The Rules of Billiards

Before you even think about getting a pool table, and before you even pick up a stick, there are some rules of billiards that you must be familiar with.

So, as I’m sure everybody knows, when playing the common game of 8-ball, the balls need to be set into a tight rack triangle. There needs to be a solid color ball in one corner, and a stripe in the another corner. When the rack is removed, it needs to be very careful so that the balls will stay tightly together and not roll away from each other at all. In a very competitive setting if you pocket one of your balls, it is still your turn and you can take another shot; if you don’t pocket any of your balls, however, the turn goes to the other player.

Be mindful of your shot, you always want to pay close attention to where you are trying to hit the ball because hitting the cue ball, or pocketing somebody else’s ball will result in a penalty. The cue ball is the only ball that you are allowed to hit, if any other is hit that, too, will result in a penalty. These are both methods of “scratching”, which is basically just a penalty. Another way to scratch is by not hitting any balls after you hit the cue ball. If you scratch when all you have left is the 8-ball, you lose. You automatically lose if you pocket the 8-ball too early as well. You can only pocket the 8-ball if you have pocketed all of the balls in your group.

So just remember a couple of things: only aim for balls that are in your group, and stay away from the 8-ball until you have pocketed the rest of your balls. Follow these simple rules and you’ll be hustlin’ pool in no time!