November 27, 2022


10 mins read

How To Play Bumper Pool? 7 Bumper Pool Rules Beginners Need to Know

Beside basic guide on how to play pool, you can learn to play bumper pool to double the fun. You only need a unique bumper pool table, bumper pool balls, and bumper pool sticks when playing bumper pool. After you prepare all the necessary tools for playing, understand the pool rules, and learn tips and tricks, how to play bumper pool will help you more. You will find it’s a simple and funny game.

What is a bumper pool?

what is a bumper pool

Bumper pool has specific features for playing an 8-ball pool. For example, the game requires players to use pool cue sticks to hit balls. Besides, you cannot play by yourself, bumper pool requires two players or four as partners to play on a bumper pool table. You will need ten balls to play the game, including five red and five white balls. The white ball will have a red dot, and the red ball will have a white dot.

Additionally, you can use regular pool balls. The first player chooses balls one through five, and the second decides on balls eleven through fifteen. For the spotted ball, you use either the 1-ball or the 11-ball.

What do you prepare to start a bumper pool game?

You can’t play a bumper pool game on a regular pool table. Instead, you need a bumper pool table to play the game, different pool cues, and pool balls to play the game. But let’s start with the tables first.

Bumper pool table

bumper pool table Compared to other pool tables, the bumper pool tables aren’t significant. However, they have different shapes, which gives you different overall sizes. For example, you can purchase a rectangular or an octagon bumper pool table. The basic rules are the same. Each type of pool table may come with different strategies to play. Depending on individual preferences and playing styles, you can choose the one that fits you most.

  • Rectangular bumper pool table: The typical dimensions of a rectangular bumper pool table are 41.5” W x 57.5” L x 32” H. Generally, this size is best for playing and practicing. 
  • Octagonal bumper pool table: The standard dimensions for an octagon bumper pool table are 48” W x 48” L x 30” H. Besides, these tables are neither as long nor broad as rectangular tables.

Most standard tables have eight bumpers in the table center in a cross formation and two on every side. You can also find bigger tables with more bumpers in the middle.

Bumper pool balls

You play bumper pool with ten balls, including five red and five white. One spotted red ball and one spotted white ball signify the starting ball for each player. Stay tuned, keep scrolling down and grasp the rules below.

Bumper pool balls are 2-⅛” in diameter. Therefore, they will be smaller than the standard 2-¼” American-style pool balls. Also, there’s no cue ball in bumper pool. Instead, you strike the object balls with the pool cue.

Bumper pool cues

Because bumper pool tables are smaller than regular ones, you don’t need such long cues. Cues for bumper pool are usually 42” to 48” long. However, the length of the cue to use still depends on how tall you are and how long your arms are. For instance, young kids may be more comfortable with a 36” pool cue when playing bumper pool games. In contrast, for most adults, 48-inches is a better cue to choose.

How to set up a bumper pool table

how to set up a bumper pool table

Before setting up a bumper pool game, you should place the balls in their spots on the table. Most bumper pool tables have two bumpers around the pockets in a different color, red or white. Each person plays with the pocket of the color of their balls. Therefore, the player should place the red balls around the pocket with white bumpers and the white balls around the pocket with red bumpers. 

In addition, the player should place the spotted ball directly in front of the pocket. The player also put the other four balls on the pocket bumpers’ side or two on each side and spaced them even. After the balls are in place and both players are ready, it’s an excellent time to enjoy your game.

7 funky rules and how to play bumper pool better

Each type of pool game has different rules. Therefore, billiard players need to know some basic rules to have better matches.

  • Unlike 8-ball, two bumper pool players shoot the marked balls simultaneously.
  • The first ball, with the colored dot, must be hit to the right of the table.
  • The player who gets their ball as close to their targeted hole or sinks gets to continue shooting. If the balls are the same distance away, or both players sink their balls, the shooter with the ball stopped first will continue playing.
  • Both players must first sink their spotted ball before shooting any solid-colored balls if it is their turn. Their turn is over if they do not sink a ball after taking a shot.
  • If a player hits their ball off the table, they are forced to place it between the primary set of bumpers in the middle of the table.
  • If you make a ball that you expect to defend with, your opponent gets to take any two of their remaining balls and pocket them.
  • The winner of the game is the one who sinks all their balls which are the same color ring as their pool balls.

Tips & tricks in a bumper pool game

The professional bumper pool players’ playing strategy primarily bases on defense and how to play pool. A carefully placed shot can put a ball in your opponent’s way, making it challenging to win their next shot.

For example, if your opponent makes a shot close to their pocket and you have not served yet, you can shoot one of your balls to knock away that ball close to the pocket. Next, you can make a more challenging shot for that ball to go in.

With good aim, you could hit a ball of your own toward your hole while defending an easy shot for your opponent.

Besides, the hole in the center of the table between all the bumpers is big enough for one ball to fit inside. If you knock any ball into this center hole, it takes that ball off the table and must be served again from the starting point.

Top 5 pool cues for a better bumper pool game

Owning a quality pool cue is essential since it can affect your shots during the bumper pool game. Although there is a wide range of good pool cues in the market, choosing the one within your budget and suitable for your playing level is better. Here are the top 5 pool cues in 2022:

Pool cue name



Pearson World Record Limited Edition 1 Pool Cue

  • Limited edition with world record logo
  • Certification of authentication

Around 1,495$

Lucasi Hybrid LHC97 Natural Birds-Eye Maple Pool Cue

  • Zero flex-point ferrule
  • Hybrid wrap for better traction and shock absorption
  • Extended sweet spot and enhanced stability

Around 890$

Players Technology Series HXT15 Two-Piece Pool Cue

  • Lightweight polymer ferrule
  • Lifetime warranty including warping
  • Stable and smooth

Around 259$

Viper Signature 57″ 2-Piece Realtree Camouflage Billiard/Pool Cue

  • Uses maple hardwood in the shaft for lasting power
  • Comes in multiple sizes that range from 18 to 21 ounces
  •  Comes with a limited three-year warranty

Around 46$

Champion Sports White Spider Maple Pool Cue Stick

  • Hybrid wrap
  • Available in standard cue weights
  • Two-piece

Around 100$



We hope you now understand the bumper pool rules and how to play bumper pool to start playing the fun and easy game of bumper pool with family and friends. Contact us if you need any top-graded pool cues for this game.

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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