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Cowboy Billiards Scratch when All Balls are Behind the Head String


Cowboy Billiards Scratch when All Balls are Behind the Head String

In cowboy billiards, what happens when a player scratches the cue ball and all 3 object balls are behind the head string?

Is the "innocent" incoming player (who takes ball in hand behind head string) forced to try and hit impossible shots by banking the ball off the opposite cushion?

Or do any of the object balls get re-positioned?

This question relates to the following billiard rules:

Cowboy Billiards Scratch when All Balls are Behind the Head String

Replies & Comments

  1. vivascolbilliardsforum on 1/26/2021 3:29:23 AM

    You're right, it does penalize the innocent incoming player.

    I've found this reference from someone asking the same question about 10 years ago (emphasis ours):

    The situation you are describing is a common occurrence in games where you have cue ball in hand behind the head string after a scratch. In some games, like straight pool, the rules will specifically state that if all legal object balls are above the head string the player may spot one of them before taking his shot. This is NOT the case in Cowboy Billiards. The player must attempt to hit the cue ball past the head string, then back into the kitchen to touch an object ball.

    You may not know this, but Cowboy Billiards has a 3 foul rule. What this means is that if a player commits 3 consecutive fouls, he automatically loses the game. So, if a player were to scratch and give you ball in hand where all the object balls were behind the head string, you could simply intentionally scratch and give it right back to him. If this situation goes back and forth (he scratches on purpose again, you scratch on purpose again), then he will hit 3 fouls first and lose the game. So, in this situation, the best play is to intentionally scratch if you do not feel that you can pocket a kick shot back into the kitchen.

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Cowboy Billiards Scratch when All Balls are Behind the Head String

  • Title: Cowboy Billiards Scratch when All Balls are Behind the Head String
  • Author: (L. V.)
  • Published: 1/22/2021 8:15:36 AM
  • Last Updated: 1/26/2021 3:18:47 AM
  • Last Updated By: billiardsforum (Billiards Forum)