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How to Play Pool/Billiards for Beginners

If you’ve ever gone away for a weekend to a retirement village to visit grandparents, or even if you just went camping at certain resorts, then you’ll know the magical fun hidden inside a game room. Pool is probably one of the most popular game room games, requiring absolute skill (and maybe a sprinkle of luck) in order to beat your opponent.

According to Wikipedia the game of pool, or billiards as some call it, already showed its earliest forms in the 1300s – that’s about 700 years ago! King Louis XI of France was the first to have a billiard table during his reign in the 1400s. It is said that the term ‘billiards’ may come from the French word bille meaning ball.

Don’t worry if you haven’t played pool or billiards before! We’ll make you a pro before you’ve finished reading this article. All you have to do is follow the pool rules.

Pool Requirements

You will need to have another player to compete against you as well as a pool table. You will also need two pool cues (the sticks) – make sure these sticks are the correct length in order for you to play comfortably -, the complete set of 15 pool balls, and a triangle.

How to Play Pool

  1. Firstly, you’ll notice that there is a small section on the pool table that has been created by a black line as boundary. This is called the ‘kitchen’ and only the white ball may go here. This is where you will place the ball in order to ‘break’ the triangle.
  2. The triangle is set up on the other end of the table. Place all the balls inside this triangle. Remove the triangle once you are happy with your arrangement.
  3. You may have noticed that there are two different kinds of balls – striped and solids as well as an 8 ball. The player who has decided to ‘break’ shoots his white ball towards the neatly packed triangle. If he gets a striped ball in, he must continue aiming for striped in order to get his balls into the pockets. The other player will then have to win by sinking solid balls.
  4. When a player gets all his balls in all the pockets he may then aim for the winning ball – the 8. The player who sinks this 8-ball will then be declared the winner.
  5. If you sink your white ball along with the ball you have aimed for it is called a scratch. This counts as a benefit for the other player – he gets 2 turns and may place the white ball anywhere in the ‘kitchen’ during his first turn.
  6. If you sink an opponent’s ball, he will also get 2 turns.
  7. If you sink the 8-ball before your balls have been sunk, you automatically lose.
  8. If you sink the 8-ball and your white ball follows, you will also lose.

Pool Game Variations

Pool is a great game to pair up in teams and let each person get a shot of shooting. You can also make this a tournament game for families where winners face winners until you get to the ‘finals’.

Pool Video Tutorial