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All the Types of Pool Games with Their Rules and Fouls

The pool is a classification of cue games. It is a sport that is played on a table with six pockets along the rails of the pool table. These games are often referred to as the pocket billiards, and this term is favored by the pool industry.

All the Types of Pool Games

There are many versions of pool tables games which are described as under;

  • Eight-ball
  • Nine-ball
  • Three ball
  • One-pocket
  • Bank pool

Each pool tables game has its own rule and regulation, but all the types are observed by the same ruling authority body of the game that is WORLD POOL-BILLIARD ASSOCIATION (WPA).

They keep a regulation check on all the types of pool games, and they set the rules for each game. Now let’s see what these games are and how they are different from each other.

Equipment Required for The Pool Games:

All these games are played with the same three equipment. They are;

Cue Stick:

Cue sticks are long stick designed especially for the pool games. They are longer with smaller tips. The tips are regularly sharped before taking the shot. They are generally 58.5 inches (148.6cm) long.

Pool Balls:

The pool balls which are used in the pool games vary in size from 2.25 inches in diameter to 2.375 inches in diameter. The cue ball that is commonly white in color is usually larger and heavier and has a magnetic core.

Pool Table:

The pool tables are of different sizes. They vary from 7 inches to 9 inches in length. They have six pockets attached to them. 4 pockets on each side while 2 pockets on the center on either side lengthwise.

General Fouls:

These following foul rules are generally applied to every game of pool, and they are approved by the international world pool association. Following are the fouls,

  • If the cue ball is knocked off the table.
  • If the cue ball is made the jump or double jump.
  • If the player touches the ball intentionally or unintentionally.
  • When the player does not act on his own turn.
  • When the called off ball is not out of the pocket.
  • When the break out shot is not done correctly.
  • If the player does not have any foot on the floor.
  • If the coaching is being done.

Game Types:

Now as I mentioned earlier that the pool games have various types. All game types are derived from one another and somewhat have standard rules and regulations.

1. Eight-ball:

It is a pool game type which is often referred to as stripes and solid. Because of the balls which have numerical numbers on them and half of the balls have stripes on them.

It is so commonly played that the beginners sometimes don’t even know that the usual game they play which they refer as pool, is actually called eight balls. It has following main pointers.

  • It is played with a cue stick and 16 balls.
  • 1 to 7 numbered balls are solid in color and 9 to 15 are with stripes.
  • Number 8 ball is black. That is why eight numbered ball is also known as blackball.
  • One ball is the cue ball and usually white in color.

The balls are usually colored as under:

  • 1 and 9 – yellow,
  • 2 and 10 – blue,
  • 3 and 11 – red,
  • 4 and 12 – purple,
  • 5 and 13 – orange,
  • 6 and 14 – green,
  • 7 and 15 – maroon.

The balls are placed in a triangular rack and set on the pool table. They are placed in such a way that the apex ball is on the footnote, and the rack is parallel to the end rail. Balls are in contact with each other.

  • One person is chosen to shoot first by coin flip or any other method.
  • If the first player is unable to break the balls properly, that is if four or more balls hit the cushions, then the opponent can opt to either re-rack the balls or continue to play from the current position.
  • If the 8 ball is pot, then the breaker can either place the 8th number ball on any desired place and play or re-rack.
  • The player keeps on playing while taking turns until one player plays a foul, the coming player has the hand-in-ball option.
  • Winner is declared by pocketing the 8 ball into its designated pocket after pocketing all the other balls.

Following mentioned objections are all fouls, and when they are made, the ball is placed on the table and opponent takes the turn.

  • If the player fails to strike the ‘on’ ball or object ball.
  • If the player does not have at least one foot on the floor.
  • The cue ball is pocketed.
  • When the cue balls do not strike any object ball.
  • When the cue ball is struck more than once in a single shot.
  • If the shooter knocks a ball off the table.
  • The jump of the cue ball intentionally or unintentionally.
  • Any of the players touch a ball, usually the shooter.
  • If the player has shot out of his turn.
  • If no balls are pocketed on the break shot.

2. Nine ball:

It is a version of a pool game. It is a contemporary form of pool. In this game, the 9 number ball is not the shot ball, but any ball can be a pot at any time of the game.


It is played on a pool table with cue sticks and 10 balls. Each ball with a number on them. The balls are placed in a diamond-shaped rack and then placed on a pool table. Colors in them don’t matter. It has the following few rules that are different from the 8-ball.

  • Any ball can be pocketed at any time of the game
  • 9 numbered ball is not the call shot ball to be played in the end only, it can be played earlier as well.
  • At break out, a ball with the lowest number on it should come in contact with the cue ball.
  • If that happens, the breaker can call for the push-out.
  • A push-out is a shot in which a player can play a shot in any way he wants and that will not be considered as a foul except that the ball jumps off the table.
  • If at the breakpoint, the lowest numbered ball was not in contact with the cue ball, the opponent player can call for push-out.
  • Any player, who pockets the ball number 9 at any point of the game, is declared as the winner.
  • If the player knocks off the 9 number ball off the table. Then it is a foul.
  • If the players knock any ball off the table.
  • When the player pockets the cue ball and the object ball at the same time.
  • After three consecutive foul shots, the opponent player is declared the winner.
  • If the player does not have at least one foot on the floor.

3. 3-ball:

It is typically a folk game. There are no set rules for the game. It is usually played with just three balls as per mentioned by the name of the game. It consists of;

  • Three balls, any color.
  • A triangular rack.
  • A cue stick.
  • Any number of players can play, preferably 5.

The rule of this game is very simple. One player takes the shot and tries to pocket the three balls in as fewer shots as possible. When player no.1 is able to pocket all three balls, then the second player come forward, and again balls are set in the rack and placed on the pool table.

This goes on till all the players have played. The winner is the one who pocketed all the balls in fewer shots.


Since the three-ball game is a different game than other pool games, it has its own fouls list.

  • A foul shot cost the player an additional penalty point.
  • Pocketing of the cue ball is considered a foul.
  • Knocking the cue ball off the table is a foul.
  • Making the cue ball double jump.
  • A shot in which a player pockets the cue ball as well as the object ball.

4. One-pocket:


As the name shows, it is a game in which only two pockets of the pool table are used. Unlike other pool table games, where balls can be pocketed in any pocket of the pool table, the players usually select their own pocket, and then they only pot the balls in that pocket.


It should be noted that traditionally, one ball pool game is played without any rules of the foul. The international rules of foul play are applied sometimes. Those include;

  • knocking off the cue ball.
  • making the balls or the cue ball jump intentionally.
  • playing in another player’s turn.
  • three fouls in a row mean you will lose the game.

5. Bank pool:


It is a pool game in which all the scoring shot must be made by banking the called ball off the cushion and then into the pocket. It is usually played with a full rack of 15 balls. A player is declared a winner if he pockets the eight balls legally.

  • When the break shot is being played, the player must hit at least four balls off the rails otherwise it is considered a foul.
  • Pocketing a ball on the break shot is not a foul, but the players continue to shoot.
  • It is considered the cleanest pool game there is.
  • If the player plays a foul shot, he owns the table a ball. His previously pocketed ball will be placed back on the table.
  • It is a foul if the player does not hit the called ball with the cue ball.
  • Fouling three times make you lose the game.

About Maryam Shaw

Hello Everyone! I am Maryam, the reason behind creating this website is to help people with the detailed information and reviews about sports products