Everyone knows how to play a standard game of pool. Solids vs stripes, one vs one, don’t pot the eight ball until the end, are the parameters around a typical game.
While you can’t beat the classic, there are a variety of other games you can play using your pool table.
These alternatives are fun, challenging and provide the excitement of trying something new. So, get your friends over and try out one of these different games of pool.
You play the game with an alternative goal to many others. The objective is to be the last one with a ball on the table. Typically, you want to sink your own balls in a game of pool, while the opposite is true for cut-throat.
All 15 balls get divided into 3 sections. The sections are:
- Low balls – numbers 1 to 5
- Mid balls – numbers 6 to 10
- High balls – numbers 11 to 15
Each player gets their own set. On your turn, you keep potting balls until you miss. Typically, you will only be potting your opponent’s balls, while sometimes it may be necessary to pot one of your own.
If you have no possible shots available towards an opponents ball you can sacrifice one of your own to allow you to continue on the board, instead of ending your turn. Once a player is out of balls, they are eliminated.
One-pocket pool is exceptionally challenging as each player is only able to pot balls into one designated pocket.
The balls are set up at random within the rack, as the colours and numbers don’t matter. Whoever breaks selects a pocket that they will use for the duration of the game, and their opponent selects the alternative pocket.
Each time you pot a ball, you will receive a point. Typically, the first person to 8 points is declared the winner.
Though the game is challenging, the excellent thing about it is that you can play with a handicap system.
If the two players are at different skill levels, the lower of the two can start the game with a couple of points on the board to level the playing field.
Straight pool, or continuous pool, involves a point-per-pot system where the first player to 100 points wins.
The colours and numbers don’t matter, but the player must nominate a ball and pocket to obtain a point. Whenever a player sinks their chosen ball in the appropriate pocket, they will receive a single point.
Any fouls lead to the loss of a point and 3 fouls in a row receives a penalty of 15 points. Throughout the game, you will have to continuously re-rack the balls each time you clear the table.
Straight pool has been around since 1910 but was primarily played in the United States until recently.
It is now gaining popularity in the UK and has official rules that have been set out by the World Pool-Billiard Association.