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Harrigan Pea Pool Rules

Harrigan billiards is a cue sport game played with a set of pills.

Note: many players mistake Harrigan pool for Kelly Pool or standard Pill Pool. The billiards game of Harrigan is different from those. In Harrigan you immediately go after your money ball and you do not shoot the balls in rotation. A game of Harrigan lasts less than a minute, and could be over on the first shot.

This version of Harrigan Pool Rules was recounted by Billiards Forum member chopspop.

The balls are racked in random fashion.

Each player is thrown two pills, one for his shooting place in the rotation with lowest number breaking and the other, his/her object (money) ball.

The game is over as soon as object/money ball is made.

If the breaker makes a ball on the break shot, he shoots again if no one has it as their object ball.

If the if the breaker pockets two money balls, then the breaker wins.

A version of the Harrigan billiard game rules was recounted in March 2000 on the billiards Usenet by Paul Wolf a.k.a. redwolf8:

Harrigan Pea Pool Rules

The rules of Harrigan Pea Pool are as follows:

Pills 1-15 are used.

Two pills go to each player, and each players throws one back to determine shooting order. The one pill held onto is your object ball (aka your "money ball").

If one money ball is pocketed on the break shot, the owner of that ball wins the game.

If two or more money balls go in during the break, then the person breaking wins the game.

If a non-money ball went down during the break shot, then the person breaking shoots again for his money ball. This shot will result in one of three situations:

  1. The shooter will pocket through any means his money ball (he wins).
  2. The shooter pockets someone else's money ball then the person owning that money ball wins. On rare occasions two money ball's other then shooters goes down then shooter wins.
  3. a dead ball is pocketed turn is passed. Then the rotation is set by the throw back of the pills,with the three possibilities existing for the shooter.

Generally the money increases as the session goes on.

The person calling the pills would take a percentage off the winner for the service of calling the pills.

Harrigan Pea Pool Rules

If you have any questions about Harrigan Pea Pool Rules, please post them in the pool rules forum.

...or view existing Harrigan Pea Pool Rules questions in the forum.

Harrigan Pea Pool Rules History

I have been unable to find any verifiable history for the Harrigan billiards game. If anyone knows of any verifiable history facts for this game, post them in the comments below.

The official Harrigan Pea Pool Rules are predominently observed in

Various cities in PA and NJ, USA. For example, rules and stories have been recounted by playes from NJ, Lebanon, PA, and Port Richmond, PA.


How to Play Harrigan Pea Pool

Questions about Harrigan Pea Pool Rules:

  • Title: Harrigan Pea Pool Rules
  • Author: (Billiards Forum)
  • Published: 7/7/2016 7:59:02 AM
  • Last Updated: 9/5/2018 4:43:27 PM
  • Last Updated By: billiardsforum
  • Source:


Harrigan Pea Pool Rules

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

Harrigan Pea Pool Rules Comments

  1. user1535832165user1535832165 on 9/1/2018 1:18:36 PM

    We learned Harrigan pool in South Jersey. Some pill sets contain 16 pills. In this game, 16 is automatic break and you have no choice, as your other pill is your money ball.

    Also, if you get the 14 and 15 in your turn, it's called "Preference". You're automatic last shooter but you can win on either ball. After everyone throws in their rotation pill, you turn up both pills and all shooters know you can win off either ball.

  2. Bob WoelpperBob Woelpper from Jensen Beach, FL on 6/9/2022 8:18:44 AM

    We had harrigan games every night at Verns Pool Hall in Clementon, NJ in the 1960s.

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