How to play pool

Pool, or billiards, is a game known around the world. The game’s history is rich and respectable. As with any game or sport, practice is the key to a good game. If you are just beginning and want to learn how to play to pool, there are basic rules that apply and various games you can play.

To play pool, you first need a pool table. There are different size regulation tables, but all tables have 6 pockets. The game also requires a pool stick, or cue, rack, and billiard balls. The object of the game is to knock the balls into the pockets by hitting them with the stick. The catch is that the only ball the cue stick can actually touch is the cue ball. The cue ball is a solid white ball, and while the other balls are shot into the pockets, the cue ball must not fall in. The remainder of the billiard balls will be numbered and colored in either a solid or a stripe.

The various pool games that can be played include 8 ball, 9 ball, straight pool, English billiards, and Snooker. Depending on the game, the number of balls used in play will vary as well as the rules for taking and making the shots. One of the most popular games is straight pool, which is played with 15 numbered balls and the cue ball. The balls can be shot into any pocket in any order as long as the player shooting “calls” the shot. In other words, you must state which ball you will be shooting and into which pocket you will be shooting it. Play continues until a shot is missed and then alternates between two players. You can play until the table is cleared, or you can play through several racks keeping score.

The specific game itself isn’t as important as understanding the break and the shots. The break is what initially determines where the balls will be on the table when play begins. It also initiates play between two players. To break, the balls are racked according to the game’s rules, and one player must hit the cue ball into the balls.

Making shots takes patience and practice. Learning how to play pool essentially means learning to make even difficult shots. A smooth and confident stroke is built over time along with learning how to position the tip of the cue stick on the cue ball for the right angle, spin, etc. The rules are easy to learn, but to become a pro, you must master the stroke and the mathematics of the game.