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How to Play a Round of Pool

August 5th, 2013 Games

Have you ever wanted to jump into a game of pool at the bar, but couldn't because you don't know billiard rules? If this is the case, it's never too late to familiarize yourself with the rules of the game! Most commonly, you'll see people playing with eight or nine balls at a table. Understanding the limitations and how to use the cue efficiently can help you win your first game. 

The objective
The objective of pool is to get all of your balls into the pockets before your opponent - but which ones are yours? The balls are typically divided into stripes and solids - if you happen to be solid, for instance, you'll want to aim to get these pieces into the table pockets as soon as possible. As you do so, try not to hit the 8-ball - this is reserved for the end of the game.

Specific rules
There are a few billiard rules you'll want to learn before you start playing with skilled individuals at the bar. As the World Pool-Billiard Association stated, you can't foul while attempting to pocket the 8-ball or you'll lose the game. You can also be disqualified if you accidentally hit the 8-ball off of the table during play.

In general, the rules of the game discourage slow play. You must also make contact with the rails upon hitting a ball during your turn. Finally, placement of the balls on the pool table can't be altered during gameplay through the use of your hands or physical force.

Want to fine-tune your skills? AskMen recommended visualizing your next move before you take action. Try to keep your back swing slow as well to create a smooth movement that will transition into the cue ball.