9 Ball Pool Rules: How to Play 9 Ball Pool

The Rules of 9 Ball Pool 

9 ball pool is a fantastic game and in this post we will go over some of the rules it has.

If you’re new to the game, you  must first understand the rules and regulations of this specific pool game. In this post we explain the rules as they are written at the World Pool Billiard Association website.

Failure to understand the rules usually means that the player is bound to foul. Apart from following the rules, an individual hoping to win should improve their aim.

Without a good target, a win can be a mirage. Perfect aiming is usually achieved through lots of practice.

Before the start of the game, the players should seek a referee to count the points earned by each player.

The individual should also check that all the regulations are followed to a tee by the participating players.

The referee should ensure that the table is in excellent condition and a level position.

All the balls should be present and in excellent condition. Additionally, all the cue sticks should be in pristine condition.

Lets dive deeper into the rules of 9 ball pool, feel free to read them briefly or print this page out.

How to Play 9 Ball Pool : Starting The Game

The game begins with racking of all the balls.

Rack the balls in the shape of a diamond and the number nine ball placed at the center of the diamond.

Ball number one should be set in the foot area of the table. This area is considered the top of the diamond.

Ball number two should then be placed at the opposite end of the table or the bottom area of the diamond.

The rest of the balls to be used in the game can be placed randomly in the rack depending on the preferences of the player.

When correctly arranged the game can then be started with the first player taking the break shot.

When taking the breaking shot, the cue ball should always be placed behind the string marking the head area.

If the cue stick tip touches the balls before breaking, this constitutes an illegal breaking meaning the game should restart. The breaking shot should drive in at least one numbered ball.

If the breaker fails to input any ball, all balls should be rearranged in the right order. The opponent can do then do the honors of starting the game.

Players should keep in mind that the game can be won with the first shot. This can happen if the breaker inputs the number nine ball during the first break.

After breaking the game, the player should aim to hit and input the lowest numbered ball.

If the player with the stick fails to pocket the lowest number, the cue ball should hit any ball or the rail in order for the hit to be labeled legal in the game.

After the lowest number has been removed from the table, any ball with a number or the cue ball can pocket ball number nine in order to win.

If the gamer has successfully pocked the lowest number and any other number, they can continue playing until they fail to pocket a ball.

General Rules & Guidelines : 9 Ball Pool

1. Players should ensure that all balls remain on the pool table to avoid making a foul.

It is important to remember that even when a ball rests on the edges of the table, it is still considered to be a foul.

2. It is crucial for players to pick a referee in order to avoid arguments during the game.

The individual chosen to act as the judge should have in-depth knowledge of all the rules in this sport.

Additionally, both players should agree on the individual to referee in order to guarantee that there is impartiality.

If the referee awards a foul, players should abide by the ruling of the referee.

3. At the start of the game, the breaker should always aim to pocket ball number one.  If any other ball is hit, its considered a foul play.

4. If a player commits two fouls in a row in the same shot, only the first one counts.

When committing a foul during a game, the next shot is usually given to the opponent.

5. There are times when one may touch a ball on the table by mistake. In such an instance, one must concede for the next player to take their turn.

The individual making a new shot is usually allowed to carry the cue ball to any point in the table to prepare for their hit.

Quick Pool Tip : be steady when hitting the ball, take a deep breath and exhale before hitting, do not breath while hitting the ball.

9 ball pool how to play

6. If a player is awarded a foul and they are moving the cue ball, all other items in the table should not be touched.

Any contact is usually penalized.

7. During a hit, both players should avoid any objects on the table. Any touch is a foul.

If the shot had not yet started and one touches an immobile ball, it can be placed back to where it was but only if the other player agrees.

If they do not consent, it usually means that the player has to concede their turn to play.

8. Players should always ensure that one foot is touching the ground when striking the cue ball.

It can either be left or right. If both feet are in the air, it is usually counted as a foul.

9. Before taking a shot, one should ensure that all the objects on the table are stationary.

10. To avoid being fined with a foul for interference, each player should give the opponent sufficient space and time to do their thing.

If there are supporters cheering the game on, each player should control their side.

11. Each player should pay special attention during the game in order to spot fouls that the referee may miss.

Quick Pool Tip : read our “5 best pool tables “ post if you’re looking to buy a pool table.

On spotting a missed foul, the spotter should inform the referee immediately instead of causing a scene.

Additionally, each gamer should keep tabs on when it is their turn to take a shot. It is not the job of the referee to remind the players.

12. Scooping the cue ball in order to awe spectators with a jump shot is a foul.

The acceptable jump shot should be made by manipulating the cue ball and not forcing it.

9 ball pool

How to Win a 9 Ball Pool Game?

The goal of 9 ball pool is eventually to put ball number 9 into the hole, legally.

The game can also end if the ball is pocketed legally in the first break.

An opponent can also be handed a win if the opposing player is penalized with fouls thrice consecutively.

However, two fouls followed by a legitimate shot and another foul do not constitute an end of the game.

For the three-consecutive rule to apply, the gamer making the fouls should be warned that they have one foul remaining.

Failure to give a warning verbally on the second count usually means that the opposing player has one more chance.

However, even for this chance, a warning has to be given. Without warning, the game cannot end.

If the game is part of a series in a match, the participants should avoid behavior that can be construed to mean that they are leaving.

Losing is a part of life.

Quick Pool Tip : DON’T BE A SORE LOSER. If your opponent has the upper hand, wait quietly until the game is over instead of conceding the game. Be patient and play like a gentleman. 

A concession while the game is still on is still a loss for the individual conceding.

In this sport, conceding a game is generally considered poor sportsmanship.

The Bottom Line 

We hope this post helped you understand the rules of 9 ball pool better. If you have any questions, please comment below and let us know.

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Now go ahead and play some 9 ball pool, enjoy!