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Canadian Skittles Pool Rules

Canadian Skittles Pool Rules

Does anyone know the rules to a Canadian Skittles pool game? From what I understand it's normally played on a larger 12' table but can be played on a 8' table with traditional 6 pockets. The game is played with 3 balls (Cue, 2 ball and 3 ball). It also uses 8 or 9 pins that are placed on the table and you score points by hitting an object ball into a pocket or to knock down pins that have point values. There are also 3 or 4 black pins that if knocked down wipe out all the points you have accumulated if you knock one of them down. The skittles come into play in that you draw one and use it as a blind score to add up to what you've scored in the game. When I played it we played to 31 exactly. Does anyone know the official rules/ table setup? From what I understand it is popular in part of canada.

Some friends and I would enjoy playing it and have a set of pins and skittles but no rules...

Canadian Skittles Pool Rules

Replies & Comments

  1. Tom Van Essgully-foyle on 2/3/2009 2:18:10 PM


    I'm going back 40+ years, but these are the rules as I remember them:

    1. Placement of the 'skittles.'

    One black skittle goes on the Blue spot in the center of the table (on the dot). The others are placed thusly:

    a) I believe the skittles are 3" high. The placement is figured out by laying a skittle down so that one end is at the edge of the Blue spot, aimed at directly a side pocket. A 'white' skittle is placed there. There should be room for a ball to pass between them (tough, but doable).

    b) The same for the other side (toward the other side pocket).

    c) Repeat so that the remaining two skittles are place 'in the same way,' but towards the foot and the end of the table (in line with the Brown spot and the Pink spot).

    The result should be a 'diamond' placing of the skittles on and around the Blue spot.

    The skittles are numbered: starting from the one closest to the Brown spot and going counter-clock wise: 1, 2, 3, 4.

    Therefore the one toward the Yellow spot is "1," the one to the right side pocket is "2", toward the Pink spot is "3" and toward the left side pocket is "4."

    The Black Skittle is worth "5."

    The Balls:

    One Red Ball is placed on the Pink spot to start. It is worth Three points if you sink it or sink the cue ball after hitting it.

    The Yellow Ball is placed on the Brown spot. It is worth Two points if you sink it or sink the cue ball after hitting it.


    A) Take a 'pea'

    Each player takes a numbered 'pea' from the flask. The peas are numbered from 1 to 15. You keep this a secret. Your 'target' is "your pea" deducted from 31.

    Therefore, if you have the "1" pea, your winning target is "30." If you have the "5" pea, your target is "26" and so on. The 'best' pea to have is the "15" pea, as you will need only "16" to win (15 deducted from 31).

    We used to establish the shooting order by lagging before drawing peas.

    B) How to Score

    You MUST score points in two ways:

    1. Sinking balls or caroming balls (making the cue ball strike both the Red and the Yellow), AND getting 'some' points by getting 'wood' (knocking down skittles at least once).

    • Sinking the Red gets you three points.
    • Sinking the Yellow gets you two points.
    • Making a carom (striking both the Red and Yellow on the same shot) gets you two points.

    IF YOU SINK ALL THREE BALLS (Red, Yellow and Cue Ball) on the same shot, YOU WIN AUTOMATICALLY (regardless of how many points you need or have).

    2. Making 'wood.'

    You can knock down skittles either with the cue ball or the Red or Yellow, BUT you must hit a ball with the cue ball first. That is: hit the Red or Yellow, making it knock down skittles, OR, hitting the Red or Yellow and rolling the cue ball to knock down skittles. The trick is: YOU CANNOT KNOCK BOTH WHITE SKITTLES and THE BLACK SKITTLE on the same shot. You must knock down the Black Skittle ALL BY ITSELF.

    If you knock down White skittles, you score the value of the skittles knocked down:

    1. just the '1' skittle, one point
    2. just the '2' skittle, two points, etc.,
    3. the '1' and '2' = 3 points, etc.

    d) if you knock down JUST the Black skittle, you get FIVE points, and a 'black' is scored for you (just mark it on the board with a "B").

    A SWEEP:

    Knocking down all the white skittles on the same shot, YOU WIN THE GAME AUTOMATICALLY (regardless of how many points you need or have).

    This is not easy.

    Now the scoring gets a little complicated. Remember, we always played this for money, so the rules get rather arcane. The thing to remember is you MUST get 'wood' (at least once), and you MUST score by sinking or sewering off a Red or Yellow.

    So. . .

    If you 'foul':

    • Fail to hit a ball
    • Knock down the Black and some White skittle(s)
    • Fly off the table, etc.,
    • Knock something over with your cue

    (all basic fouls are considered 'fouls')


    You are assigned a "Jit." (this is what we called fouls. They are cumulative.)

    If you GO OVER your target (i.e., you have the 10 pea, need 21, and score more than 21 points), YOU LOSE ALL YOUR POINTS AND START OVER.

