There are a lot of different cue games out there, also known as Billiard games. Most people are aware of games such as 8 ball, 9 ball, and snooker, but in fact there are so many more games out there that you can learn to play and possibly come to love.
So, there are a lot of forgotten Billiards style games that date back to hundreds of years ago that aren’t really played that often anymore, so we’re here to tell you about some of them.
Maybe you’ll develop a new favorite hobby! Of course, a lot of them are going to look very different from the traditional billiards games that you are perhaps used to, and you may even need to play them on a different style of table. If you have the opportunity, you should definitely give these Billiard games a go!
The table shape that you opt for is going to change the playstyle a little, but as a whole the concept is pretty much the same no matter what table you have. The table has two pockets with one on either side. Every pocket is going to have a bumper on either side, and there will be a cross of bumpers in the middle of the table.
Usually, two players will play Bumper Pool, and each player will have 5 balls each. One of the players will have 5 red balls, while the other player will have 5 white balls. You won’t have a cue ball, but every player has one ball with a dot market. This ball is going to be put onto the center of the line of balls on their own ends, and they need to be pocketed and struck first.
Each player begins by striking their dotted ball, and then they try to pocket them into their competitor’s pocket. If one of the players is successful in the first shot, they are allowed to continue until they stop pocketing their balls. Then, the players will take turns striking their balls until one player managed to pocket all 5 of their balls.
Cut Throat Pool
If you’re looking for a fun billiards game to play as a group, then you may be interested in Cutthroat pool.
Essentially, the main idea of this game is that you claim a group of numbered balls at the beginning of the game. The aim is to pocket your competitor’s balls before they manage to pocket yours. For instance, if you intend to play with three players, then you would divide the balls like this:
- Player 1 will have balls 1-5
- Player 5 has balls 6-10
- Player C has balls 11-15
The groups get determined after you break, so once you make your first shot you will be able to claim a group. You would need to choose a group that has the least balls pocketed. If you end up pocketing the opponents ball you would keep on shooting until you scratch or end up committing a foul.
The person whose balls are the last to remain on the table is the winner. It’s a great game to play if you have a group of between 3 and 5.
This is a pool game where only two of the pockets are used to score. These pockets are the two foot corner pockets at the end of the table, and each player has one.
The first player chooses one of the corner pockets while the other player will choose the other pocket that’s in the opposite corner. Your competitor’s corner pocket is the target pocket, and any kind of object ball that you aim for needs to go into that pocket.
You use every ball for this game: 1-15, in addition to the cue, and the balls are then racked in a standard triangle rack.
Your aim is to score a total of eight object balls into your target pocket before your opponent does to get a total of 8 points. You are able to shoot any of the object balls, and any object balls that are pocketed in the target pocket using a legal shot is counted as one point.
You are able to play this game with 2 players or in teams of two. It does require a lot of skill and accuracy though, because if you do hit a non target pocket the ball will be spotted and then your opponent plays. This means you have to be more creative with trickier shots.
This game is a little bit similar to 9 ball as it’s a rotation pool game, but it has a couple of exclusive rules that aren’t present in 9 ball.
To start with, the balls are racked in a hexagonal formation. You can do this with a normal 9 ball diamond rack, or you can use a hexagonal and sort of rare hexagonal 7 ball rack. You need to place the 7 ball in the middle, and the remaining numbers are to be placed in order circulating the 7 ball. The 1 ball is then placed at the top of the rack.
Once you break, your opponent chooses three pockets that are along either the right or the left of the long rail of the table. Whoever broke then ends up getting the three pockets that are on the opposite of the long rail.
Once you have chosen your target pockets, you then need to try to sink the lowest ball in order into any of your pockets. Otherwise, it’s essentially the same rules as 9 ball. You need to hit your object ball, which is the lowest number, first. If you end up scratching the 7 ball then you’ve lost.
If you really want a challenge playing pool, why not try Bank Pool? In Bank Pool, every legally pocketed shot first needs to bank off at least one of the cushions before it’s pocketed.
The game is based on a points system, where you get 1 point for every legally pocketed ball. Every ball needs to be cleanly banked, so you are not allowed to let it touch another ball before it enters the pocket.
In addition, if you end up sinking another ball before you pocket the object ball, the other ball is not going to count. Only the object ball is credited as a point for the person putting. Every ball and pocket needs to be called in order for it to count as a legal shot.
If you do commit a foul when playing bank pool, such as when you don’t make a clean bank o if you don’t call the pocket, then you need to pay the table one ball. Any balls that are sunk on the foul stroke have to be spotted. Of course, this means you need a lot of skill and patience to play this game.
You can play bank pool with 2 players or in teams of two. The balls in play include 1-15 in addition to the cue ball.
We know - weird name right? Bowlliards is played a little similarly to 10 pin bowling. Essentially, you rack 10 balls in a triangle, and every player gets 2 innings per frame.
Every frame is started by breaking. Any balls that are pocketed or scratched need to be spotted. From there, you try and hit as many balls as you can in any particular order. Every shot needs to be called, and when you miss or scratch you take another turn for the second inning.
If you manage to make all 10 of the balls in the first inning, it’s considered to be a strike. If you make every ball on the second try then it’s a spare. If you still have balls left on the table after 2 innings then you total up the points for that frame.
Every ball is worth 1 point. If you play 10 frames in total, then the person that has the most points after 10 frames wins. Pretty simple but incredibly fun!
So, there’s our list of some fun Billiards games that you can play with two or more people. If you’re bored of regular billiards, these games are definitely a fun way to pass some time with friends.
Next time you look at a pool table you’ll know that there are way more games that you can play than just your average 8 ball game that everyone is familiar with already. You can impress your friends by showing them how to play some fresh and exciting billiard games that they may have never encountered before!
There are so many ways to play billiards that you are not simply limited to one way. All you really need to do is pick your flavor of the day and get your cue, then you’re good to go!
I’m Lia and I love playing games. I started this site to share things with friends and they encouraged me to post more and now I’m trying to share things with the world – indoor and outdoor sports, and board and bar games. I write about things like Bocce, Croquet, Billiards, Darts and other fun ways to enjoy time with your friends and family!