Nine Ball Rules

Nine Ball Rules

There are nine ball rules that every player needs to be aware of before stepping up to the table. Nine ball is a popular game in many pool halls, and it can be quite challenging.

If you’re not familiar with the nine ball rules, don’t worry – we’ll go over them here. We’ll also discuss some of the more common mistakes players make so you can avoid them yourself. Let’s get started!

Nine Ball Rules

Take a look at some of the major nine ball rules.

1. Object of The Game

The object of the nine-ball is to sink the nine ball into a pocket.

You must hit the lowest numbered ball on the table first, and then you can sink any other ball into any pocket.

The nine balls are only considered sunk when it goes into a pocket after being struck by the cue ball. If the nine balls are pocketed before the cue ball hits another ball, it is a foul and the nine balls are reported.

You continue shooting until you miss, foul, or sink the nine-ball.

If you foul when there are only two balls left on the table (the nine ball and cue ball), your opponent gets to place the cue ball anywhere on the table for their next shot.

2. Racking The Balls

The balls are racked in a diamond shape, with the nine balls in the center and the one ball at the front of the rack. All of the other balls should be placed randomly around the nine-ball.

The nine balls must be placed at the intersection point of the middle two diamonds on the table. Once all of the balls are in their proper places, you can begin shooting.

If any of the balls are moved during the racking process, it is a foul and your opponent can re-rack the balls.

Nine Ball Rules

3. Scoring

In nine-ball, scoring is simple – the player who sinks the nine-ball wins the game.

However, if you are fouled when there are only two balls left on the table (the nine ball and cue ball), your opponent gets to place the cue ball anywhere on the table for their next shot.

This can be a big advantage, so be careful not to foul when there are only two balls left!

4. Continuing Play

If you sink the nine-ball on your first shot, congratulations – you win! If not, play continues until someone sinks the nine-ball.

When it’s your turn again, you must attempt to hit the lowest numbered ball on the table first. You can then sink any other ball into any pocket.

5. Legal Break Shot

To make a legal break shot, the cue ball must be placed behind the head string. You can then strike the cue ball anywhere you like to break up the rack.

If done correctly, the cue ball will bounce off of the headrail and hit the racked balls. Also, if any balls are pocketed on a legal break shot, they are not counted and remain in the pockets.

If you scratch on a legal break shot, your opponent can place the cue ball anywhere on the table for their next shot. However, if you make an illegal break shot, your opponent can either have the balls re-racked or take over shooting themselves.

6. Push Out

After the break shot, the player who did not make the legal break shot can choose to take a push-out shot.

To do this, they must announce their intention to their opponent before shooting. A push-out shot is a free shot where you can place the cue ball anywhere on the table (except in a pocket).

You don’t have to hit any balls with the cue ball, but you must attempt to make a legal shot. If you do not make a legal shot, your opponent can either take over shooting themselves or have the balls re-racked.

7. Fouls

There are a few different fouls that can be committed in nine-ball.

If you hit the cue ball off of the table, it is a foul and your opponent can place the cue ball anywhere on the table for their next shot.

Also, if you sink the nine-ball into a pocket before hitting any other balls, it is a foul and your opponent can either take over shooting themselves or have the balls re-racked.

If you scratch when there are only two balls left on the table (the nine ball and cue ball), your opponent gets to place the cue ball anywhere on the table for their next shot.

8. Start of The Play

The player who breaks the rack can choose to have their opponent break the rack for the next game. If they choose to do this, it is called “spotting the nine.”

This means that the nine-ball will be placed on the foot spot (the point where the head string and foot string intersect) and the cue ball will be placed anywhere behind the head string. The player who breaks the rack can also choose to have the nine-ball placed in the middle of the diamond and break from there.

If they choose to do this, it is called “breaking from the box.” This can be a good strategy if you are trying to sink the nine-ball on your first shot.

Other Nine Ball Rules

The nine-ball cannot be touched by your cue stick until it hits another ball first.

  • If the nine balls is pocketed on the break shot, it is foul. And your opponent can either take over shooting themselves or have the balls re-racked.
  • If you scratch when there are only two balls left on the table (the nine ball and cue ball). Your opponent gets to place the cue ball anywhere on the table for their next shot.
  • Also, if you hit the cue ball off of the table, it is a foul and your opponent can place the cue ball anywhere.
  • If you sink the nine-ball into a pocket before hitting any other balls, it is a foul. And your opponent can either take over shooting themselves or have the balls re-racked.
  • If you pot the nine ball on your first shot after the break, it is not considered a foul.
  • There is no “push out” after the nine ball is pocketed. The game is over and the player who sank the nine ball wins.
  • If the nine-ball goes off of the table, it is a foul and your opponent can place the cue ball anywhere on the table for their next shot.

Conclusion

Nine-ball is a great game for beginners and experienced players alike.

By following the nine-ball rules, you can ensure that everyone has a fair and enjoyable game. Give nine-ball a try today! Thanks for reading!

Shmulik Dorinbaum

Shmulik Dorinbaum

I like to Play Pool and Snooker, way too much. So welcome to my biggest passion, getting my self new Pool Cues all the time ;)