June 20, 2023


10 mins read

9 Ball Pool Rules: Latest Update In 2024

Today, 9 ball pool has become a favorite pool game type of many people due to its straightforward rules. The game was created in the US and has now spread to many other nations. 

If you are a fan of billiards, you definitely do not want to miss out on 9 ball pool. In the article, you will easily find all the updated 9 ball pool rules to learn how to play and have a fun and fair competition. 

What Are The Rules of 9 Ball Pool?

People may be more familiar with playing pool using 15 balls: 1 cue ball, seven solid-colored balls, and seven striped balls. However, it is just one popular type of pool game called 8-ball pool. 

You can find many other pool game types, such as 15-ball pool, straight pool, 4-ball pool, etc.

Among all of them, straight pool is the most straightforward pool game since it is relatively easy to play. Players may hit any ball on the table, and no rules indicate a foul on a particular ball. It is an excellent option for beginners.

9 ball pool is one type of game in which players play with one cue ball and nine object balls numbered from one to nine. Besides, each step of the game needs to follow a separate set of rules:

Game Object

Game Object

9 ball pool is a rotational game, meaning players must shoot the balls in numerical order. During each shot, the first ball the cue ball contacts must always be the lowest-numbered ball on the table. Players who successfully pocket any ball on a legal shot continue to play until they miss, commit a foul or successfully pocket the 9 balls to win the game. 

When a player misses, the next one must start from the spot on the table where the previous shooter left it. However, when a foul happens, the subsequent shooter may begin anywhere on the table with the cue ball in hand. The match finishes when one of the participants has won the required number of games.

Balls Racking

Racking balls is one of the essential steps in the game. Making a wrong or improper rack will significantly affect your shots. 

The goal of the 9 ball rack is to stack the object balls as tightly as possible in the shape of a diamond, with the 1 ball at the bottom spot and the 9 ball in the center. The place for the remaining balls should be random.

After finishing racking, if the player who makes the break feels that the balls in the rack are not properly contacting one another, they may request a re-rack.

Legal Break Shot

After making a proper rack, one of the players has to make a break for the game. It’s not controversial to say that the break is the most crucial shot in playing pool because it can affect the rest of the game.

Here below are all rules for a legal break shot. 

  • Players must break the cue ball from behind the head string.
  • The breaker must start with the 1 ball and pocket one ball or drive at least four numbered balls to the cushion. If the shooter doesn’t fulfill one of these two requirements, the balls will be re-racked, and the breaker will break again.
  • It is a foul if the breaking shooter miscues and the cue ball does not contact the racked balls or if the breaker interferes with the cue ball before it contacts the object balls. The next shooter takes over the break while maintaining control of the cue ball behind the head string.
  • When an object ball jumps off the table during a break shot, it is foul, and the next player has the cue ball in hand anywhere on the table.
  • If the player pockets the 9 ball on the break, it is a win if the break shot is legal.
Legal Break Shot

Push Out 

After the break, the shooter who executes the next shot may push out to create a better position for the cue ball. On a push-out, the cue ball does not need to contact any cushion or object ball, but all other foul rules still apply. Before taking the shot, the shooter must declare whether they will be playing a push-out. Otherwise, it counts as a regular shot. 

The 9 ball is the only ball that counts as having been pocketed during a push-out and remains in that position. The next shooter may shoot from the location of the legal push-out or may give the shot back to the pusher. 

A push-out is not a foul if the player does not break the pool rules. The punishment for an illegal push-out depends on the kind of foul committed. The next player can not play a push-out if the previous player scratches during the break shot

Call Your Pockets

Call Your Pockets

The same as 8 ball pool, 9 ball pool is played with a 6-pocket table. According to 9 ball rules, except for the 9 ball, shooters do not need to call their pockets when shooting. When shooting the 9 ball, shooters must call their intended pocket for other teams or opponents to know. 

One of two ways to call a pocket is to point with their hand or pool cue or verbally announce the targeted pocket to the opposition or any shooters on the opposing team.

