Bank Pool Rules
Bank pool rules outline the game of bank pool or billiards, which is a very good game to force one to practice their bank shots.
Bank Pool Billiards Rules
Bank Pool should be played according to the General Rules of Pocket Billiards unless explicitly noted otherwise in this specific Bank Pool rule set.
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If there are any terms throughout the Bank Pool 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. I have also included the Billiard Congress of America's reference numbers, so that readers can reference each rule back to the specific rule text on the Billiard Congress of America website.
Type of Game
Bank Pool is a game where legally pocketed balls must be banked into the pocket using one or more banks. Any ball on the table can be selected.
Object of Bank Pool Billiards
The object of Bank Pool is to be the first player, or team, to legally sink eight balls. The goal is to outscore your opponents by pocketing bank shots, as the name suggests. For the shot to accrue points for the shooting player, it must be a legal bank shot.
Bank Pool is played by either two individuals, or in teams of two.
Bank Pool uses object balls numbered one through 15, plus the cue ball.
A standard triangle rack is used in Bank Pool. The balls can be racked in any order. All object balls are to be tightly racked in no particular order in a standard rack. The head ball is placed as nearly as possible on the foot spot.
Bank Pool Break Shot
The opening break shot is considered to be a free shot. If any balls are pocketed on the break, they are spotted and the breaker remains at the table. If nothing is made, the breaker's inning is over.
The players may flip a coin or lag for the first break. For games that follow, the winner of the previous rack has the option of breaking in the following rack. Players my elect to have the break alternate between players regardless of which player won the previous rack. Any object balls pocketed on the break entitle the shooter to continue their inning, but they are not scored for the breaker. Instead, they are held for spotting at the end of the breaker's inning. If the breaker fails to meet legal breaking requirements, the opposing player has the option to start play where the balls lie or require their opponent to re-break. There is no further penalty unless a foul or scratch occurs.
With full rack banks, all fifteen balls are tightly racked in the standard triangle formation. On the opening break the cue ball may contact any ball first, but after contact, at least two object balls must contact a cushion. With nine-ball banks, any nine balls are tightly racked in the standard nine-ball diamond formation. On the opening break the head ball must be struck first, driving at least one object ball past the side pockets.
In any multi-player ring game the break rotates in the same order in which the players shoot. Every time the break completes a cycle through all the players, where each player has broken one rack, then a new shooting and breaking order is determined. Likewise, if any players enter or exit the game, a new shooting and breaking order is determined at such a time.
Safeties are allowed in Bank Pool, however, the standard World rules 3.19 apply. After the cue ball contacts at least one object ball, the shooter must either pocket a ball or cause the cue ball or at least one object ball to contact a cushion. There is no penalty for directly or indirectly pocketing an object ball. Pocketing any ball other than a legal called bank does not entitle the shooting player to continue their inning.
Unless otherwise announced by the tournament director, Bank Pool is played according to the World General Rules 1.16.1, cue ball fouls only. In the event that a player accidentally moves a ball, the opponent may elect to have the disturbed ball remain in its new position or be restored to its original position. When balls are restored, they shall be placed as close as possible to their original positions, with no advantage to be gained by the offending player. If no official is available to restore disturbed balls, then the players must come to agreement on satisfactory replacement of the disturbed balls prior to continuing play. If a player fouls in three successive innings they loose the game.
Any scratch or foul ends the shooter's inning, and a penalty of one ball is charged. If a called ball is pocketed on the same stroke, that ball is forfeited also. If the shooter has no legally scored balls to their credit, they owe a ball for each such offense, which is paid as necessary by spotting at the end of the first inning or innings in which they legally score.
It is a foul to jump the cue ball off the table. There is no penalty for an object ball jumping off the table; any such balls are simply spotted at the end of the shooter's inning.
Following any pocket scratch or the cue ball jumping the table, the incoming shooter has ball in hand behind the head string. If there are no object balls below the head string, the ball nearest the head string is spotted. If two or more balls are equally close to the head string then the highest numbered ball is spotted.
Following any other foul, the incoming shooter must shoot from where the cue ball lies. However, if the acting official rules that a player has used an illegal technique to direct the cue ball or any object balls to a more desirable location, then the incoming player has the option of either playing the balls where they lie, or requesting the official to restore all such moved balls to their location prior to the illegal maneuver. The offending player is charged the standard one ball foul penalty, and in addition may be further penalized at the discretion of the acting official under the general rules of unsportsmanlike conduct.
Balls are spotted on the foot spot, or in a direct line below the foot spot. Spotted balls are to be frozen to other object balls that interfere, but not quite frozen to the cue ball. Any balls to be spotted are held until the end of the shooter's inning, unless all the balls have been cleared from the table, in which case all balls being held are spotted immediately.
