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9 Ball Rules for Fouls and Spotting Balls


9 Ball Rules for Fouls and Spotting Balls

I'm just sort of getting in to 9 ball (and all pool/billiards in general). I have a couple of questions regarding how 9 ball is normally played in the US (in bars, casual games, etc.), specifically in regards to the following scenarios:

  • Player A breaks. The break is legal and no balls are pocketed. Player B takes his turn. He strikes the 1, intentionally knocking it in to the 9, which is pocketed. The 1 was not pocketed and there was no scratch. Has player B won? If not, can someone explain why not?
  • Player A strikes the 1 ball. It goes wildly across the table and unintentionally pockets the 4 ball. Does the 4 ball stay pocketed? Does Player A continue his turn? (in other words, is it common to have to call all of your shots in 9 ball? Are balls spotted if they are pocketed accidentally?)
  • Is it common for a "safety" or "push out" to be allowed? I've read a lot of different explanations of these. Can someone explain?

This question relates to the following billiard rules:

9 Ball Rules for Fouls and Spotting Balls

Replies & Comments

  1. TNRebFenwick on 9/16/2012 6:06:56 AM

    I'm just sort of getting in to 9 ball (and all pool/billiards in general). A couple of questions regarding how 9 ball is normally played in the US (bars, casual games, etc)...

    • According to Texas Express rules yes.
    • Again, According to Texas Express rules yes.
    • You can only push after a dry break, nothing is pocked. You're on the one, can't see it so you chose to push. Your opponent has the right to make you shoot again. Do a search on Texas Express rules.
  2. TNRebZeke on 9/17/2012 10:25:00 AM

    TN, given you never mentioned playing Texas Express version of 9-ball, I am unsure why Fenwick chose to select THAT form of 9-ball as the basis of his reply but instead suggest you read the 9-ball rules under the green header above and know the basic rules before wandering off into some obscure notion regarding the Texas Express version.

    For the record, no one in my area ever heard of TE much less adopted those rules...

  3. TNRebMitch Alsup on 9/17/2012 11:48:53 AM
    1. Player A breaks. The break is legal and no balls are pocketed. Player B takes his turn. He strikes the 1, intentionally knocking it in to the 9, which is pocketed. The 1 was not pocketed and there was no scratch. Has player B won?

    The game of 9-ball is over when the 9-ball is pocketed on a legal stroke with no fouls taking place. In this case Player B wins.

    1. Player A strikes the 1 ball. It goes wildly across the table and unintentionally pockets the 4 ball. Does the 4 ball stay pocketed? Does Player A continue his turn? (In other words, is it common to have to call all of your shots in 9 ball? Are balls spotted if they are pocketed accidentally?)
    • Yes, the 4 ball stays pocketed.
    • Yes. 9-ball is a game of slop, your turn continues as long as some ball goes in and no fouls transpire.
    • All balls pocketed stay down, except the 9-ball pocketed on a foul. If the 9-ball is pocketed on a foul, it will be placed on the head spot on on the line towards the end rail from the head spot as close to the head spot as possible without requiring another ball to be moved.
    1. Is it common for a "safety" or "push out" to be allowed?

    A pushout is only allowed on the second shot of the rack. One does not have to make legal contact or even contact a rail, but one DOES have to announce the pushout. The incoming player can return the given position to the shooter of the pushout.

    A pushout is generally used when there is no chance to make contact with the 1 ball (or lowest ball remaining on the table) and the general strategy is to push the CB to where you can make a shot or a safety but your opponent cannot.

    A Safety is a shot where the object is not to make a ball (this is 9-ball) but to position the lowest ball on the table and the CB where it is extremely difficult for the incoming player to make legal contact with the lowest ball on the table. You are, in effect, trying to get ball in hand from playing the good safety. You are also trying to avoid selling out--giving the opponent a good shot.

  4. TNRebFenwick on 9/18/2012 4:39:46 AM

    When BEF - Billiard Education Foundation Junior National came to town for the finals it was played under Texas Express rules.

    Here's two links explaining the introduction of Texas Express rules on the pro tour.

    • en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nine-ball
    • usapoolhalls.com/billiards/9-ball

    And last but not least. I play weekly with a gentleman named Willie Munson. What rules do we play by. Texas Express. Are you familiar with the name Zeke?

  5. TNRebgibson on 9/18/2012 8:16:13 AM

    Does he still live in Milwaukee? I am interested since I live thirty miles south in Pleasant Prairie, WI. We had a couple pros out of Kenosha, Babe Thompson and Claudio Parrone. Very interesting.

  6. TNRebFenwick on 9/18/2012 2:49:22 PM

    Yes and so does George Powalski.

  7. TNRebZeke on 9/19/2012 8:25:18 PM

    Fen, I live in northern Vermont. The most famous player around here drinks cheap scotch or Ballantine ale - frequently both at the same time. I'm apparently the only guy within 30 miles that has a 9' table and no one with any talent has ever come from this area. Milking cows doesn't count.

    I used to know a few serious players from NYC that were incredible to watch - but I was never close to their level of play. But in the metropolitan NYC area where I'm from, there's lots of decent players coming to Newark, Elizabeth and Paterson to play. Lots of money floating around but I only came for the show. Some of the best lessons learned, were from watching those guys shoot.

    What a beautiful game when played properly...

  8. TNRebelsfire on 9/27/2012 5:51:11 PM

    Easy way is just ask people what rules they play by or just find out what the house rules are. If unsure of a rule just ask for clarification. Also in my area we mostly go by Texas Express format.

  9. TNReballanpsand on 4/15/2013 10:13:05 AM

    ALWAYS - ALWAYS get someone to explain the overall rules when in a new place with lots of strangers. Following that, ask more specific questions (i.e., how much detail of a shot must be declared, need to declare obvious shots, etc.) as you go along.

    You can also watch a few games and get a good feel of what the playing "etiquette" (rules) are by observing the competitive interaction. If you see anything unusual, ask a nearby rail bird for a full explanation.

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9 Ball Rules for Fouls and Spotting Balls

  • Title: 9 Ball Rules for Fouls and Spotting Balls
  • Author:
  • Published: 9/15/2012 7:50:31 PM