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Billiards-Rules of the Game

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Billiards-Rules of the Game

If you’re new to the game, it can be worth it to brush up on the rules.

In the game of billiards, Nine-Ball is played with nine balls that are numbered one through nine. The object of the game is to pocket the 9-ball. A cue ball is also used. For each shot the first ball, the cue ball, will make contact with the lowest numbered ball on the table. The balls do not need to be in pocketed order. In the event a player pockets any ball on a shot that is legal he will remain at the table for another shot. He will continue playing until he misses or until he commits a foul. He may also continue playing until he wins by pocketing the 9-ball. When a player misses, the next incoming player is required to shoot from the position that was left by the previous player. After any foul, the incoming player may then begin with the cue ball anywhere he chooses on the table. It is not required for players to call any shots. The match will end when one of the players has won the required number of games previously agreed upon.

The balls of the game are racked into a diamond shape. The 1-ball will reside at the top of the diamond and the 9-ball will reside in the center of the diamond. The remaining balls can be placed in any order. All balls should be racked as tightly as possible.

The player who was the winner of the lag has the choice to break. Depending on rules set up by tournament officials, the break can also be alternated between players, the loser can break or the player that was training in the game count can break the next game. Either way the player who is breaking must strike the 1-ball first. He must then either pocket a ball or drive a minimum of four numbered balls to the rail. A foul will occur if the cue ball is driven off the table or pocketed. A foul will also occur if an object ball jumps off the table during the break shot.

After the legal break, the shooter may then attempt to move the cue ball into a better position; known as pushing out. It should be noted that the player must announce his intention to play a push out before he shoots. Otherwise the shoot will be a normal shoot. Any balls that are pocketed on the push out are not counted except the 9-ball. If he succeeds in pocketing at least one ball on the legal break, the player will then continue to play until he either fouls, misses or wins. The player who is incoming following a push out may be permitted to either shoot from that position or to pass the shot back to the originating player.

In the event a player commits a foul, he must relinquish his turn at the table. No balls will be pocketed on a foul shot. The incoming player on a foul shot will be awarded the ball and he or she may place it anywhere on the table he chooses.
If a player should have three consecutive fouls on three successive shots without making an intervening legal shot, he will loose the game. The three fouls must be in one game and a warning must have been give between the second and third fouls.

The game will end when a player pockets the 9-ball at the end of a legal shot or when a player must forfeit the game due to the results of a foul.