- A player's inning continues as long as they legally pocket their called bank. Players can only score one ball per shot; any additional object balls that are pocketed on the same stroke are held for spotting at the end of the shooter's inning. A player's inning ends when they fail to legally pocket a called or obvious bank, or the cue ball scratches or jumps the table, or the shooter fouls.
- Every shot must be pocketed cleanly, without contacting any other object ball on its route to the called pocket.
- No combination shots are allowed.
- The cue ball must contact the called ball first. No carom shots are allowed.
- Every shot must be played ball first. No rail-first shots are allowed.
- The cue ball is only permitted to contact the object ball once on its route to the pocket. Any ball pocketed on a double kiss is spotted without further penalty, and the shooter's inning is over.
- Various house rules permit rail-first shots, as long as they are called, and as long as a bank is designated following the rail-first contact.
- Additionally, some house rules and some multi-player games permit rail-first shots directly into a pocket, as long as the cue ball strikes at least three cushions before the object ball is contacted.
On every shot the ball, the pocket and the path of intended cushions must be obvious or specifically called prior to commencing the shot. In the event that a called ball takes a different path to the pocket than that which was called, the pocketed ball does not count and it is spotted without penalty to the shooter.
It is the shooter's responsibility to call any shot that is not obvious. Any single rail bank is considered obvious, unless a contrary shot was called. A ball pocketed contrary to the shooter's called shot does not count; it is spotted without further penalty, and the shooter's inning is over.
At any time the shooter assumes a shooting stance without having already called their shot, the opponent or tournament official may inquire as to what shot is being attempted. The shooter must honor such a request prior to commencing their shot. Failure to call a shot upon request shall be interpreted as an intentional safety; any pocketed balls are spotted without further penalty, and the shooter's inning is over.
Any multi-cushion shot is considered not obvious. In the event that a ball is pocketed on a multi-cushion shot without prior calling, the shooter has no recourse if either the tournament official or the opponent contends that their shot was not obvious. The disputed ball does not count; it is spotted without further penalty, and the shooter's inning is over.
If an adjacent cushion or other object balls lie so close to the called ball that the cue ball might strike either the adjacent cushion or other balls first, it is the responsibility of the opponent to summon a tournament official or the designated house man prior to the shot, to rule whether the shot is clean or not, otherwise the benefit of the doubt is afforded the shooter.
When a called ball contacts either the cushions or pocket points along the rails adjacent to the called pocket on its final approach toward the pocket, such contact does not count as a bank in defining the called shot. If an otherwise legal called bank shot is pocketed in such a manner, the ball counts as long as the shot conforms with the shooter's called intentions, and no foul or scratch occurs.
In Bank Pool, jumped object balls are spotted without penalty.
Cue Ball After Jump Shot or scratch
After a jump shot or a scratch. the cue ball is put in play from the kitchen. The cue ball coming to rest on any area that is considered to be off of the table bed is a foul.
Unless a referee is assigned, players shall be responsible for officiating their own match. Whenever the players themselves can come to an amicable agreement on any scoring or officiating issues to their satisfaction, and play continues, their decision shall be deemed final. If at anytime in a match either player anticipates a close call, or would like a neutral party to spot a ball, or wishes to have an official ruling in any conflict, then an official should be called.
If there is no tournament official, then the house man or another mutually agreed on impartial observer should be summoned to arbitrate. Their decision should be considered final.
Bank Pool Rules
Bank Pool Rules History
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The official governing body for Bank Pool Rules is the Billiard Congress of America.
How to Play Bank Pool
- Title: Bank Pool Rules
- Author: billiardsforum (Billiards Forum)
- Published: 8/14/2006 1:02:05 PM
- Source: Internet
Bank Pool Rules
The Bank Pool Rules article belongs to the Pocket Billiards Rules category. Pocket billiards is a class of cue sport game commonly referred to as pool.
Bank Pool Rules Comments
- Andre from Herndon VA on 5/13/2008 3:55:36 AM
I not sure about one of the rules. If I call a jump bank shot and it hits the rail I say and goes into the pocket I call, is that a legal shot? Are jump bank shots OK?
- Jim from Cape Coral, FL on 11/22/2009 12:11:02 AM
CALLED SHOT: I cut my object ball toward a corner pocket, and indicated to my opponent that it would kiss off of another ball into the corner pocket of intent. Well, my object ball made contact with the adjacent rail on it's way to the ball that it was suppose to kiss off and went into the hole that I entented it to go into. Does that count as a foul?
- Jim from Cape Coral, FL on 11/22/2009 12:37:13 AM
Banking the 8 ball. If a player calls the pocket of entent for the 8 ball to be pocketed and pro ceeds to hit the Q ball off the adjacent rail into the 8 ball and it is pocketed in the entented pocket does that conform to a legal bank shot?
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