Nine-hit pool, a game designed by the JPBA professional Shoun Togawa, has been a top choice for billiards enthusiasts in Japan for many years. This intriguing take on the classic 9-ball game not only promises hours of fun but also provides an excellent platform for improving your cue ball control skills. In this article, we will delve into the world of a nine-hit pool, exploring its basic rules and key points.
The Basic Rules
Nine-hit pool uses nine target balls, numbered from 1 to 9, and a cue ball. The game starts with a specific arrangement of these balls in a rack, with the No. 1 ball at the top and the No. 9 ball in the center of the third row. The placement of the other balls in the rack is flexible.
The objective of the game is to pocket the 9th ball before your opponent. Here are some of the key rules to keep in mind:
1. Called Shot Rule
For all shots other than break shots, the “called shot” rule applies. This means you must specify the target ball you intend to hit and the pocket where you plan to sink it.
2. Cue Ball Placement
Players can place the cue ball anywhere on the table before taking a shot, except for break shots. In that case, you must first hit the cue ball with the lowest-numbered target ball remaining on the table.
Game Flow and Wins/Losses
Now, let’s look at how the game unfolds:
Step 1: Match Format
The game is played in racks, with each player aiming to pocket the No. 9 ball. Typically, players agree on a format, such as winning 5 or 7 racks. The player who pockets the 9th ball earns 1 point, and the rack ends.
If there is a skill difference between players, you can even the playing field by giving your opponent a handicap based on the number of racks you’ve won.
Step 2: Break Shot to End of Rack
The game begins with a break shot. If no foul is committed and a target ball is pocketed, play continues. If a foul occurs or no target balls are pocketed, the turn changes.
If the No. 9 ball is pocketed on the break shot, it is returned to the foot spot. The player with the turn then places the cue ball anywhere on the table and resumes play based on the called shot rules.
Varied Shot Types
In nine-hit pool, players employ a variety of shots, including bank shots, combination shots, cannon shots, and kiss shots. These shots can be used strategically to advance the game, even if the ball does not hit the next target.
The game continues until a player successfully pockets the No. 9 ball. Remember, in nine-hit pool, the 9th ball is always shot last. If it’s pocketed during a combination or cannon shot, play resumes once the No. 9 ball is returned to the foot spot.
Points of Rules to Ensure Fun
It’s essential to be aware of certain fouls and penalties in nine-hit pool:
Foul 1: No Hit or No Cushion
A foul occurs if the shot cue ball does not hit the lowest-numbered target ball first (no hit) or if neither the cue ball nor the target ball reaches a cushion after contact (no cushion).
Foul 2: Accumulating Outs
Each foul, including normal shooting mistakes, results in a “1 out” penalty. If a player accumulates “2 outs” during a single rack, they lose that rack.
Foul 3: Handling the Ball After a Foul
If a target ball is pocketed due to a foul shot or goes out of bounds, it will not be returned to the table. However, only the ninth ball should be returned to the foot spot.
Original Rule: Break Runout (Maswari)
In nine-hit pool, a break runout that pockets the final 9th ball without errors earns 2 points. This unique rule adds an exciting twist to the game, differentiating it from traditional nine-ball and ten-ball billiards.
As you dive into the world of nine-hit pool, remember that it combines elements of strategy, skill, and precision, making it a thrilling choice for billiards enthusiasts.
Ready to try your hand at this exciting game? Get started now by accessing the game here.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is the main objective of nine-hit pool?
The primary goal in nine-hit pool is to pocket the 9th ball before your opponent does.
2. Can players choose where to place the other balls in the rack?
Yes, aside from the No. 1 and No. 9 balls, you have the freedom to place the other balls in any position in the rack.
3. How does the break runout rule work in nine-hit pool?
In nine-hit pool, a break runout that pockets the final 9th ball without any mistakes earns the player 2 points, adding an exciting element to the game.
4. What happens if a player accumulates “2 outs” during a single rack?
If a player accumulates “2 outs” during one rack, they lose that rack.
5. Can you play nine-hit pool with players of different skill levels?
Yes, you can even out the competition by giving your opponent a handicap based on the number of racks you’ve won. This makes the game enjoyable for players of varying skill levels.