How to Play Pool

There are a number of games that can be played on a billiards table. One of them is called pocket billiards, also called pool. The main objective of this game is to shoot billiards balls on any of the 6 pockets (or holes) placed at the edges of the table.


Pool Equipment


  • billiard balls – 16 are used in the game

– balls 1 – 7 have solid colors

– balls 9 – 15 are striped

– 8-ball is black

– cue ball is white. This is the only ball the player is permitted to strike with the cue stick. It is used to guide the other balls into the pockets of the table

  • cue stick – average length is 58.5 inches
  • pool table – common dimensions are 4 feet in width and 9 feet in length.

– 4 pockets are placed at the corners of the table and 2 in the middle of the longest sides.

– A white dot is placed at one end of the table. This is called the Head Spot where you position cue balls when breaking the rack of balls.

– Another white dot is placed at the other end of the table. It is called the Foot Spot and marks where the rack of balls will be set up.

  • billiard rack – a triangular shape made of wood or plastic. This allows players to arrange the 15 balls before the players break them with a cue ball. The 8 ball is always placed at the middle of the triangular shape.


How to Play the Game


Pool can be played by 2 to 4 people split into 2 teams. The goal of the game is to shoot all of a team’s balls in the pockets. One team will handle all the solid colors while the other team takes the striped balls.

The teams take turns striking the balls. If one team is unable to sink one of their balls into a pocket, they have to give the other team a turn. This continues until all solid and striped balls have been shot into pockets. The last ball to be targeted is the 8-ball. The first team to successfully shoot all their balls into the pockets, including the 8-ball, wins.


Proper Form and Stance


Hold the thick end of the cue stick in your dominant hand. Find the spot along the shaft of the cue where the surface is evenly balanced. Place your thumb and index finger or middle finger at this part to guide the cue stick.

For your stance, put your left foot forward and your right foot back by about two feet. Your body should be slightly twisted in the opposite direction of your dominant hand.

When striking the cue ball, use your dominant hand to push the cue stick forward while your other hand guides where it will strike the cue ball. The amount of force you use when striking a cue ball depends on the position of the ball you will strike and your purpose.

Players can only strike the cue ball with their cue stick. They can aim the cue stick directly at their target, or bounce it off another ball or one of the sides of the pool table to hit their target.