How to play billiards

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How to play billiards

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Pool, or billiards, gets its name from being played in the pool room (where money is “pooled”) at horse races at the beginning of its popularity. It is played on a felt table with cue sticks which are used to strike the balls. If you have never learned or would like a refresher, read this article to learn how to play pool.


Step One

Find a place to play. Many bars will have a table or two, but when you are looking to play for a long period of time, look for a recreation or pool hall where you can rent a table by the hour.


Step Two

Choose teams. You can play pool one-on-one or in teams. When you are making teams, match the stronger players with weaker ones to make the game fair.


Step Three

Rack the balls. All balls (except the white cue ball) start in the rack. For almost all pool games, you place the eight ball in the middle, the one ball on top and alternate stripes and solids around the rack.


Step Four

Decide who breaks. Flip a coin, rock, paper, scissors, or you can each try to hit a ball as close to the railing as you can, and the closest breaks.


Step Five

Break the rack. Whichever you make (stripe or solid) are the types of balls you will be trying to sink for the rest of the game. When you do not make any, your opponent can shoot at any stripe or solid. When you make one of each, you can choose.


Step Six

Shoot as long as you keep sinking your balls. It is not your opponent's turn until you miss a shot.


Step Seven

Alternate turns with your partner. When you are on a team, you can not shoot until you are partner has taken a turn.


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