How to Play 9 Ball Pool: Racking, Strategy, Rules and More

hera, we ’ ll cover how to play 9 ball pool, with a promptly and dirty overview of racking, rules for the game, breaking, and standard clog .
9 ball is a very democratic type of pool plot. It ’ s played by professionals on television receiver and in pool tournaments all over the world .
so far when it comes to most bar and rec-room pool games, 9 ball might silent take a back seat to standard 8 ball pond. But nine-ball is actually the perfective barricade game .
It ’ sulfur fast-paced, so games can move cursorily. It requires a unique combination of skill and scheme, and it ’ s much the game players prefer as they get better at pool.

The aim of this game is simple : sink the 9-ball to win the bet on. Of course, there ’ s a fiddling more to it. Let ’ s begin with the rack .

How to Rack a Game of 9 Ball Pool

only balls 1 through 9 are used. The balls are racked in a ball field supreme headquarters allied powers europe using a traditional 9 ball diamond wrack. The 1-ball must be placed be at the peak of the baseball diamond ( apex ). The 9-ball will go in the center of the rack .
The rest of the balls can be placed anywhere in ball field in a random ordering. Don ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate target the balls in order .
If you don ’ t have a rhombus rack, just use a standard triangulum rack and shape the rhombus with your hands. Make certain you push securely from the bed of the baseball diamond shape up to the top of the scud .
The scud should be vitamin a taut as possible. Read this military post if you need a review of how to properly rack a game of pool .
The top of the diamond and 1 ball should line up on the foundation topographic point of the board. This the center point in the extort end of the postpone .

Basic 9 Ball Rules

The aim of 9 ball pond is to sink the balls in ascending ordering, 1 – 9. The player who legally makes the 9 ball in the called pocket wins .
however, combo shots permit for the gain to occur before all balls are removed from the table. You can combo into higher number balls, including the 9 ball, if you contact the lowest number testis first gear .
For case, say you ’ re shoot for the 5 ball, but you see that you could “ jazz band ” the 5 into the 9 and pocket the 9. If you call that shoot and sink the 9 ball without scratching, you would win the game .
You can not shoot directly at the nine musket ball until it is the only ball remaining on the table. And y ou must always hit the lowest number object ball first.
different rules may apply, as halls and leagues have their own rules. however, in 9 ball you will broadly NOT need to call all shots, except for the 9 ball .
If you make your shot, without committing a foul, you keep shooting. If you miss, your opposition plays the prompt ball from the position you left it. ( Learn about clue testis control )


Breaking in 9 ball pond can be a discrete advantage. If the 9 ball is made on the collapse ( without a scratch ), the surf wins !
The player break from behind the head drawstring. That means behind the center spot at the breaking goal, between the second diamonds along the side rail of a full sized postpone. ( Learn more about pond table anatomy )
For the first equal, you can flip a coin to decide who gets to break. But I prefer the “ lagging ” method .
Lagging means shooting the cue ball across the table unvoiced adequate to return and get the ball spinal column to the bumper. The person who gets it closest wins. It ’ s a fun and popular way to determine who breaks in the beginning equal .
For subsequent games, most people just play that the achiever gets to break.

Seasoned 9 ball players have different approaches to the break.
One accept strategy is to cable up to the leave side of the table and aim the cue slenderly to the left of center of 1 ball. Using a controlled stroke – not besides brawny – the goal is to sink the good corner ball and free the one ball to the leave side of the mesa .
This will open up your options and give you a clean blastoff at the lowest ball to start the game .
Related : How to play square pool

Standard 9 Ball Fouls

  • Cue ball scratch or off the table. A scratch is when you pocket the cue ball or launch it off the table. 
  • Striking the incorrect ball first. The first ball contacted on each shot must be the lowest numbered ball remaining on the table
  • Double hitting the cue ball. (Having trouble holding the pool cue? Check out this guide.)
  • Failing to hit a rail with any ball after making contact with the object ball.
  • No foot on floor (you must always have at least one foot on the floor when shooting)
  • Push shot (cue tip maintains contact with the ball longer than the split-second allowed for normal shot)
  • Slow play
  • Balls still moving when you shoot (You must wait until balls have stopped moving before your next shot)
  • Cue stick on the table
  • Playing out of turn

As we mentioned, many bars and pool halls have rules that govern their 9 ball matches. But the above pollute that are generally accepted .
If the shooter commits one of these fouls during play, the next player will have cue ball in hand. More on this below .
If you commit several of these fouls on one single shoot, it ’ second still counted as alone one foul. however, if you commit three fouls in a row – that ’ s three directly shots with a foul and not making a legal shot – the rule is that you lose the game .

Cue Ball-in-Hand

The is a cardinal part of 9 testis. If you commit a afoul or start while playing, the other player may choose where to place the cue ball. And he or she can place it anywhere on the table for the next shot—this is called having “ ball in hand. ”
however, on a interruption, the cue ball is placed in hand only behind the head-string .

Spotting the Ball

If the nine ball is pocketed on a foul or push out, or shot off the postpone, it is spotted .
note that the 9 ball is the only ball that gets spotted in 9 ball pool .
If you jump a different object ball off the table, for exemplify, it is a foul and you lose your turn. But that ball does not get spotted .
( If you like playing 9 ball, you may besides enjoy a game of cutthroat with 3 players ) .


Some consortium halls and leagues allow for something called a “ push out ” after the break. The player who breaks, or the opposing musician, can hit the discriminative stimulus ball anywhere on the table to leave their adversary a tougher shoot .
however, if the opposition chooses, they may decide NOT to shoot the nip and return it to the original actor. Most halls don ’ thymine play by rigid Billiard Congress of America ’ randomness rules, so consult with your adversary before any meet .

Those are the basics of how to play 9 ball pond. It ’ s a simple game in concept, but it takes a lot of skill to win. Because there are less balls, every blast matters and a game can end rather cursorily with a legal jazz band blastoff that pockets the 9.

Learning how to play 9 ball is besides a bang-up way to practice. There is then much strategy involved in this game. Plus, there is more room on the table, so you will need to work on placing the ball and lining up shots correctly .
Further reading for 9 Ball Pool:

  • 9 Ball Strategy: Instructional videos about lining up shots, breaking, playing defensively and much more from Colorado State 
  • Official Rules from the Billiards Congress of America

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