How to Play Crazy9: Rules and Strategies Unveiled

If you’re a fan of billiards and card games, then you’re in for a treat! Crazy 9 is a unique fusion of these two beloved pastimes, designed by the Kanto Student Billiards Federation establishment preparatory committee. It’s a game that caters to players of all skill levels, from beginners to advanced billiards enthusiasts, and it’s set to revolutionize the way we play on a billiards table. Let’s dive into the world of Crazy 9 and explore its basic rules and gameplay.

The Basics: What You Need to Play Crazy 9

Ball Setup

To get started with Crazy 9, you’ll need nine target balls, numbered from 1 to 9, and a cue ball. These are the fundamental components that will shape your gameplay.

Rack Assembly

Before the game begins, you’ll need to assemble a rack. Place the No. 1 ball at the top of the rack, which is seen from the side where the break shot will be taken. Position the No. 9 ball in the center of the third row behind it. As for the other balls, they can be placed in any position on the rack.


The main goal of Crazy 9 is to pocket the number 9 ball before your opponent does. It’s a race to see who can sink this crucial ball first.

The Key Rules of Crazy 9

In Crazy 9, there are some key rules that dictate how the game is played. These rules ensure a fair and exciting gaming experience.

Target Ball Selection

When it’s your turn to play, you must first hit the lowest-numbered target ball that’s still on the table. This rule adds an element of strategy to the game and keeps the competition fierce.

Playing Crazy 9: The Game Flow

Crazy 9 can be played in pair matches (2 vs. 2) or in larger teams. The game introduces an intriguing twist by incorporating 18 types of cards, which add an extra layer of strategy to your billiards experience. Here’s how the game unfolds:

  1. Each team selects four cards at random from the cardholder after banking, with a total of 18 card types to choose from.
  2. The two unused cards are returned to the cardholder.
  3. The order in which the cards will be used is decided, and each team takes a screenshot for reference.
  4. Players take turns playing 9-ball, with one shot per turn.
  5. Notably, breaks are not affected by subsequent orders, and certain rules such as push-outs, the 3-point rule, and the 3-foul rule do not apply in Crazy 9.

Card Usage: Adding a Unique Twist

The use of cards is one of the highlights of Crazy 9, as it introduces an element of strategy and unpredictability. Here’s how cards come into play during the game:

  • The defending side must clearly indicate their intention to present their cards before the attacking side takes their shot. Once the attacker has made their move, the defender cannot present a card.
  • If the attacking side presents a card, they must confirm with the defending side before using it.
  • When the defending side presents a card, the attacking side cannot present a card. If there’s a mix-up in card selection, the cards are discarded.

The 18 Key Cards

The heart of Crazy 9 lies in its 18 unique cards, each offering a different strategic advantage. These cards can change the course of the game and keep players on their toes, making Crazy 9 a thrilling and dynamic experience.

Dealing with Fouls

Fouls are an essential part of billiards, and Crazy 9 is no exception. Understanding how fouls are handled is crucial to mastering the game.

Foul 1: If You Foul

Similar to traditional nine-ball billiards, if a foul occurs, the opposing player gains the advantage. They can place the cue ball anywhere on the table and resume play from there. In Japan, this is often referred to as a “free ball” or “free cue ball.”

Foul 2: Handling the Ball After a Foul

If a target ball is pocketed as a result of a foul shot, or if it goes out of bounds, it will not be returned to the table. Play resumes as if the ball had been pocketed, except for the 9th ball, which should be returned to the foot spot.

Common Billiards Fouls

In Crazy 9, as in standard billiards, certain fouls can occur that may result in penalties. These include:

  • Touching the Ball: When making a shot, only the leather tip of the cue can touch the cue ball. Touching any other part or the target ball is considered a foul.
  • Outside the Ballpark: If the cue ball goes off the table, it’s a foul, especially if the target ball follows suit.
  • Double Hit: During a single shot, the cue can only touch the cue ball once. A double hit is a foul.
  • Both Feet Leave the Floor: When shooting, one foot must be touching the ground, even if it’s just the toes. Any other stance is considered a foul.
  • Adding a Landmark: Placing any kind of marker or landmark to aid your aim during a shot is a foul.

By understanding and adhering to these foul rules, players can keep the game fair and competitive.


Crazy 9 is a fantastic fusion of billiards and cards, offering a dynamic and strategic gaming experience. With its unique card system, 18 key cards, and engaging rules, it’s a game that brings out the best in both beginners and advanced players. So, gather your friends, set up the Crazy 9 table, and get ready for a thrilling billiards experience like no other!

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What makes Crazy 9 different from traditional billiards?
    • Crazy 9 adds a card system to the game, introducing an element of strategy and unpredictability that sets it apart from traditional billiards.
  2. Can beginners enjoy playing Crazy 9, or is it more suitable for advanced players?
    • Crazy 9 is designed to be enjoyed by players of all skill levels, making it accessible and fun for beginners while offering strategic depth for advanced players.
  3. How can I acquire the 18 key cards for Crazy 9?
    • Players can select four cards at random from the cardholder, which contains the 18 key cards. The two unused cards are then returned to the cardholder.
  4. Are there any official tournaments or leagues for Crazy 9?
    • While Crazy 9 is gaining popularity, it may have local or regional competitions, but official international leagues are still developing.
  5. Can Crazy 9 be played with different team sizes?
    • Yes, Crazy 9 can be played in pair matches (2 vs. 2) or in larger teams, making it versatile for different group sizes.

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