7 Pool Table Games Every Billiards Player Needs to Know

Billiards is a game played on a large rectangular table with pockets in each of the four corners. The players use cue sticks to strike balls so that they go into the pockets, or off the other side. Billiards games are typically distinguished by how many balls are used and which type of balls (solid or striped) can be legally pocketed.

Types of Different Pool Table Games

pool table games

In the United States, straight pool, nine-ball and rotation are the three most popular types of billiards games. Straight pool and nine-ball use an even number of balls, whereas rotation uses an uneven number. One-pocket is a type of game that is not so common in the United States but has been gaining popularity in Canada and Europe.

There are several other types of games that use different sets of balls, but they are not as commonly played. These include one-pocket, snooker, English billiards, three-cushion billiards, four-ball and cowboy pool. There are also games that have their own variations depending on where you live or play. Some of these games include eight-ball, nine-ball, ten-ball, seven-ball and blackball.


One-Pocket is a variant of a traditional pool. The game is played on a table with only one pocket. This means that balls cannot be legally pocketed in any other pockets on the table. There are many strategies that can be utilized to win this game, but there are also some similarities to blackball and snooker because players need to control the cue ball to cause the opponent’s ball (or balls) to go into an un-pocketed area of the table, which is called a “scratch.”

The goal of One-Pocket is to avoid putting balls in an un-pocketed area of the table. Players control the cue ball so it does not go off of the table. They can do this by either making long and accurate shots or short and precise shots.

This game is played with fifteen balls: one cue ball and fifteen object balls (four groups of stripes and solid colors). The rack begins with the apex ball placed in the center of the foot spot, also known as the “key ball.” Then comes a stripe, solid, stripe and finally a solid again. The remaining balls are racked in a triangular rack as shown in the diagram (refer to illustration).

Straight Pool

Straight Pool is a pool game played on a large rectangular table with six pockets. Players use cue sticks to shoot the object balls around the table, via carom shots, so that they can be placed in the pockets. The game uses an even number of balls of two colors, of which one is solid. Shots are not limited to just moving balls into pockets of a different color. This feature makes it easier for people to play this game.


Rotation is a type of game that is most often played on a coin-operated table. This is because the number of balls in use is uneven and the table only has one pocket. The object of this game, unlike Straight Pool, is not to pocket all of the balls but rather to drive them from one end of the table to the other.

Players score points by either striking balls or caroming them off a cushion and into a pocket opposite from where they started on the table. Points are also awarded if all four of their own balls make it to a pocket on their side of the table. Players use a cue ball and one red, six white and one blue object balls, which are racked in a triangle. Red is placed on the foot spot and blue is placed on the apex ball.

Seven Ball

One of the more popular variants of the pool is seven balls. This game has some similarities to nine-ball, but with some key differences. This game is played with a standard fifteen ball rack, with the balls numbered 0-7.

The first pool ball that you are required to sink in order to win is the 3-ball, which is also called “the money ball.” You are also required to pocket the 7-ball last in order to win this game. If you are on the opposite side of the table from where your opponent started, then they must sink their 3-ball first before sinking any other balls.

One of the first things that you need to keep in mind about seven balls is that there are not any stripes or solids. This means that you are required to have a little more control over the cue ball, which has an effect on how you shoot the balls into the pockets.

This game is primarily played in bars across America, partly because of its simplicity and ease of play. It is also popular among pool sharks because it is so easy to pick up on how to play.

Cutthroat Pool

Cutthroat is a variation of the popular game of pool that eliminates one player from the game until only one person remains. When played with four people, each player is assigned to an even-numbered pocket. The first thing that you are required to do is rack the balls up by placing them on the spot on the head of the table. You then break them down by placing them into your assigned pockets. If there are any balls left over, these are placed within the triangle in front of your pockets.

The first player takes their turn by shooting alone first in order to clear all of their object balls from the table. This leaves their opponent’s ball(s) vulnerable for them to be pocketed or driven around on their next turn. This game is won when all of the opponent’s balls are driven to their assigned pocket, even if one or more object balls remain on the table.

Three-Cushion Billiards

Three-Cushion Billiards is a variation of the game in which it is played on a table and requires the use of two cues and three balls. The object of this game is to pocket all three balls in as few shots as possible, with each player shooting alternatively.

The object ball is placed in the center of the table. The other two balls are placed at one end of the table (usually opposite from where the object ball was placed). You can hit either cue ball before or after striking the other cue ball, but always through contact with the first cueball. On your final shot, you must shoot at one of these two balls, but not both of them.

Players are awarded points according to the object balls that they hit and whether or not they make a successful shot. For example, if you strike the cue ball and pocket your object ball on your first shot, you would be awarded points for successfully pocketing this particular ball.

This game is popular in bars because of its high stakes gambling ability (i.e., each player places a wager on themselves to win the game).

This is a difficult game to play, and it requires a lot of skill. It takes a high level of competence with your billiards cue in order to successfully pull this one off!


Snooker is a game in which players are required to be the first to pot six balls of their color. The player can also score points by potting any of the opponent’s balls. You are required to hit the ball with the cue, and then use the cue ball to hit both object balls into one or more of your object balls.

You’re also not allowed to move any balls other than your own and you aren’t allowed to touch the table with your hand during play. This game originated in India but is now mostly played in Britain and Commonwealth countries.

This game is popular because of its accessibility and simplicity. That said, this game requires a lot of precision and strategy to be successful at it!

Playing billiards can be a fun and exciting way to spend time with friends, but it is also an excellent skill to have. Billiards requires you use your mind as well as your body in order to succeed at the game. If you are interested in learning more about how these games work or what they entail before deciding which one suits you best, keep following our blog regularly.