Pool, also popularly called pocket billiards refers to cue sports & games family played on a table with six receptacles known as pockets into which the balls are deposited. There are many pool games (hundreds of them) with the most popular ones and most played variations being the eight ball, nine-ball, snooker pool, bank pool and carom pool. In addition to this, there are also various hybrid games that combine aspects of both carom and pool billiards. Examples of these hybrid games include cowboy pool, American 4-ball billiards, and bottle pool. Pool tables (which the games are played) vary in size but mostly range from 3.5 feet by 7 feet to about 4.5 feet by 9 feet. The common types of the pool are:
The Eight-ball pool game is the widely played pool type in the US. The game comprises of 15 object ball (shaded distinctively) and one cue ball. This competitive game revolves around the players attempting to pocket all of the eight balls with as few strokes as possible before the opponent gets an opportunity to do the same. When playing the game, players require observing certain rules so that they do not end up committing fouls. Any foul committed is penalized and can even lead to you losing the game. The game is commonly played in social gatherings such as pubs and in tournaments and sports competitions.
This is the most predominant professional pool game in the US and across the globe. The game uses the cue ball and the one (1) through 9 balls. To win the game, players must legally pocket the 9 (nine) ball. Most prominent pool tournaments and competitions in the world offer the nine-ball pool as the main game. To continue with your playing turn, you necessarily need not pocket the least numbered ball. Just like in the other types of pool games, fouls are penalized.
In this pool type, the total number of balls is 22: 15 red balls with 1 point each, 1 cue ball and 6 differently shaded/colored balls with increasing points. Snooker tables are relatively larger than standard pool tables but also have six pockets. The game is common in the UK but it is still possible to find it in the US as well as in other parts of the globe. The game has several principal strategies that increase the player’s chances of emerging a winner. In this game, players are required to pocket the balls in an ascending order in line with the ball’s numbering.
The total number of balls in the Carom pool game is 3: a red colored object ball and two white cue balls one for each opponent. Unlike other pool game types, the carom is played on a heated surface pocket-less table. The heat is used for eliminating moisture thereby speeding up action in the game. Players earn points when they rebound the cue ball off their opponent’s (cue) ball and the object ball in one shot. The game is quite rare to find but its popularity has been noted to be growing in the recent past with the Carom Café Billiards in New York being the best spot to find the game. There are also other locations across the globe where you can find the game.
In recent years, bank pool has gained popularity everywhere all over the world. The game is played using nine balls. The balls are not racked in any particular order but have to be in the nine-ball formation. The objective of the bank pool is to bank 5 balls (in any order) or 8 balls when playing on a full track. Fouls and penalties are similar to those in the one pocket pool game. All the other rules are similar to the rules that players require to adhere to when playing other pool game types.
Like other games, the pool is a highly exciting and thrilling sport that can also double as a career. Many people from different parts of the world have racked fortunes from playing pool professionally. To enjoy the sport, you just need to identify the type of game that excites you the most. It is also necessary to consider the availability of the game type of choice depending on your area of residence.