Encyclopedia of Sport: Every sport from around the world

Nine-Ball Pool

Nine-ball is a form of pool that is played with nine object balls on a table that has six pockets. It is a fast paced game which is exciting to both play and watch. The game originated in the United States and has spread to several other countries.

The nine object balls used are numbered 1 through 9. The objective of the game is to pocket the 9-ball. The major rule in the game is that the player can directly strike only the lowest numbered ball on the table, failing which results in a foul. The player who pockets the 9-ball legally is the winner of the rack. The other object balls do not carry any points. A player can pocket eight object balls and still lose if the opponent pockets just the 9-ball.

At the start of each rack, the objects balls are arranged in a diamond shape with 1-ball in the front and the 9-ball in the middle. A coin toss decides which player breaks the first frame, and thereafter players alternate to break the subsequent frames. A player to win a predetermined number of frames first wins the game.

Currently nine-ball is the only major form of pool played at professional tournaments, and it receives a lot of TV coverage.


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