How to Score Big in Bowlard: Tips for Pocketing 10 Balls

Are you a fan of pocket billiards or looking to improve your skills in this exciting sport? You may have heard of a unique game called Bowlard, which is currently used in the practical test of the JPBA (Japan Professional Pocket Billiards Federation) professional test. In this article, we’ll delve into the world of bowling, exploring its basic rules, gameplay, and how it can help you assess and enhance your pocket billiards skills.

Understanding Bowlard: The Basics

Ball Selection

Bowlard employs ten target balls, numbered from 1 to 10, along with a cue ball. The selection of balls is essential to the game’s dynamics.

Rack Setup

The arrangement of the balls in the rack is flexible. However, the top ball should match the current frame number, making the game engaging and challenging.

The object of the Game

In Bowlard, players compete over ten frames, aiming for high scores. Unlike conventional pocket billiards, Bowlard follows the “called shot” rule. You must specify both the target ball you’re shooting and the pocket you intend to pocket it in. Just like bowling, you need to pocket all ten target balls within one frame, consisting of two innings.

How to Play Bowlard

Step 1: From Break Shot to End of Game

The first inning of a frame starts with a break shot from any position in the kitchen. If the break shot is foul-free, the first inning continues, regardless of whether a target ball is pocketed. The game then proceeds according to the called-shot rule. If the called target ball is pocketed, other target balls pocketed simultaneously also earn points.

If you successfully pocket all the target balls in the first inning, it’s considered a strike, and the frame concludes. Subsequently, you move on to the break shot for the next frame. The first inning ends if a shooting error or foul occurs, leading to the start of the second inning. If you can pocket all remaining target balls, you score a spare, but if you miss along the way, the frame concludes. At the end of each frame, players record their points according to the bowling scoring format, reassemble the rack, and initiate the break shot for the next frame. This cycle repeats for ten frames, with the final score calculated, marking the end of the game.

Key Points for Enjoying Bowlard

Foul 1: Types of Foul

Common fouls in pocket billiards apply to Bowlard. These fouls are crucial to understanding the game’s integrity.

Foul 2: Consequences of Foul

In Bowlard, committing a foul in the first inning results in the cue ball restarting in its current position, except for scratches and balls going out of bounds. In the case of a scratch or the cue ball going out of bounds, the cue ball starts as a free ball in the kitchen for the second inning. Committing a foul in the second inning results in the frame ending, and the next frame begins.

Original Rule 1: Shot Mistakes

If you make a shooting mistake in the first inning, the second inning will start with both the cue ball and the target ball in their current positions. If you make a shooting mistake in the second inning, the frame concludes, and the next frame commences.

Common Foul Examples

Scratch: A foul where the cue ball falls into the pocket, either directly or after hitting a target ball, leading to varying consequences based on the game type.

Additional Rules

  • Touching the cue ball with anything other than the leather tap attached to the cue tip is a foul.
  • Touching the target ball results in a foul.
  • If the cue ball goes off the table or causes the target ball to do so, it’s considered a foul.
  • The leather tap can touch the cue ball only once during a shot.
  • At the moment of the shot, at least one foot must be touching the ground.
  • Using a marker to aim during a shot is considered a foul.


Bowlard is a fascinating game that provides an excellent platform for improving your pocket billiards skills. Whether you’re aiming to become a professional player or just want a fun and engaging solo practice game, Bowlard offers a unique and challenging experience.

So, why wait? Get your cue ready, set up the rack, and start playing Bowlard today to assess and enhance your skills in an exciting and dynamic way.


1. Is Bowlard suitable for beginners in pocket billiards?

Bowlard can be adapted to various skill levels, making it suitable for beginners and experienced players alike. It’s an excellent game to enhance your accuracy and skill.

2. How can I practice Bowlard on my own?

Bowlard is ideal for solo practice. You can set up the rack and play multiple frames to assess your skills and track your progress.

3. Are there official tournaments for Bowlard?

While Bowlard is primarily used for practice, some friendly tournaments and competitions are held within the pocket billiards community.

4. Can I play Bowlard with friends?

Absolutely! Bowlard can be played with friends, making it a fun and challenging group activity.

5. What is the significance of the “called shot” rule in Bowlard?

The “called shot” rule adds an extra layer of skill and precision to the game. Players must not only pocket the target ball but also call their shot, increasing the challenge and excitement of Bowland.

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