Mastering the Art of High-Point Play in Rotation Billiards

In the world of cue sports, there are various forms of billiards that offer unique challenges and gameplay styles. One such game is the Rotation Pool, a fascinating and strategic variant that combines elements of 9-ball and 10-ball. If you’re wondering what kind of game Rotation Pool is, this article will provide you with an in-depth understanding of its rules, objectives, and exciting features.

The Basics of Rotation Pool

Rotation Pool, also known as “61” or “61-Pool,” is a point-based game played with a cue ball and 15 target balls numbered from 1 to 15. Unlike traditional cue sports, where the objective is to pocket a specific set of balls, rotation pool takes a different approach. In this game, players must always aim for the lowest-numbered target ball that remains on the table with the cue ball.

However, it’s not as simple as just pocketing balls. The unique feature of the Rotation Pool lies in its point system. Each ball on the table carries a point value, with the number 1 ball worth 1 point, the 15th ball worth 15 points, and every other ball in between having different point values. This adds an extra layer of strategy to the game, as players must consider both the ball’s numerical value and its position on the table.

Another exciting aspect of the Rotation Pool is the potential for dramatic comebacks. Even if a player is trailing in the early stages of a match, they can make a significant comeback by strategically pocketing high-value balls.

Basic Rules of Rotation Pool

To provide a comprehensive overview, let’s delve into the basic rules of rotation pools:

1. Ball Setup

The game is played with 15 target balls (1 to 15) and a cue ball. The setup involves placing the number 1 ball at the top of the rack, with the remaining balls positioned according to a specific pattern. This setup aims to make it challenging for high-value balls to be pocketed during break shots.

2. Game Objective

The primary objective in the Rotation Pool is to reach a specified score before your opponent. Players must agree on the winning score before the game begins.

3. Called Shot Rule

For all shots, excluding break shots, the Rotation Pool utilizes the “called shot” rule. This means that the player must specify both the target ball they intend to shoot and the pocket they plan to pocket it in. It adds an element of precision and strategy to every shot.

4. Hitting the Lowest-Numbered Target Ball

In the Rotation Pool, when taking a shot, the player must always hit the lowest-numbered target ball remaining on the table. This ensures that players are constantly aiming for the balls with lower point values.

Game Flow and Determining the Winner

Rotation Pool follows a distinct flow, and the game is decided based on certain criteria:

Step 1: Deciding the Match Format

Before the game begins, players must agree on the match format, including the winning score required to secure a victory. This can vary, such as being the first to score 120 points, 180 points, and so on. The game starts with a banking shot to determine the order of play.


If there’s a significant difference in skill levels between players, handicaps can be used to level the playing field. For instance, a player might give their opponent a head start by starting the game with a lower score.

Step 2: From Break Shot to End of Game

The game commences with the first player making a break shot from any position in the kitchen. If this shot is successful and results in pocketing a target ball without committing a foul, the player continues their turn. If the shot is unsuccessful or a foul is committed, the turn is passed to the opponent.

During the game, players must clearly indicate whether their shot is an attempt to pocket a ball or a safety shot. Points are accumulated by pocketing target balls.

If no player reaches the required score by the end of one rack, the player who pocketed the last target ball remaining on the table continues the game. The first player to reach the predetermined score wins the match.

Points of Rules for Enjoyable Gameplay

To ensure a fun and fair game of Rotation Pool, it’s essential to be aware of certain fouls and special rules:

Foul 1: Type of Foul

In addition to common fouls in pocket billiards, Rotation Pool has its unique fouls. One of them is the “no hit” foul, which occurs when the shot cue ball does not hit the lowest-numbered target ball first. Another is the “no cushion” foul, which happens when neither the cue ball nor the target ball reaches a cushion after contact.

A player can also face penalties for committing three consecutive fouls. In such a case, the opponent resumes play with a free ball, and the lowest-numbered ball to aim for is selected at the current position, the center spot, or the foot spot.

Foul 2: Foul on Break Shot

If a player fails to pocket the target ball in the break shot, and four or more balls, including the cue ball, do not hit a cushion, it’s considered a breaking foul. The opponent is then given three options to handle the situation.

Foul 3: Post-Foul Actions

Following a foul, the opposing player has specific actions and responsibilities, including the handling of the target ball and the cue ball’s position.

Original Rules

Rotation Pool also includes some original rules, such as the application of called shots for all shots except break shots. Players must specify both the target ball and the pocket they intend to use, adding an extra layer of strategy to each shot.

Additionally, there is a “push out” rule that allows a player to choose a different cue ball position after a break shot if the initial position is unfavorable. The player who was pushed out has the option to either continue the game from the same cue ball position or let their opponent take the shot.


Rotation Pool is a captivating cue sport that combines elements of strategy, precision, and point-based gameplay. With a unique point system and specific rules for shot selection, it offers an exciting and dynamic gaming experience. Players must continuously assess the value of each ball on the table, maintain precision in their shots, and strategically pocket balls to secure victory.

So, if you’re looking for a cue sport that challenges your skills and keeps you on your toes, give Rotation Pool a try. It’s a game where every shot counts, and the thrill of a comeback is always just one ball away.


1. What is the objective of Rotation Pool? In Rotation Pool, the objective is to reach a specified score before your opponent. Players must agree on the winning score before the game begins.

2. How are fouls handled in Rotation Pool? Rotation Pool has specific fouls, such as the “no hit” foul and the “no cushion” foul. If a player commits three consecutive fouls, the opponent resumes play with a free ball.

3. Can players use handicaps in Rotation Pool? Yes, players can use handicaps to level the playing field in Rotation Pool. For example, a player with higher skill may give their opponent a head start in terms of points.

4. What is the significance of the point-based system in Rotation Pool? In Rotation Pool, the point-based system adds an extra layer of strategy to the game. Each ball on the table carries a specific point value, and players must decide which balls to pocket strategically.

5. How does the “called shot” rule work in Rotation Pool? The “called shot” rule in Rotation Pool requires players to specify both the target ball they intend to shoot and the pocket they plan to pocket it in, adding precision and strategy to each shot.

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