Rules to play 3 Ball Pool
3 Ball Rules. 3 Ball is played on a typical six-pocket billiard table.
Although there is no documented proof of the origin of three ball billiards, it seems to have originated from an earlier rotation game having the same name. The original game was played with the balls one through three, and followed the rules of nine ball, with the three ball taking the place of the nine ball. Over the years, 3 ball rules have transformed as such that 3 ball is a game that is more akin to straight pool.
The object of the game is to sink all of the object balls in as few strokes as possible, with points being added to the players score for each stroke and for specific fouls.Unlike in eight ball and nine ball, the player at turn remains at turn until all object balls are pocketed,or the player concedes or reaches the maximum point limit (see below). All strokes count as one point each, whether they pocketed no balls, one ball or more than one ball.(Fouls incur additional penalty points; see below.)
There is a predetermined cut off score of a certain number of points, after which the player must turn the table over to the next player (or conclude the game round if the player was the last in the lineup). Among casual players this is typically five or six points, while among skilled players it is most commonly four, and sometimes even as low as three. It is also considered sportsmanlike to simply concede defeat before reaching this number if victory or a tie is clearly impossible; when conceding, one is scored at the cut off number, not the number one conceded at (e.g. if one is playing a game where the cut off is five, there is already a tie for three, and one cannot get out in under four, one would concede and take a five.)
Once a players inning is over, the next player starts over with a fresh rack. After all players have finished, the player with the lowest score is declared to be the winner.In a tournament context, the winner of the event may be the player with the lowest total score over many rounds of play (strict scoring), or the highest number of won rounds (loose scoring). In case of a tie, a playoff round is played between the tied players.
14. The break
Players turn order is decided at random at the beginning of the game or match, as in other several player pool games. The cue ball is placed anywhere behind the head string (in the kitchen) and a typical hard break (as in nine ball or eight ball) is performed. The break is the first stroke of a players game, and thus counts toward his or her score.Any balls pocketed on the break are considered to be legally pocketed and the player now only has to sink the remaining balls.
Very good players can sink all three object balls on the break with surprising frequency, resulting in the perfect (but still tieable) score of one point, especially if the balls are triangle racked; this feat is achieved using an adaptation of the instant win break technique from eight ball and nine ball; the straight rack was introduced to make this more difficult, as it does not provide the contact point and angles that the well known technique requires.
15. Keeping score
Like the otherwise dissimilar (one shot per turn) several player pool game killer (also known as elimination), three ball is scored on a chalk board or piece of paper to keep track of who has how many points. Because of three balls backwards scoring (compared to other games, which typically have the more points are better scoring that most people are used to), it is customary to help keep score accurately by one or more players intoning the score so far after each shot, in the form thats [x], shooting [x+1] (e.g. thats three, shooting four; note the absence of for after shooting, since it is a potentially confusing homophone of four), or something similar. In the absence of this mechanism or an official scorekeeper, one would have to write down the score so far after every shot, which is disruptive of flow and concentration for the shooter, if required to do it, or onerous for other players to be responsible for. Verbal calling also eliminates score cheating.)
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