    When someone wins the game, the following are the 'payout' rules:

    • A set amount for each Black from EVERY player.
    • A set amount for each JIT from every player.
    • A set amount for winning the game itself.

    Way back, we played for nickel and a quarter. A quarter for each Black and winning the game, Five cents for each "Jit" each opponent had.

    If we were feeling rich and bloodthirsty, we'd play "Ladder," where the last finisher paid everyone above him, second-last ditto, etc. AND paid five cents for every stroke you were away from winning (i.e., if you needed 25 to win and only had 10 points, you paid Five cents for each of "15" points you needed) to the winner.

    Other Basic Rules:

    You cannot make the same shot more than three times in a row.


    • you cannot sink the Red or Yellow more than three times in a row.
    • you cannot make more than three caroms in a row.
    • you cannot knock down the same skittle(s) more than three times a row.

    To Start the Game:

    Lag for shooting order (or just decide). Cue ball in the "D," you must shoot the Red ball (on the Pink Spot). Breaker shoots until he doesn't make points.

    Keep track of the points make on the board, assigning 'Jits' and 'Blacks' as they occur.

    That's it.

    To wrap up scoring:

    Red (sunk or in-off) = three points Yellow (sunk or in-off) = two points Carom (hitting Red & Yellow with Cue Ball) = two points

    You can 'combine' (make a carom AND sink or sewer off a ball) for cumulative points:

    i.e., Hit Red, sink Red, Cue ball hits Yellow, Cue ball drops:

    Red = 3 points Carom = 2 points In-off Yellow = 2 points

    The shot is worth "7" points.

    Add wood to the above and you score "7" plus the value of the skittles knocked down (ONLY white or JUST THE BLACK) for a maximum of "16" points on the above shot:

    "7" for ball action 2, 3 and 4 Skittle for "9" more.

    NOTE: if you knocked down ALL the white skittles you'd win automatically.

    If you need more interpretations/rules, email me at gully-foyle@hotmail.com

    Good luck. Gully

  2. Tom Van Essguest on 5/3/2010 5:40:26 PM

    actually i have been looking for the same or similar skittle game - played on a full 12ft pocket billiard table - 3 balls (2 white and 1 red) red ball placed at the pink spot top of the table and the corresponding skittle pin worth 5 points - go clockwise to the right - at the first ivory marker 4 point skittle placed with one ball distance between the cushion and the pin - next ivory marker = 3 points but with a black pin between the 3 pin and the cushion - next ivory marker after the center pocket and next to the break D line = 1 point go across the D at each break mark on the D place one pin = value 1 point - go to the left side going up from the D between the D and the center pocket - another pin = 1 point placed at the ivory marker pass the center pocket and the next ivory marker value 2 point the last pin at the next ivory mark = 1 poin = total of 20 points - the game is played as follows; players randomly pick out small ball token with numbers from 1 to 20 - the aim of the game is to win by making a total of 21 points - how ? lets say i get the 20 and you get the 1 - i need to knock down exactly 20 pin points to win - you only have to knock down a 1 pin point to win - but you have to break - your cue ball cannot knock down the red ball pin - if it does you lose - that is 6 points (your 1 + the 5) but if you break without knocking down the pin and you hit the ball left english spin very gently your cue ball should carom off the top cushion and break into the left 1 pin - you win the game.

  3. Tom Van Essphil on 8/12/2010 8:16:28 PM

    Hi All,

    The skittles game that I used to play in Singapore and parts of Malaysia is based also on 31 points total for a game.

    The equipment:

    10 light colored skittles and 2 black skittles. The light colored skittles are allocated points: 2 skittles each worth 1, 2, and 4 points; one skittle each worth 3, 5, 6 and 10 points. The black skittles are the "demons". Any player knocking either skittle down will be deemed "dead" and will have to start another game from scratch.

    Balls: 2 white balls (strikers or handballs) and 1 red ball (object ball)

    Placement of the skittles: (As you stand at the snooker "D")

    On the right-hand side of the table: starting about 3 ft from the bottom of the table and moving up about 20 ins between skittles, you have the # 1, 6, 2 and 4 in that order. On the left-hand side, in similar fashion, you have the # 3, 2, 4 and 1 skittles. The # 5 skittle is placed on the pink-ball snooker spot. The # 10 skittle is placed on the yellow-ball snooker spot. One of the two black skittles is placed inside the # 6 on the right-hand side of the table and the other black skittle is placed on the green-ball snooker spot.

    The balls: one white ball placed midway between the yellow-ball spot and the right-hand edge of the table, and the other is placed midway between the green-ball spot and the left-hand edge of the table. The 2 white balls are differentiated (usually one is marked with a black spot) so that they can be placed on the correct spot. The red ball is placed on the black-ball snooker spot.

    The play: Each player draws a pea or seed from 10 seeds which are numbered from 7 to 16. They do not reveal their seeds to the other players. Depending on the number of their seed, they will need to knock down skittles which when added to their seed will total 31 for the game. Knocking down excess points in skittles will render them "dead" and they will have to start another game from scratch.

