How to Play 9 Ball: Knowing the Basic and the Flexible Regulations

Have you ever wondered how to play nine ball? You are probably interested in playing pool but the game makes you confused with its terms. You have heard about the eight ball and the nine ball, but you are more interested in playing the nine ball. So, how do you play it? What is the concept of the game?

The Basic of Playing Nine Ball

Just like the eight ball, you will have nine balls with number 1 to 9. Once you break it, you have to clear it (putting the ball one by one into the hole according to the order). The one who is able to place the nine ball will win the game. The rule may sound simple but the implementation won’t be as simple as expected. That’s the basic concept of how to play nine ball.

How to Play the Game

First of all, you need to have a team. It is basically not a team game because it is originates from one on one player. But in the friendly and fun game, you can have two to three people, max, within one team. Of course, such a team game won’t be applicable for official tournaments.

Second, you need to flip a coin to decide who is going to go first. Flipping a coin is the most common method but in most cases, lagging is more entertaining. How do you do that? Set the table empty. Each player has to place a ball right behind the intended head string. Each of the player needs to hit the ball at the same time. The idea is to have the ball touch the side of the far across table before bouncing back to the near end of your side as soon as possible without even touching your side. Whichever player can do this with the closest mark can break. In the event that the balls are touching each other, you have to repeat the process again. Or if the players have their balls touching the inner side, you have to redo it again.

Third, you need to rack the balls. The idea to play the nine ball is to make the form of diamond. When racking, the ball number 1 should be placed on the top and the ball number 9 is right on the center. For the other balls, there isn’t any specific order so you can have them in random order. As long as number 1 and 9 are placed as directed, everything is fine. Be sure that the rack is packed and tight.  A word of advice: if you can’t find the diamond shape rack, you can use the regular 15 ball triangular rack – but make sure that you have formed the diamond tightly.

Fourth, make the break. Before you make the break, be sure to set up the regulations and rules BEFORE the break even begins. In most cases, the break is using loser breaks or alternating breaks. Whatever choices you make, be sure to set up everything before the game begins. If the break happens before setting up or agreeing on a rule, everything happens after the break won’t be valid.

How do you break the ball? The white cue ball should be placed behind head string. Any first player should hit the ball and make at least a pocket. If he can’t, he should send at least 3 balls to the side. If none of this happens, the rack should be set again and the opponent should be asked to do the break.

The Basic Regulations

Now, have you understood how to play nine ball or even start the game? Basically, the player who can pocket the nine ball will be the winner. You have your chances every time you make a pocket until you fail to do it. Let’s say that you do a successful break and manage to hit ball number 3. It is considered legit and you should start hitting the lowest ball. After the successful break, you should aim for number 1, and then number 2, and then number 4, and so forth. Every time you manage to pocket a ball, your turn will never stop.

On the contrary, when you fail, your opponent will take the opportunity and they will stop only if they fail to pocket a ball. How if you hit a series of ball? The more combo you can make, the faster your game will succeed – and it is possible that you win the game. But there is a rule about it: you need to hit the lowest ball before it can bounce and hit another ball. For instance, you want to make a combo pocket. So, you hit ball number 5 first before it hits number 7. That’s legal and you are considered doing a clean shot.

In learning about how to play nine ball, you also need to understand what a foul is. A foul is a mistake that a player makes when trying to pocket a ball. For instance, when you make a combo shot and your cue ball is hitting the higher number first and then the lower one (hitting number 7 and then number 5), it is considered a foul. Or, when you make a shot and it doesn’t make any pocket at all, it is also considered a foul. When this happens, the opponent will get the opportunity to hit.

The Final Conclusion

When you play pool, there rules are pretty simple and flexible. The rules of casual and friendly game are different from tournaments. The rules for competitions are stricter than those of casual play. For instance, in tournaments, making three fouls within a row will make you lose the game. Or when your feet are somewhat off the flower while doing the shot in tournaments, you are making a foul. Of course, friendly game doesn’t need to have over strict regulations. In most cases, the rules depend on the agreement between both parties of the players. So, you now know how to play nine ball and the best thing to do is to practice.