Pocket billiards, or pool, as it is usually called, is played with 15 numbered object balls and a white cue ball on a six-pocket table that is twice as long as it is wide-generally 4′ x 9 feet. Two players compete, and the first to pocket eight balls wins the game.
Arrange the balls as shown and decide who will play first. If you play first, use a cue stick to drive the cue ball into the group of object balls. On this play, one ball must drop into a pocket or two object balls and the cue ball must strike a cushion (side of the table), or your opponent may demand that you replay the opening.
You get credit for all object balls you packet on the opening shot. In subsequent plays, you must specify which has you intend to pocket. If you pock-et several balls, they are all credited to you, provided one of them was the called ball. If you pocket an uncalled ball but fail to pocket the called ball, you must spot the pocketed ball-that is. put it back on the table, positioning it on the foot spot, or vertically behind the foot spot and as new it as possible. If you pocket the cue ball or if neither the cue ball nor any of the object balls reaches a cushion, you are penalized: you must spot one of the balls you pocketed previously or, if there were none, the next ball you pocket. Whenever you fail to pocket a ball you called, your turn ends and your opponent plays.
There are many other pocket billiard games, among them rotation and eight ball. In rotation, the object balls must be pocketed in numerical order. In eight ball, one player must pocket object balls 1 through 7, and the other player object balls 9 through 15, with the 8 ball reserved for last.