If you are someone who is enthusiastic about Pool and watches each and every televised game, you must have heard the term “Scratch” on many occasions. “Oh, he has scratched. Now he’ll pay for that.” In case you couldn’t comprehend what is scratch in the Pool, you’ll learn here.
Scratch in Pool is inevitable and can’t be avoided forever. So what are the ways to scratch in the Pool and what happens after that is important to learn before you unconsciously commit one.
To understand what counts as a scratch in Pool we have to go through the formal definition of scratch in Pool.
Scratch in Pool games (8-Ball and 9-Ball) is considered one of the common forms of fouls that results in ball-in-hand, which means the opponent gets the opportunity to place the cue ball anywhere on the table. There are different ways to scratch in pool:
Now that we know what is considered a scratch in Pool game, now we need to know what are the rules regarding scratching in Pool.
However, you must keep in mind that rules regarding scratching in Pool can vary, as Pool rules all over the world can be moulded if all players agree upon it – especially when playing in casual environments, like in bars.
A common penalty for scratching in pool is ball-in-hand. That means your opponent gets the cue ball in his hand and he has the freedom to place it anywhere on the table and have a go.
Scratching in 8-ball pool is a costly mistake. It gives your opponent an opportunity to place the cue ball anywhere on the table. Like in general Pool game, this foul in 8-ball Pool occurs when:
It is one of the common ways to scratch in 8-ball pool. Let’s say you are taking aim at your object ball and mistakenly you ended up pocketing the cue ball in the same pocket where other object balls are, then it will be considered a scratch and your opponent will get a ball in hand, having the freedom to place the cue ball anywhere on the table. This is also true when there are no object balls in the pocket.
If you knock the 8-ball off the table during the playing, it is considered a scratch. However, in this case, this means you forfeit the game. So as compared to other forms of penalty, ball in hand, this is a severe penalty.
Except for APA, this rule of scratch is common in all variations.
Likewise, if you are left with only your cue ball and 8th-ball on the table, and you pocket both the balls in the same shot, it is considered a scratch. And this scratch also leads to forfeiting the game.
This rule is also common in APA, WPA, BCA, and all common variations of 8-ball pool.
And, if you knock off the cue ball from the table when hitting any object ball or the 8-ball, it is considered a scratch. However, the game continues with your opponent getting the ball in hand advantage.
Except for APA pool rules scratch on 8 ball, this rule is common in all variations.
And, if you fail to make contact with any object ball on the table, it is considered a table scratch. This scratch results in the penalty for your opponent in the form of having a ball in hand.
This rule is also common in all variations, except for VNEA Eight Ball Pool Rules
This is a common form of scratch that occurs during the break.
For instance, you are supposed to take the break and unintentionally you pocket the 8th ball during the break. This will be considered a scratch and your opponent will not only get the turn but also the ball in hand to place the cue ball anywhere and hit the object balls to select either stripe or solid.
Just like 8 ball Pool, there are rules regarding scratch in 9 ball pool which apply more or less in every variation.
This is one of the common ways to scratch in 9-ball pool. If you cue ball doesn’t hit the lowest numbered ball during the break, it will be considered a scratch. And as a result of this scratch, your opponent will get a ball in hand. This is also true for shots after the break.
This rule is true for WPA, BCA, APA, and Texas Express.
If the cue ball goes off the table during the break, it is a violation of 9 ball pool rules scratch on break. And your opponent gets the opportunity to place the cue ball anywhere on the table and hit it. This is also true for shots after the break.
This rule is also true for Texas Express, APA, WPA, BCA, and all common variations of 9-ball pool.
And the same is true for the object ball. If it goes off the table during the break, it is considered a scratch and the opponent gets the ball in hand. This is also true for shots after the break.
This rule is also true for Texas Express, WPA, BCA, and all common variations of 9-ball pool.
Another condition for a shot to be legal is either one ball should always be pocketed or you must hit any ball to a rail after the cue ball contact. Otherwise, it will be considered a scratch. And the ball in hand advantage will be given to your opponent.
This rule also applies to all common forms of 9-ball pool including WPA, BCA, APA, Texas Express, etc.
Jump and Masse shot is also considered a scratch. If you jump, curve or masse the cue ball over or around any other ball that might appear to be a hurdle between your cue ball and the targeted ball, it’s illegal. Jump and Masse Shot foul gives your opponent a ball in hand.
Except APA, no variation of 9-ball pool allows this.
Going early on the shot – before your opponent’s hit ball is still moving is also considered a scratch. As a result, your opponent gets a ball in hand.
In no form of 9-ball pool, you can do this.
Touching the cue ball with your hands when you don’t have the advantage in the form of ball in hand is also considered a scratch. In this case, your opponent gets the ball in hand.
This too, can’t be done in any form of 9-ball pool.
If you scratch while banking an eight-ball, do you lose?
It depends on the scratch. If you pocket the 8 ball in the wrong pocket and if you pocket it along with the object balls in the same shot, you lose.
Is it a scratch if you miss all the balls?
Yes, in both 8-ball and 9-ball Pool it is a scratch if you miss all the balls.
Can you scratch on purpose in Pool?
As per the rules, if you make three consecutive scratches in Pool intentionally, you can be disqualified by the referee.
Do you lose if you scratch on the break in Pool?
No, your opponent gets the ball in hand.
Scratching in 8-ball and 9-ball can be a very confusing matter. By looking at the above mentioned rules regarding scratching, it’ll be easier for you to decide what to do when a scratch occurs and what kind of penalty applies when a scratch happens.