    Players may use either of the white balls as a striker to hit the other white ball or the red ball. Any ball / s entering the pockets will be replaced on their designated spot.

    Players are also required to guard against the next player to prevent them completing their 31 point game. Any player who allows the next player to have a direct game-shot will have to pay for the other players (except for the "dead" games that the other players committed themselves through knocking down one of the black skittles, or scoring in excess of the 31 points).

    As can be imagined, the game requires good skills in handball and object ball control, potting skills, angles skills and safety play. It is a fascinating game, and I recall spending hours and hours playing it.

    I hope to introduce it to the Pot Black Snooker saloons in Perth, Western Australia where I migrated to from Singapore some twenty years ago. In fact anyone connected to billiards and/or snooker in Perth is invited to contact me...


    Hope the above helps.

  4. Tom Van Essguest on 12/4/2010 8:25:03 AM

    And yes, i do play the game skittles in singapore. Like what phip has mentioned... this game requires great knowledge on the handball and object ball. wll improve in snooker gameplay.

    Have a lot of strategy to think of, like 2 ball 1 stick, 2 ball 2 stick.... or just a very good guard. The strategy of this game is also to seperate both handballs away from each other as far as possible.

    if u can master this game.... your snooker skill or your "road to snooker" will be very fantastic!

  5. Tom Van Essphil on 1/31/2011 7:06:44 PM

    @guest - Glad to hear from someone who has played the game as well. Not sure if you're located in Canada or Singapore, but in case you visit Perth, Western Australia, I have managed to get some sets of the skittles and am introducing the game here. As a new member, I cannot email you directly, but you can reach me if you want to...

    After leaving Singapore, I was sad to be informed by my friends that the younger people taking up billiards are more interested in the "simpler" forms of pool and snooker. The popularity of skittles has declined consequently, which is a pity. I hope to be able to introduce it here and build up some interest among the many players here, young and old.

    I shall have to depend on some of the other "older" migrants from SE Asia who have played or know something about the game to start the trend.

  6. Tom Van Essbubbakid on 2/1/2011 8:54:39 AM

    so where can a person obtain the components needed to play?

  7. Tom Van Essphil on 2/1/2011 8:05:44 PM

    @bubbakid, where are you located?

    The skittles are extremely difficult to find. The best place is in Singapore from:

    Wiraka Pte Ltd
    120 Eunos Ave 7 #01-08
    Richfield Industrial Centre
    Singapore 409574
    Ph. (65) 67495900

    So if you're there or have a friend there you can buy a set for Sin dollars $14.

    For locating the spots on the table, the following is a simplified guide:

    1. On the RIGHT-HAND side from the snooker "D" line, measure 9 inches towards the top of the table. This will be your first spot for the # 1 skittle.
    2. From the top of the table, measure the same distance towards the bottom (as the above # 1 skittle is from the bottom of the table). This will be the spot for the # 4 skittle.
    3. Divide the distance between the # 1 and # 4 skittles by 3. This will give you the spots for the # 6 and # 2 skittles.
    4. Do the same for the LEFT-HAND side of the table, from the bottom to get the spots for the # 3, 2, 4 and 1 skittles.
    5. The snooker pink-ball spot is for the # 5 skittle.
    6. The snooker yellow-ball spot is for the # 10 skittle.
    7. One of the black skittles will be spotted just inside the # 6 spot between the skittle and the cushion.
    8. The other black skittle is spotted on the snooker green-ball spot.
    9. The RED ball is spotted on the snooker black-ball spot.
    10. One of the WHITE cue-balls is spotted half-way between the yellow-ball spot and the right-hand cushion, while the other WHITE cue-ball is spotted half-way between the green-ball and the left-hand cushion. Note that the two cue-balls have to be distinguished so that they can be re-spotted correctly if they are potted in the course of play. If you do not have two white balls to use as cue-balls, you can use a yellow ball and a white ball.

    Hope the above can get you started. If you need information on the rules of the game, let me know...

    Happy skittle playing!

  8. Tom Van Essuser1489094116 on 3/9/2017 4:15:18 PM

    I used to play skittles pool in Canada, live in Florida now and have pool table in lanai. I'm trying to buy skittles but can't find anyone selling them. Can anyone help?.

  9. Tom Van Essgully-foyle on 3/9/2017 6:27:25 PM

    I bought mine from F.G. Bradley in Canada:


    That's the link for the Skittles pins.

    Good luck.

  10. Tom Van Essbilliardsforum on 3/9/2017 7:14:22 PM

    A few sets with decent prices on amazon.com...

    ...but I didn't see any with the two black pins like the ones mentioned above from wiraka.com


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Canadian Skittles Pool Rules

  • Title: Canadian Skittles Pool Rules
  • Author:
  • Published: 12/23/2008 6:39:26 PM