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Skittle Pool Rules

A variation on how to play billiards with skittles. These skittles pool rules were contributed by Billiards Forum member dilligaf, of Toronto, Ontario back in 2008.

Skittles Pool Table Setup

The table setup involved 5 pins about 3 1/2" high, resembling bowling pins, 4 white and one black. They were setup on the pink spot with the black on the spot and the other 4 pins arranged at the E,W, N and S positions exactly one pin length away, so that a white pin falling directly toward the black pin would knock over the black pin. There were 3 balls on the table, a shooter and two others. In our case we usually used a regular white ball as the cue ball as well as a red and a yellow ball. All balls were snooker balls and the game was played on a regulation snooker table, with 6 pockets. The red ball was set up on the pink spot and the yellow ball was setup on the black spot.

How to Play Skittles and Pea Pool

The game of skittles pool started with a container of peas numbered from one to sixteen. Each player took a pea from the container and subtracted the number on the pea from 31. This was the score he had to shoot for. He did not reveal his pea or his target score to the other players.

Everyone drew another pea from the pea container and the lowest number was the starting shooter, etc. The game was started by shooting the cue ball from the half circle behind the baulk line. Each player's turn continued so long as he scored without scratching. Scoring was a little complex. caroms earned 1 point. Sinking the red or going in off the red scored 1 point. Sinking the yellow or going in off the yellow scored 2 points. The white pin closest to the baulk line was worth 1 point and proceeding clockwise, the other white pins were worth 2, 3, and 4 points respectively. Knocking over white pins without knocking over the black pin gave you a score equal to the value of the pins.

The pins were always reset before the next shot and if a ball was in the way, the ball had to be moved to its own spot. In order to get a score from pins the cue ball first had to strike another ball. Missing both other balls with the cue ball simply meant the end of your turn, with no penalty.

Winning the Game

There were two ways to win the game. Knocking down all four white pins on the same shot or shooting your target score (31 less your secret pea). The final count to reach your target score had to be made with a pin, or pins. Each scratch meant you added money to the pot as well as eliminating your running score, meaning you had to start over again. A scratch also meant the end of your turn. You scratched when you went over your target score or when you knocked down the black pin and any white pin, together. Taking out the black pin all by itself caused everyone to pay you some pre-determined amount and you retained your turn.

The winner went home with the spoils.

Skittle Pool Rules

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

...or view existing Skittle Pool Rules questions in the forum.

Skittle Pool Rules History

These are the Skittle billiards rules as remembered by Billiards Forum member dilligaf, of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, from his teenage years.

The official Skittle Pool Rules are predominently observed in North America.

How to Play Skittle Pool

Questions about Skittle Pool Rules:

  • Title: Skittle Pool Rules
  • Author:
  • Published: 4/13/2008 6:08:43 PM
  • Last Updated: 12/31/2017 7:21:04 AM
  • Last Updated By: billiardsforum (Billiards Forum)
  • Source: Submitted by a Billiards Forum Member

Skittle Pool Rules

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

Skittle Pool Rules Comments

  1. CharlyKCharlyK from Port Perry, ON on 1/4/2023 8:59:37 AM

    Canadian Skittles billiards with 3 black pins was popular in the 1960s.

    Skittles Pool with 3 Black Pins

    Here's how to play:

    Two or more players take turns to strike the white cue ball onto the red or yellow object balls to earn points by any combination of potting balls, in-offs, caroms, or knocking pins down.

    To win, the player must accumulate 31 points exactly without going over and the winning stroke must knock down at least one pin legally.

    Other ways to win:

    • Make a "Royal" (knock down all the colored pins but none of the black pins)
    • Make a "Natural" (knock down all black pins but none of the colored pins)

    See these videos:

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