  • It is a win if the shooter places the 9 ball in the allotted pocket.
  • If the shooter pockets the 9 ball somewhere other than the intended pocket, placing the 9-ball there, the incoming player shoots from where the cue ball is lying.
  • If the 9 ball is the lowest number on the table, and the incoming shooter has a cue ball where it lies. The shooter does not reveal to the opponent or opposing team which pocket they intend to shoot the 9 ball into before pocketing it.
  • As long as it is a legal shot, the shooter keeps taking turns at the table even if they miss pocketing the 9 ball in favor of pocketing any other ball.

End Of Game

Following 9 ball rules, the game begins right when the cue ball contacts the head string during the initial break. The game ends when a player forfeits it due to a foul or when a legal shot pockets the 9-ball. 

What Are Fouls In 9 Ball?

What Are Fouls In 9 Ball

When a player fouls, he has to give up his turn, and no balls pocketed on the foul shot are respotted except the 9 ball. The next player receives the ball in hand, and before making his first shot, he may put the cue ball in any place on the table. Only record one foul when a player commits many fouls on one shot. 

In 9 ball pool rules, a foul happens when:

  • The player pockets the white cue ball.
  • The cue ball does not interact with any other balls.
  • Except for the cue ball, no balls go to the pocket or strike a rail.
  • The lower-numbered ball on the pool table is not the first ball that the cue ball strikes.
  • At least four balls fail to contact a rail during the breaking turn (the beginning of the game).
  • The player drives the object ball off the table. The jumped object ball(s) is not respotted, except the 9 ball.
  • The player scratches when hitting the cue ball. In this case, the next player can place the cue ball anywhere they want.

A player loses the game if he fouls three times on three consecutive shots without making an intervening legal shot. The three fouls had to happen in the same game. There will be an alert for the player between the second and third fouls.

How To Score A 9 Ball?

How To Score A 9 Ball

Following are the 9 ball scoring guidelines.

  • The player will get ten points for pocketing the 9-ball on the break.
  • The player who completely clears the table will get ten points.
  • Pocketing the 9 ball in a combination shot is worth nine points.
  • Each ball that goes to the pocket legally after interacting with the current object ball is worth one point.
  • A player loses a turn if they make any balls during a scratch or foul since the rules don’t those balls are not counted.
  • Players lose their rounds if they scratch or foul during the interval.
  • Players forfeit their turn at the table if they fail to pocket a ball legally.

In general, 9 ball pool is an enjoyable, fast-paced billiards game that is simple to learn. Knowing the most recent 9 ball pool rules will enable you to play pool with full control and establish the game as you see fit while ensuring equal opportunity for everyone.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are The Basic Rules Of 9 Ball Pool?

You have to learn all the rules of the game when starting to play 9 ball pool. However, we can simply list the basic 9 ball rules in a few lines below:

  • Continue until you cannot pocket a ball.
  • Be aware of your goal.
  • Go for the ball with the lowest number.
  • Avoid gentle hits.
  • If your opponent fouls, place the ball anywhere.
  • Follow the basic pool rules.

What Is The 3-point Rule In 9 Ball?

The three-point rule in 9 ball means that players must pocket or make the ball contact the head string line on the break shot. For instance, if a player pockets one object ball, at least two other balls must get the head string line. If a player pockets two object balls, at least one other must touch the head string line.

  • If the player still makes a lawful break but fails to meet the above requirements, the incoming player can accept the tables as they are or give the shot back. After receiving the table, the approaching player must play a legal shot. He is not allowed to “push out” anymore.
  • If the breaker receives the table back, the breaker can play a push-out. If so, the opponent can play the shot or return it.

Dave Pearson

Dave Pearson, the world's leading pool entertainer, is renowned globally as the ultimate exhibition player.
Boasting 20 world records endorsed by the prestigious Guinness Book of World Records, Dave established a legendary history in the sport industry.

Dave Pearson

Dave Pearson, the world's leading pool entertainer, is renowned globally as the ultimate exhibition player.
Boasting 20 world records endorsed by the prestigious Guinness Book of World Records, Dave established a legendary history in the sport industry.

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