Beginners Guide: How To Play Pool

Pool, also known as pocket billiards, is a popular cue sport that can be played by two or more players. There are different variations of pool, but the most commonly played version is 8-ball pool. Here are the basic rules of 8-ball pool:

  1. Object of the game: The object of the game is to pocket all of your designated balls (stripes or solids) and then the 8-ball before your opponent does.

  2. Set up: The game is played on a rectangular pool table with six pockets. The balls are racked in a triangle at one end of the table, with the 8-ball in the center of the triangle.

  3. Break: The game starts with a break shot, where the player hits the cue ball from behind the head string and tries to pocket one or more balls. If the player pockets a ball, they continue to play.

  4. Turn-taking: Players take turns shooting until they miss or foul. A foul occurs when the player fails to hit any ball, pockets the cue ball or their opponent's designated ball, or scratches (pockets the cue ball).

  5. Ball selection: If a player pockets a ball, they continue to play and must pocket all of the balls of their designated group (solids or stripes) before attempting to pocket the 8-ball. If the player pockets the 8-ball before they have pocketed all of their designated balls, they lose the game.

  6. Combination shots: Players can hit their designated ball into an opponent's designated ball or the 8-ball to make a combination shot, but they must still hit their own designated ball first.

  7. End game: The game ends when one player pockets all of their designated balls and then the 8-ball, or if a player scratches while pocketing the 8-ball, in which case the opponent wins.

These are the basic rules of 8-ball pool, but there are variations to the game and other versions of pool, such as 9-ball pool and straight pool. It's important to note that different establishments or tournaments may have their own specific rules, so it's always a good idea to check with the official rules before playing.