Rules to play 3 Ball Pool
3 Ball Rules. 3 Ball is played on a typical six-pocket billiard table.
6. Team Play
There are several ways that three ball billiards can be played as a team game. 3 ball scotch doubles can be played with players alternating shots and each team playing only one game per round, just as though there were only two players. Alternatively, players can divide themselves in to equal sized teams where each player on each team plays one complete game per round, and in the end, scores within each team are summed to yield that teams final score.
7. Ball Money Pocket
A money pocket can be elected in a 3 ball game, before play begins, whereby if a ball is pocketed, the shooting player has one point deducted from his or her score. If during the shot, a foul occurred or multiple balls were pocketed in to various pockets, the money pocket benefit is not applied. Of course, in the money pocket variation of three ball rules, the best score possible is zero, versus a best possible score of 1 in normal three ball rules.
There are several other 3 ball rule variations, (that are non standard and must be declared before play commences,) and differences that one may encounter depending on the locale. Some nuances include
If the shooting player neglects to drive at least one ball to the pocket, or fails to contact another object ball followed by another ball contacting any rail, shall be assessed a foul. (This rule, however, is illogical based on 3 ball scoring rules.)
1 point punishment for any jump, masse legal or otherwise. (mainly imposed by some table owners for fear damage to their pool table cloth.
On any given stroke, should a scratch occur, all balls pocketed are to be spotted and a 1 point punishment applied. Of course, if playing 3 ball billiard on a coin operated pool table, this rule is not feasible.
If the shooting player misses the rack on the break shot, the subsequent break attempts must be taken from where the cue ball comes to rest from the previous shot.
3 ball gaming software for online 3 ball has yet to mimic the realistic nature of the game of three ball. This is likely because the investment needed to rewrite the software would outweigh the profits.
9. Ball Technique
Clearly those skilled at kiss shots and carom shots would generally have a slight, but statistically significant advantage over those who do not. Consider that a 50% better score can be attained by those able to pocket two balls in one shot, versus those who can not.
There are several known billiard instructors out there who encourage their trainees to play solo games of 3 ball billiard using the seven, eight, and nine ball as the three balls. We can see how this would be beneficial, psychologically, in preparing players for eight ball or nine ball tournaments. Since the eight and nine ball are common choke points for many players, it can be beneficial to partake in repetitive practice using those exact balls to prepare mentally. Three ball mimics the last three shots in many different pocket billiard games, and thus, can be mentally beneficial. As mentioned before, the final three shots, regardless the game, can be the most difficult three shots, mentally, for any billiard player.
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