How To Play Pool? A Beginner Guide

The pool is one of the oldest games whose history trail back to the 15th century. Started as a lawn game, it moves indoors soon and become one of the most popular games of all time. There are plenty of ways for playing this game that can confuse a beginner. Are you looking for an answer to the question “how to play pool”? If yes, then you should check this complete post. Here, we will explain all the things in detail, so you know all about this game.

If you don’t know, there are lots of versions in a pool game that include 8-ball, 9-ball, straight pool, and cutthroat pool. We will talk about the two popular ones 8-ball and 9-ball pool in detail now.

8-ball Pool Game

Most Popular Sports 8-ball Pool Game
Most Popular Sports 8-ball Pool Game
  • The racked balls are break by a player who is chosen by a coin toss or previous game-winner. Here, the cue ball begins behind the head string.
  • The opposite player will get a turn when no ball gets pocketed. The players will be switched when the other player foul or pocket no balls.
  • The main mission in this game is to pocket all the balls except the number 8 ball that is called the money ball. It is the last one that needs to be pocketed by a player for completing the game.
  • If a player pockets the number 8 ball before the others, then it will result in a loss.
  • The players need to call the pocket that they will use for sinking the 8 number ball.

Which are the common fouls in an 8-ball game?

  • If a player doesn’t succeed in hitting any of his balls with the cue ball before contacting the other balls, then it will consider a foul.
  • A foul will occur if a cue ball gets touched more than a single time while playing the shot.
  • The player pushes the cue ball instead of striking.
  • A ball gets knocked off the table by the player.
  • A foul will considered when no balls are pocketed on the break.
  • If less than four balls touch the rails, then it will be called a foul.

9-ball pool game

  • As its name suggests, this version of the pool involves nine balls along with a cue ball.
  • The main mission in this game is targeting the lowest numbered ball present on the table. However, you don’t have to pocket the balls in order as all you need is to contact the lowest numbered ball first on every shot.
  • The players can pocket the 9 numbered ball whenever they want.
  • A player will continue its turn until miss, foul, or win the game.
  • The balls in hand will be played by the opposing player if a foul gets committed where the cue ball placed wherever he/she wants.
  • A push-out can be called by a shooting player after the break and before playing the second shot. A shooting player will be the breaking player if a no-ball pocketed by the opposing player or ball gets pocketed.
  • The players are allowed to hit the cue ball without any restriction in a Push Out.

What are the common fouls in a 9-ball pool?

  • There is a need to acknowledge the fouls before the next shot gets called.
  • A foul will be called when touching or moving the cue ball to occur in a 9-ball pool.
  • Coaching in this version of the pool is considered a foul.
  • Putting the cue ball off the table or shooting it into a pocket will result in a foul.
  • The shot will be called a foul if the cue ball is not the lowest number on the table.
  • A foul is considered if the player pockets the nine ball and the cue ball.

How to improve your skills in the pool game?

If you want to boost your skills at the game, then we suggest you targeting the following fundamentals below:

  • Practicing grip

The foremost mistake that beginners make is not putting too much focus on their grip. They try to grip the cue too tightly that can affect the game. Instead, you should think about using light and loose grip.

A tight grip will result in increasing the chances of knocking off the cue ball from the table. So, you should work on keeping your grip nice and light along with keeping the control.

  • Practicing on the bridges

No one denies that the bridge is an essential part of the game. No matter how much you make the grip and instance better, you can’t win the game if the bridge is clumsy or inconsistent.

Go for the closed bridge option if you are an advanced player as it involves shooting the harder shots. On the other hand, the open bridge is perfect to use if you are a beginner. For boosting your open bridge skills, we suggest you place a hand firmly on the table and then pressing thumb against the forefinger so that a V get formed.

  • Body Alignment practice

The majority of players don’t put too much attention on their body alignment. However, you need to keep one thing in mind that the body alignment needs to be proper so that accurate shooting can take place.

By proper alignment, we want to mean that the stroking arm, cue, eyes, and head should be lined up straightly towards the targeted ball. It is called with the name of the vision center. Please keep your head low and square to the aiming line to boost alignment. It will result in making your alignment better quickly.

  • Identifying the imaginary aiming line

Performing better in the pool is impossible if you don’t know which target pocket to aim. You have to imagine the path to pocket the ball in the right direction. With this, we don’t mean you to go for complicating angles or combo shots.

You have to identify the pocket’s center point while lining for the shot. It should be followed by envisioning an imaginary line from the pocket’s center point to the object ball’s center. It is the ball that you have to sink in that pocket.

check out the list of 15 best pool player ever click here to read

  • Creating a pre-stroke routine

If you believe it is the same as the pre-shot routine, then you are completely wrong. In pre-stroke planning, then we suggest you getting warm up before playing the real shot. They should be steadier, slower, and complete.

Try to bring the cue close to the potential contact point with all these practice strokes. Also, all the warm-up strokes need to be slower on the back as well as forward swings.

If you practice these things, then we can ensure that you will become a better player in no time. Brushing up their skills is the main thing that the professional players do.

Read pool cue buying guide here.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: How do I improve my aiming skills in a pool?

A: Improving your aiming skills requires practice and focus. One effective method is to visualize an imaginary line connecting the object ball and the pocket and then align your cue stick. Additionally, practicing drills and playing regularly will sharpen your aiming abilities.

Q: What’s the difference between cue and object balls?

A: The cue ball is the white ball you strike with the cue stick, while object balls are the numbered balls you aim to pocket. The cue ball makes shots, while the object balls are the targets.

Q: Can I hit multiple balls with a single shot?

A: Yes, hitting multiple balls with a single shot is allowed in the pool. This combination shot can be a strategic way to pocket difficult balls or create opportunities for future shots.

Q: Are there different variations of pool games?

A: Yes, various pool game variations exist, such as 8-ball, 9-ball, straight pool, and snooker. Each game has its rules and objectives, offering unique challenges and strategies.

Q: Can I use a cue extension to improve my reach?

A: Yes, a cue extension can improve your reach and make shots that are otherwise challenging due to distance. Cue extensions attach to the butt of your cue stick, providing extra length when needed.

Q: Is it important to chalk the cue tip?

A: Yes, chalking the cue tip before each shot is crucial. Chalk helps to increase friction between the cue tip and the cue ball, allowing for better control and reducing the chances of miscues.


We believe that you have got the much important information about the pool game by reading this post. Our team has tried to answer the question that beginners have. If there is still a question revolving in your mind regarding this game, then write it in the comment section. You will receive an answer at the earliest.

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