'redblack' Rule are met (Rule 7). If any other balls (including the cue ball) are potted along with the Black, this is LOSS OF GAME for the player making the break-off, as would potting the Black and jumping any other ball off the table.(These would be 'defaults'). d)If one or more Reds alone are potted from a legal break-off, the striker scores one for each Red potted and continues his turn with a shot at a Colour (see Rule 5). e)If a Colour is potted this is a foul. Players proceed according to Rule 11d).
5.MODE OF PLAY : a)The cue ball must strike a Red as the initial stroke of each turn, until all Reds are off the table. For the next stroke of the turn (should a Red be legally potted), the cue ball shall strike a Colour (it is a foul to strike a Red, or to strike The Black unless all 5 colours have been legally pocketed). b)In order to make a 'break'the player mustpot the lowest ranked Colour on the table with the second stroke of his turn (see Rule 6). The turn IS however continued by the pocketing of any other Colour but will not count as a 'break' to get a legal shot at The Black to win the game. c)The third shot of the turn must aim to pot the lowest ranked Colour on the table if a 'break' is to be achieved (this cannot happen if the second ball potted was not the then lowest ranked Colour on the table). The player may otherwise continue his turn by potting any other Colour. d)The player continues his turn as Rules 5b) and 5c) until he fails to score or fouls; each legal pot up to then scores one point. e)It is a foul to play one Colour but pot a different one in the same stroke. f) i]Should a player legally pocket all Colours he must play The Black with his next stroke of that turn. That stroke is the final stroke of the turn. ii]If the player has reached this situation by a legal 'break' he is entitled to pot the black and thereby win the game. iii]If he potted the Colours out of sequence he must not pot The Black as this would constitute LOSS OF GAME by a 'default'. He must, however, play The Black, as failure to do so constitutes a foul. g)The player lawfully pocketing the the last Red may, with his next turn, pot any Colour as Rule 5b).Should the game not end with that turn neither player in subsequent turns has any option as to which ball to play. The Reds now being off the table, each player must play every shot at the lowest ranked Colour on the table (or The Black if it is the only ball remaining). Failure to make first contact with the lowest ranked colour from this point on is a foul. h)A player legally potting the last ball remaining on the table other than The Black with the first stroke of his turn is entitled to a shot at The Black. Legally potting The Black with the second stroke of this turn would constitute a 'break' to win the game, provided that the player had, at some stage during the the game, legally potted a Red (see Rule 6f)). i) i]Should that player pot The Black with the second stroke ofthe turn but without having legally potted a Red during the game, or should he miss The Black and it be legally potted in a subsequent turn, the player potting The Black scores one point and the game is decided on scores. ii]Should only The black remain unpotted, in any turn following the end of the one in which the second last remaining ball was legally potted, and should the difference in scores between the players be two or more, the players may agree to abandon The Black, the player with the higher score winning the game. j)A player not having potted any Reds after the final Red is potted cannot make a 'break'. If the other player has 7 or more points he is therefore entitled to pot The Black and end the game winning on scores without having to pot any Colours. In subsequent strokes this player is entitled to shoot at either The Black or the lowest remaining Colour and is even allowed to pot the lowest Colour and then move straight on to The Black, even if there are still Colours left on the table. Example: A player in this situation may pot the Yellow and with his next stroke pot either the Green or The Black. Equally, he could have potted The Black without recourse to the Yellow. The other player must play the Colours as Rule 5g) j)A player must, when asked, nominate which Colour he is about to play. 6.'BREAK' : a)A 'break' is one of four ways to win the game : i.e. 'break','redblack','default' or on scores. b)It is the most prestigious way and worth more points in accumulative totals, such as those found in the 'For' columns of league tables: a 7-ball 'break' scores 20 points a 6-ball 'break' " 18 " a 5-ball 'break' " 17 " a 4-ball 'break' " 16 " a 3-ball 'break' " 15 " a 2-ball 'break' " 14 " ('redblacks' and 'defaults' score 13 to the winner, games settled on scores are simply the total number of balls legally potted per player/team plus any points gained for opposition fouls). c)A 'break'consists of potting the balls on the table in ascending order, starting with the lowest and ending, if successful, in potting The Black to win the game. Potting the Colours out of sequence does not constitute a 'break' or culminate in an opportunity to win the game by potting The Black. d) i]Although there are more points available for 6- or 7-ball 'breaks', it is never necessary to achieve more than a 5-ball 'break' to win the game. ii]Having potted the first four balls of a 'break' the player then has a choice of attempting to pot The Black to win, or attempting the next Colour. He also has this choice after the fifth pot of a 'break'. iii]This choice is lost if the player then pots a colour out of sequence, as this no longer constitutes a 'break'. e)A player potting a Red (if any remain unpotted) and all the colours on the table on the table in a 'break'(i.e. in order) is entitled to a shot at winning the game by potting The Black in the next stroke of that turn, regadless of how many balls that 'break' comprised. It is therefore possible to win the game with a 2-ball 'break' of the last available Colour or a Red (if no Colours remain unpotted) and then The Black, provided rule 6f)is met. Simply potting The Black does not however constitute a 'break' :- there are no '1-ball breaks' in Fifteen. f)A 'break' must start with a Red if there are any on the table. If all reds are off the table a player cannot make a 'break' unless he has potted, at some stage during the game, a Red. He can however pot the Colours and The Black in order in one or more turns but only wins if he outscores his opponent.