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The Rules of Standard Pool


Hello and welcome to the Guide to 
Standard Pool.

You'll find the rules of the game
below, together with some variations
to make it that little bit more 
individual.

You've got yourself one Pool table, one cue ball, one black ball and two sets of numbered and/or coloured balls ; here's how to play Standard Pool with them :



1.OBJECT :
To pot one set of numbered/coloured balls and The Black 
legally to win.

2.BREAK : a)It is not necessary to hit the head-ball. b)If any balls are potted (except the cue ball [see Rule 3] or The Black [see Rule 2d)]) the breaking player continues at the table. c)The first of any balls potted from the break decides the breaking player's set for that game. d)Potting The Black from the break is LOSS OF GAME.
3.SCRATCH ON A BREAK : a)Scratching refers to pocketing the cue ball or jumping it off the table. b)Should a player scratch with his breaking shot this is a foul : i]all object balls potted (except The Black [see Rule 2d)]) remain pocketed, ii]the incoming player has the cue ball in hand to play from anywhere in the D (or anywhere behind the Baulk line if there is no D).
4.MODE OF PLAY : a)A player must make first contact with one of his own balls with every shot of his turn, unless he has a free shot [see Rules 6b)to 6e)]. b)If a player pots one of his own balls he receives an additional shot. c)A player's turn continues in this way until he fouls or fails to pot one of his own balls, either of which ends his turn. d)If a player legally pots the last of his set of balls he is entitled to a shot at The Black to win. If he then legally pots The Black he wins.
5.FOULS : A player fouls by doing any of the following ; a)Failing to make first contact with one of his balls (including failing to hit any ball) b)Playing a scratch shot c)playing a shot without one or both feet on the floor d)Moving or touching any ball other than by legal play e)Deliberately making the the cue ball leave the surface of the table.
6.PENALTY FOR FOULS : a)A fouling player's turn automatically ends with that shot. b)The incoming player receives a free shot which must be used in that visit to the table. c)The cue ball is played from where it lies on the table, unless it was a scratch shot, in which case it is played as Rule 3b)ii] d)The free shot may be used : i]to set up a shot for later by playing one of a player's own balls, or ii]to play any ball on the table without a foul being called (although Rule 9b)iii] still applies) e)The free shot is deemed to have been used when : i]a shot is played which does not pot one of that player's own balls ii]an opponent's ball or The Black (unless The Black is the ball on) is played. f)If a player fouls any free shots remaining are lost and the incoming player receives a free shot.
7.OBJECT BALLS JUMPED OFF THE TABLE : a)This is a foul. b)Any object ball jumped off the table (except The Black, [see Rule 7c)]) is placed on the spot. If the spot is occupied the incoming player places the ball on any un-occupied part of the Baulk-line he wishes. c)If The Black is jumped off the table this is LOSS OF GAME.
8.TOUCHING BALLS : a)An object ball touching the cue ball can be played provided it is not a push shot(i.e. if the cue ball is struck and not pushed). b)If the touching ball is a player's own it is not a foul to make contact with an opponent's ball or to miss all other balls, as first contact had already been made with the player's own ball. c)If the touching ball is that of an opponent it is only deemed to have been contacted in that turn if it moves, so that no foul is given provided that the player does not move the touching ball AND the cue ball then makes first contact with one of that player's own balls.
9.LOSS OF GAME : a)Scratching or fouling on The Black when not potting it is NOT normally loss of game, but merely a foul. b)However,LOSS OF GAME does result from any of the following: i]Fouling when potting The Black. ii]Jumping The Black off the table. iii]Pocketing The Black when it is not the ball on. iv]Potting The Black on the break.

The following are additional rules which the players may agree to add to those already listed. If there is any contradiction, the additional rules overrule the first set.


Variation1.FOUL:
Potting an opponent's ball is a foul.

V2.NO FREE SHOT ON THE BLACK: A player is allowed no free shots once he has only The Black left to pot.
V3.NO CARRY ON FREE SHOT: The free shot is lost if a ball is potted in the first turn.
V4.OWN BALLS ON FREE SHOT: a)Even on a free shot a player may only play his own balls.(This overrules Rules 6d)ii] and 6e)ii]). b)Alternatively, this priviledge can be restricted to being used only on the first shot of the turn.
V5.LEGAL BREAK: A break is illegal unless 4 balls hit cushions.
V6.BALL IN HAND: A foul is punished by the incoming player having the ball in hand to play from anywhere on the table. There are no free shots.
V7.NO FOULS: a)There are no fouls and therefore no free balls or balls in hand. b)Potting The Black early, jumping it off the table, or deliberately jumping any ball off, is LOSS OF GAME.
V8.CONSECUTIVE NUMBERED POTS: a)A player potting consecutive numbered balls of his set in one turn (use of a free shot between two pots constitutes two turns for the purpose of this Rule) can earn free shots to be used to continue that innings at the table. b)For example: A player on stripes potting 11 and 12 consecutively (or 12 and 11) in one turn gains a free shot for use during that innings. A player potting 11, 12, 13 (or 13, 12, 11) would be given two free shots. A player potting 9 to 15 in order (or 15 to 9) would then have 6 free shots to pot The Black [unless Rule V2 is applied.] c)A player's innings at the table is ended if he fouls, regardless of any free shots he may have had left un-used.
V9."LIBERTY'S POOL" (PLAY ANY BALL): This is a whole game in itself, not merely a variation. a) i]The cue ball may make first contact with any other ball i.e. it is not a foul to play or pot an opponent's ball. [Rule 5a) overruled.] ii]It is not a foul for the white to leave the table, although it does end that player's turn. The incoming player simply plays from the D (in any direction). [Rule 5b) overruled.] iii]Jump shots are legal. [Rule 5e) overruled.] b)Three Strikes: i]Each time a player misses all balls, jumps a numbered ball off the table [not The Black, see Rule V9c)] or commits fouls such as those specified in Rules 5c) and 5d), this IS a foul. ii]The incoming player may ask the fouling player to play again (but does not have a free shot or the cue ball in hand). iii]Making three such fouls in one game constitutes LOSS OF GAME. The player is said to have had "three strikes." c)Prematurely potting The Black or jumping it off the table constitutes LOSS OF GAME. Following The black in with the cue ball does NOT.
V10.VARIATION TO LIBERTY'S POOL: a)Not only is it no foul to play or pot an opponent's ball, but a player may continue his turn by so doing i.e. if a player is stripes he may pot a colour to gain another shot without having to pot one of his own balls. b)This means that a player with only The Black left to pot may pot an opponent's ball before taking a shot at The Black, for example in order to get a better position.

The Snooker and Pool Pages :

The Snooker and Pool Home Page
Inter 8 : Part I
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Snooker : Part I
Snooker : Part II


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