log in
sign up or:

with google or facebook


By using this site you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service

forgot password?

Rotation Billiard Rules

Rotation billiard rules, or rotation pool rules, are intended to be supplemental to the General Rules of Pocket Billiards. Unless otherwise stated in rotation pool rules, the General Rules shall apply.

Rotation billiard rules may be occasionally referred to as "Sixty-One Billiard rules," "Chicago Pool Rules" on the East coast in general, or as "Boston Pool Rules" in Chicago. Rotation Billiards and pool is played primarily as a conduit to gamble, and most games are played with money at stake.

Rotation pool requires always that the shooting player strike the lowest numbered ball on the table. This means that the lowest numbered ball, at any given time, is the ball-on. Because of this fundamental requirement, the call shot rule is not required, since it would be redundant to call a shot that you are forced, by the rules, to make. The goal is simply to outscore your opponent. There is no requirement to pocket a game ball, such as in 8 ball and 9 ball. The attractiveness of the game includes the fact that the shooting player can not simply shoot at any ball he or she wishes. This requirement adds a degree of complexity to the game that many players adore.

Racking in Rotation Billiards

In rotation billiard rules, the balls are racked with the one ball at the apex of the triangle. Balls two and three are to be placed in the back corners of the triangle. The 15 ball is placed in the exact center of the racked group of balls. In fact, the racking set up is similar to that of eight ball. Is some regions, especially Brittan, players commonly slide the rack back further as such that the 15 ball, which is in the exact middle of the rack, is directly over the center spot. The picture below shows the proper rack for rotation billiards.

How to Rack the Balls in Rotation Pool

How to Play Rotation Billiards

In the billiard game of rotation pool, the players shoot the balls in rotation, of course. Players profit when they pocket what are known as "money balls" which are arbitrarily determined before the game begins by all players involved. Generally, choosing four money balls and evenly spacing them serves to keep the game exciting. Players wager as many dollars, or other monetary unit, on each of the four chosen money balls. The player with the highest point total wins the game. This player wins a share of a predetermined game kitty.

Each ball's point value is equal to the number printed on the ball. Since the sum of all balls, one through fifteen, is 120 points, the game automatically ends when one player reaches 61 points. Combination shots are allowed, so long as the lowest numbered ball remaining on the table is contacted first during the shot. Players do not need to call combinations or any other aspects of their shot, including the pocket at which they are aiming. When the shooting player pockets a ball, they take the ball and set it aside for himself or herself.

Rotation pool also makes use of safety shots, but with limited application. If a ball is pocketed, the shooting player must shoot his or her next shot. Intentional safety shots are not prohibited. Players may only safety twice per game, when the safety consists of the use of the cue ball to strike the ball on sending it to the closest cushion without contacting another object ball. Any other type of safety is allowed so long as the lowest numbered ball is struck first in the shot, or the ball on is driven to any cushion that is located, empirically, closest to it.

Rotation Billiard Fouls

Fouling in rotation pool has several particulars to note when considering rotation pool rules. When a foul has been assessed, the incoming player has the option to either require the fouling player to take the next shot, or to take their shot themselves. Break shot fouls or cue ball fouls are treated differently as seen below. One caveat of rotation billiards is that normally, for shots performed from behind the head string, the cue ball must cross the head string, however, in rotation billiard rules, there are instances where this is not required. If the ball on is located behind the head string, the shooting player may optionally request that the ball be spotted on the foot spot prior to the shot. This includes the scenario where the fouling player is forced by the opponent to perform the stroke. No foul is incurred on the third consecutive foul.

The following items are considered foul instances according to rotation billiard rules.

  • A third or subsequent one ball safety to the closest cushion.
  • Causing an object ball to leave the table.
  • Failure to pocket an object ball legally, or to drive any ball to a cushion.
  • The failure to strike the lowest numbered ball first.
  • Scratching the cue ball either off of the table or into a pocket. In this case, the opponent typically has ball in hand, however, the shooting player may force the fouling opponent to perform the shot.
  • The failure to make an open break on the break shot. This is where the incoming player can either demand a re-racking and allowance for a new break shot, or the acceptance of the object balls as they come to rest with cue ball in hand behind the head string.

How to Play Rotation Pool in Teams

You can play rotation billiards in teams as rotation pool rules allow for team play if so desired. Players can alternate teams, and players within teams when playing rotation as a doubles game. For example, players A and B form a team, and players C and D form a team. Player A performs the first break shot, and the break alternates between teams from there. Next to break would be player C from the second team, followed by player B from the first team, followed by player D from the second team. There are some other rules when rotation billiards is played on teams. Three fouls successively committed disqualifies a player from the rest of the frame. Any legally pocketed balls by the disqualified player are to remain pocketed. A scotch doubles format has also been known. In this version of rotation billiards, the three consecutive foul rules do not apply as with regular doubles. In scotch doubles, three consecutive fouls by the team as a whole, signifies the loss of game for that team. This is due to the fact that if only the one player were disqualified, that player's team would technically be at an advantage as there would be fewer players to coordinate.

Because of the nature of Rotation Pool and Billiards, there is a propensity for players to cheat. This propensity is only fueled by the fact that money is usually at stake. Because of the accounting necessary to determine which player has which money ball, to determine which balls are actually the money balls, and to determine who has the highest point total, and because this isn't done until the game ends, players often resort to stealing other player's pocketed balls after they have been taken from the table. One technique used so that player's either don't notice or don't care, is to hoard low-numbered, thus low-valued balls, which add up. This is often done while the player who is to be robbed is playing his or her round of rotation billiards at the table.

Rotation is commonly used for practice for other games, due to the requirement to always strike the lowest numbered ball on the table at the time of the shot.

An alternate version of rotation pool rules includes the strict rotation rules or the specific rotation rules. In this version, the numerical value on each pocketed ball is counted toward the shooting player's score, but the balls must be pocketed in numerical order, and not simply struck first as in the standard version. If playing this version of rotation billiards, and the correct ball is struck but another ball pocketed, the higher ball must be placed back on the table after the shot.

There is also a version of rotation billiard rules called simple rotation. This version of rotation pool rules requires players to shoot balls in ascending order but does not count the value of the balls for scoring purposes. This game's purpose is to be the player or team to have pocketed the most balls, and thus, the frame terminates when one player or team has reached eight pocketed balls.

There is also a version of rotation pool rules that combine regular rotation billiard rules with eight ball rules. This version of rotation pool requires that each suit (solids versus stripes, reds versus yellows) be pocketed in their numerical order, besides the 8 ball, which is the game ball. In the eight ball version of rotation, the 8 ball is placed in the middle of the rack, not the 15 ball. No scores are tracked, as the win is achieved only by pocketing the 8 ball. If the shooting player fouls on the 8 ball, on the final shot, a loss of game is assessed.

Rotation Billiard Rules

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

...or view existing Rotation Billiard Rules questions in the forum.

Rotation Billiard 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 Rotation Billiard Rules are predominently observed in Philippines.

How to Play Rotation Billiard

Questions about Rotation Billiard Rules:

This question relates to the following billiard rules:

  • Title: Rotation Billiard Rules
  • Author: (Billiards Forum)
  • Published: 2/10/2008 12:24:00 PM
  • Last Updated: 2/8/2022 3:22:21 AM
  • Last Updated By: billiardsforum
  • Source: Internet

Rotation Billiard Rules

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

Rotation Billiard Rules Comments

There are not yet any comments. Please post one below. All comments are moderated.

Reply and share your comments below:

upload a photo or document

use plain text or markdown syntax only