How to play Nine Ball

Nin- ball is a great pool game that is very playable even though it is not as popular as its cousin pool game of 10-ball, which is also called 8 ball. Nine-ball is a great billiards game because it has very simple rules and you can play a game fairly quickly.


To play a game of nine-ball you will start out by racking the object balls, one through nine, in a diamond shape on the billiards table. The one-ball should be closest to the foot of the table where the breaker is shooting from and the nine-ball should be in the middle of the diamond.


To choose who will break in nine-ball, as well as in many other billiards games, there is a lag shoot off between the two players. The lag shot is performed by both players, individually or at the same time, shooting a cue ball from the foot of the table towards the head of the table so that the cue ball bounces off of the head rail and rolls back towards the foot of the table.


The object of the lag shot is to return the cue ball nearest to the foot rail without having the ball actually hit the rail. The player who is the closet to the rail without hitting it is the winner of the lag shot and will usually shoot first.


For a break to be legal in the game of nine-ball the cue ball is required to hit the one ball first. On the break, and only on the break, it doesn’t matter in which order the balls are sunk; multiple balls may be sunk out of numerical order, but only on the break.


After the break shot the object of the game is to sink all the remaining object balls one at a time in numerical order from lowest to highest. The last ball on the table will be the nine-ball, and the winner of the game is the player who manages to sink it.


Since both of the players are attacking all of the balls on the table a poor player with a little bit of luck stands a much higher chance of winning the game than he would in a similarly matched game of eight ball. Besides sinking the nine-ball last to win, the game can also be won by sinking the nine-ball in a combination shot provided that the other ball pocketed is the lowest numbered ball on the table.