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10 Ball Billiards Rules

Learn the rules for 10-ball pool.

There are two distinct versions of 10 ball billiard rules; a snooker version, and a billiard and pool version. This version of ten ball billiard rules is the version that is played with a regular billiard or pool table with a standard set of pool balls, 1-15, solids and stripes. You can view the other version of Ten Ball snooker rules here.

10 Ball Billiards Rules

Unless otherwise specified, these rules supplement the general rules of pocket billiards. Unless specifically noted in these 10 ball billiard rules, each aspect of the general billiard rules shall apply.

Ten Ball Billiards - Type of Game

10 ball billiards is played on a standard billiard table with only the ten object balls numbered one through ten, and the cue ball. 10 ball billiards is considered more difficult than other billiard games, and thus is usually the preferred game of players with higher skill levels. It is more difficult to pocket a ball off the break shot, break and run performances become progressively more difficult with each game in a set, and players can not win a game by pocketing the ten ball on a break shot or with a combination shot as they can in some other games.

This game tends to be fast-paced, and as a result, is not meant to be played as a single game. Players should decide on a set number of games for the match before play begins. Normally this number is set at either nine, five, or seven. The first player to win that number of games wins the match.

Ten Ball Billiards - Players

Ten ball billiards is usually played by two single players. The game can also accommodate two team of two players.

Ten Ball Billiards - Rack, Racking

According to 10 ball billiard rules, the ten balls, 1 through 10, are racked at the head (front) of a standard triangle just as in 8 ball. The 10 ball is to be placed in the middle of the middle row in the rack.

Ten Ball Pool - Object of the Game

The object of ten ball billiards is to pocket the 10 ball legally to win the game.

Ten Ball Billiards - Opening Break

In 10 ball billiards, players lag, or coin flip to determine who will take the opening break shot. In professional tournaments, players always lag for break. It may also be determined before beginning play, that the winner or loser of the previous game will always perform the next opening break shot or vice versa. The winner of the lag or coin toss has the option of taking the break shot or passing it on to the other player.

In order for a break shot to be legal, one object ball must be contacted and a ball pocketed, or four object balls must be driven to a rail. If the breaking player does not perform a legal break shot in a 10 ball billiards game, their opponent has the option of requesting a re-rack and taking the break shot, or they may elect to continue play with the table as-is, as though a regular foul had occurred. If the original breaking player pockets a ball legally and does not foul, their inning continues at the table.

Ten Ball Billiards - General Rules of Play

According to ten ball billiard rules, the player must cause the cue ball to contact the lowest numbered object ball on the table before it strikes any other ball. If this does not occur, the shooting player is assessed a foul, and the inning comes to an end. As long as this requirement is met, a ball is pocketed legally, and no other foul is committed, the shooting player's inning continues.

10 Ball Pool Rules - Foul Penalty

If a player commits a foul, their inning ends, and their opponent takes the table with ball in hand. The opponent may spot the cue ball in any location on the table.

10 Ball Billiards Rules

If you have any questions about 10 Ball Billiards Rules, please post them in the pool rules forum.

...or view existing 10 Ball Billiards Rules questions in the forum.

10 Ball Billiards Rules History

Ten ball pool has been played competitively from 2000 to 2006 as the Florida Open Ten Ball Championship. On May 23, 2007, the first World Ten Ball Championship was held in Jacksonville Florida. The game is said to have been developed out of the request of professional players for a game with more challenge than posed in a game of nine ball.

The official 10 Ball Billiards Rules are predominently observed in North America.

The official governing body for 10 Ball Billiards Rules is the United States Professional Poolplayers Association.

How to Play 10 Ball Billiards

Pool tournaments using 10 Ball Billiards Rules (or similar):

Questions about 10 Ball Billiards Rules:

  • Title: 10 Ball Billiards Rules
  • Author: (Billiards Forum)
  • Published: 8/24/2007 10:17:31 PM
  • Last Updated: 10/11/2018 3:56:46 AM
  • Last Updated By: billiardsforum
  • Source: Wikipedia

10 Ball Billiards Rules

The 10 Ball Billiards Rules article belongs to the Pocket Billiards Rules category. Pocket billiards is a class of cue sport game commonly referred to as pool.

10 Ball Billiards Rules Comments

  1. Daniel F. CarterDaniel F. Carter from Douglasville, GA on 11/12/2008 4:04:36 AM

    I found these ten ball pool rules when searching to play a pool game with 10 balls.

    But where is the game to play?

  2. tablebilliardtablebilliard from Hyderbad, Telangana on 12/8/2009 11:50:44 PM

    This is a decent set of rules for ten-ball billiards.

  3. RayMillsRayMills from Seattle, WA on 8/19/2020 5:26:49 PM

    Regarding this article about the rules of 10 ball pool, would it be a shortcut to write how 10-Ball is different from 9-Ball?

    • Is the 1-ball supposed to be at the front of the rack?
    • Is pocketing the 10-ball last the only difference?
    • Not a call-shot game? Or perhaps it's called-shot only for the 10 ball?
  4. billiardsforumbilliardsforum from Halifax, NS on 9/18/2020 6:41:46 AM

    @RayMills - Very good point, ten-ball rules are similar to those of nine ball pool (and I think you covered the main differences).

    One interesting comment from the Wikipedia article for Ten Ball Pool:

    The World Pool-Billiard Association (WPA) World Standardized Rules for 10-ball are very similar to those for nine-ball, but with key changes to ensure the difficulty of the game and its marketability as an alternative to nine-ball.

    To summarize the differences between 9-ball and 10-ball rules I would say this:

    1. Racking is slightly different
      • 9-Ball Rack - 1-ball at the apex centered over the foot spot, the 9-ball at center, the other balls placed randomly, and all balls touching
      • 10-Ball Rack - 1 is at the apex on the foot spot, the 2 and 3 balls are on the corners, and the 10 (the money ball) is in the center. The remaining balls can be in any position.
    2. 9-ball is not a called-shot game, 10-ball is.

    3. In 9-ball, one can pocket the 9 ball on the break for a win. If this happens with the 10 ball (in Ten Ball pool) the ball is spotted and the player continues the inning.

  5. RayMillsRayMills from Seattle, WA on 9/18/2020 7:30:28 AM

    Thanks. I didn't know about the corner balls.

    I assume slop balls stay down...

  6. billiardsforumbilliardsforum from Halifax, NS on 10/2/2020 4:04:47 AM

    Yes, slop balls stay down in 10 ball (except the 10 ball itself), at least according to the UPA 10-Ball rules.

    They specifically call it out in a special section on "call pocket notes" as follows:

    UPA 10-Ball Rules


    Call pocket notes:

    1. If the shooter pockets the called ball in an unintended pocket the opponent has the option to accept the table in the current position, or require the shooter to continue (Pass).
    2. If the shooter legally pockets the called ball and an unintended ball is pocketed as well, the shooter continues.
    3. When the shooter does not legally pocket the called object ball, however pockets an unintended ball, the opponent has the option to accept the table in the current position, or require the shooter to continue (Pass).
    4. Any ball pocketed remains pocketed (not including the 10-ball).
    5. It is never necessary to specify details such as the number of banks, kisses, caroms, rails, etc.
    6. The break shot is never considered a “called shot.”
    7. A ball must hit a rail, or go into a pocket after contact with the cue ball (see 7.4, No Rail).

    Source: https://upatour.com/10-ball-rules/

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