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6 Ball Rules

6 Ball billiards follows the nine ball rules. Anything not covered by these six ball rules should be played according to nine ball rules. Anything not covered by either of these two rule sets should be played according to the General Rules of Pocket Billiards.

6 Ball Billiards Rules - How To Play 6 Ball Billiards

This page contains references to some material that is copyrighted by the Billiard Congress of America. Any modification or sale of such information herein is strictly prohibited by the laws governing that copyright. Please direct questions regarding interpretation of the following, or information on how to receive the current BCA "Billiards - The Official Rules and Records book" to the Billiard Congress of America.

Billiard Lingo - 6 Ball

If there are any terms throughout the 6 Ball rules that you do not understand, you can search our billiard terms glossary in the search box near the top left of the page, or search the billiard terms glossary directly.

Type of Game

6 Ball is a variation on 9 ball. As its name suggests, it is played with six balls. Follow the General Rules of Pocket Billiards, except where contradicted by the rules of 9 Ball. If a 9 Ball rule is contradicted by these 6 Ball rules, follow the 6 Ball rules.


6 Ball is played with either two players, or in teams of two players each.

Balls Used

6 Ball is played with the cue ball, and with object balls one through six.

The Rack

A diamond rack is used in 6 Ball. The one-ball is placed on the apex of the triangle and the six-ball is placed in the center of the last row.

Object of 6 Ball

As it's name suggests, the object of 6 Ball is to legally pocket the object ball number six.

6 Ball Scoring

The shooting player continues at the billiard table any time their first contact is with the lowest numbered ball on the table and a ball other than the cue-ball falls in a pocket as a result of their stroke. In 6 Ball, neither the ball, nor the pocket have to be called.

6 Ball Rules of Play

The cue-ball's first contact, on a legal shot, must be with the lowest numbered ball on the billiard table. Failure to do this results in a foul being assessed. Safety play is not allowed in 6 Ball. Playing a safety is also considered a foul. Three consecutive fouls by a player is a loss of game for that player.

Illegally Pocketed Balls

No penalty is imposed when a ball is pocketed illegally beyond fouls associated with the stroke.

Jumped Object Balls

In 6 Ball, all jumped balls are spotted, and no foul is imposed.

Cue Ball After Jump, Scratch or Foul

The incoming player has cue ball in hand behind the head string.

Penalty for Fouls

The incoming player has cue ball in hand behind the head string.

6 Ball Rules

If you have any questions about 6 Ball Rules, please post them in the pool rules forum.

...or view existing 6 Ball Rules questions in the forum.

6 Ball Rules History

If anyone has any documented or prove-able history or origin information about this game, please contact us using the form below...and provide all supporting information. We'll be sure to give you full credit for the information you provide.

The official 6 Ball Rules are predominently observed in North America.

The official governing body for 6 Ball Rules is the Billiard Congress of America.

How to Play 6 Ball

Questions about 6 Ball Rules:

  • Title: 6 Ball Rules
  • Author: (Billiards Forum)
  • Published: 1/1/2006 8:22:00 PM
  • Last Updated: 6/26/2006 9:01:00 AM
  • Last Updated By: billiardsforum
  • Source: Internet

6 Ball Rules

The 6 Ball Rules article belongs to the Pocket Billiards Rules category. Pocket billiards is a class of cue sport game commonly referred to as pool.

6 Ball Rules Comments

  1. Andres BarreiroAndres Barreiro from Fayetteville, NY on 4/29/2012 7:38:14 PM

    The game of 6-ball pool is just a logical follow up to a game of 9-ball played on coin-op pool tables. After a 9-ball game there are 6 balls remaining that you didn't need to use for the 9-ball game which are available to you for free. You get two "plays" for the price of one.

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