Rules of 9 Ball Pool

You need a cue ball and nine numbered balls. You need to follow the rules of 9 ball pool while playing this game. You have to strike the cue ball and ensure it touches the object ball (lowest numbered ball on the table). You may pocket your balls in any order.

Rules of the 9 ball Pool Game

The Aim of The Pool Game:

You and your partner play with nine differently colored balls that are numbered from 1 through 9. While playing, you or partner has to hit the solid white coloured cue ball. This cue ball must touch the target object (numbered ball with least value) on the pool table.

You and your partner may pocket numbered balls following any serial order following certain rules. After pocketing any ball, you continue playing the pool game until you win, miss or foul.

You win when you pocket all the nine balls without missing or fouling. On missing, your opponent player takes over and continues playing accepting current positions of balls.

After you foul, your opponent can place cue ball wherever he wishes on the pool table and play. This subtle difference of continuing game after missing and fouling is in rules of 9 ball pool. In the game of pool, you or your opponent do not call shots or give orders.

How to Aim and Cue Ball Control.Let’s watch this!

Racking Balls:

Place a diamond shaped 9-ball rack or a triangle shaped 15-ball rack on the pool table. You have to tightly pack all the nine numbered balls (1-ball to 9-ball) within the rack. Ultimately, your arrangement of the numbered balls should look like a diamond. Hence, ensure you arrange all your nine numbered balls as follows.

  • First row: 1 ball
  • Second row: 2 balls
  • Third row: 3 balls
  • Fourth row: 2 balls
  • Fifth row: 1 ball

Place 9-ball at the centre of the third row and place 1-ball closest to the opening player. Meanwhile, arrange other balls in random order.


In general, you play the 9-ball pool game one-on-one with your partner. When you have more than two players, you can form two-member teams. While playing friendly pool game, you can play with three or more teams. However, this is not advisable when some of the pool players are better than others.

Commencing The Game:

You may flip a coin to decide who starts the pool game. Otherwise, use “lagging” to determine which player commences. On the empty pool table, all players place their balls at the back of the head-string. Simultaneously, all players have to strike their balls that should touch the far end of the pool table. Also, these balls must bounce back without touching near end or sides. The player achieving the best results becomes a home team.

Repeat lagging it two balls touch or it no one hits the other end without touching sides. The home team gets to break the legal shot. After that, breaking the legal shot alternates. When you break open the pool game, ensure your cue ball goes past the head-string.

Legal Break Shooting:

The home team or first player shoots the legal break. You place the cue ball at the back of the head-string and strike it to touch 1-ball. Simultaneously, you either pocket any numbered ball or move at least four balls to the side (rail). The legal break shot is explicitly explained in rules of 9 ball pool.

Legal Break !Enjoy This.

Push Out:

After you shoot legal beak, your opponent might “push out” to improve the position of the cue ball. While pushing out, cue ball need not touch object ball or move four balls to any side. Before committing to push out, you or partner must mention your intention so that it is not counted as a normal shot.

During push out, balls pocketed are not counted and it is left in the pocket unless it is 9-ball. After a push out, you may shoot or pass. Hence, your partner who played push out returns to play the pool game. It is not any foul during push out so you are not penalized unless you commit other fouls.


During foul, pocketed balls are not located or spotted excepting 9-ball. Your opponent player places cue ball wherever he wishes on the pool table to continue playing. Making several fouls in one shot is counted as one.  List of foul as follows:

  • All fouls have to be announced and recognized before shooting next.
  • Training during a pool game.
  • You/opponent touches or moves cue ball.
  • Pocket cue ball (“scratching”). Jump off (“driven off”) cue ball from the table.
  • When cue ball strikes an object or target ball not having the least numbered value.
  • Your cue ball touches right object ball. But, you fail to pocket an object ball and/or fail moving four balls to the side.
  • You pocket 9-ball and cue ball together with the same stroke.
  • On the floor, you must have a foot.
  • Instead of pocketing object ball, it jumps or stops on the surface of the pool table (“drive off”). The jumped ball(s) are not located (“spotted”) but, the game is continued.

If you are interested to play 8 ball pool. Then we are happy to share the Rules of 8 Ball Pool also.

Foul shot. Have a look!

Actions to follow:

If 9-ball jumps (“driven off”) or gets pocketed, then locate (“spot”) it. Place the 9-ball at the foot-spot or at the back of foot-spot. Ignore spotting other numbered balls that have been driven off. You have only two object balls on the table. On pocketing cue ball and another ball, you have to place lower valued numbered ball at the foot-spot.

After you make a foul, your opponent receives cue ball in hand. He gets to place cue ball wherever he wants on the pool table and continue the game. He plays until he wins, misses or fouls.

On committing foul during a legal break, your opponent takes over after selecting from an option. He might request re-racking numbered balls for placing cue ball at the back of head-string for shooting. Or else, he might choose to continue playing where you last left the game. Your opponent has to accept current positions of object balls. Without moving or touching cue ball, he has to carefully adjust and strike it.

The Exception to Rule not a Foul:

If you or partner accidentally touches any stationary ball, then it is not a foul. Yet, the opponent player decides to change the ball’s position to new or previous location.

3 Consecutive Fouls:

Making three consecutive fouls in three shots means the player has lost the pool game. As a rule, the player must be warned after the second foul and before the third one. This formality is not applicable in Local leagues and/or International Championship. In those games, you begin with shooting legal break and continue until you miss, foul or win.

End of the pool game:

A game ends after legal shot that pockets all balls including 9-ball. The game ends when any player surrenders after committing several fouls.

if you want to know more about pool. You can read these articles. Hope you enjoy

Final Word:

So, in this article, we have discussed in details of all rules for 9 ball pool game. After going through the article you surely know the rules of how to start and legally break a shoot.  If you want to have a good time with your friends or partner, then you can start playing this one-on-one pool game going by these rules.

Show Buttons
Hide Buttons