How Many Balls Are In The Pool?

The number of balls in the pool game varies from one type of pool to another. The white-colored ball, known as the cue ball, remains the same in all types of pools. The cue ball is used to break a shot on the pool table. The numbers of balls in different pools are given below.

8-ball Pool

In an 8-ball pool, there are 15 object balls in addition to the cue ball. There are 7 solid balls with numbers 1 to 7 and 7 striped balls with numbers 9 to 15. The 8-ball needs to be placed in the middle of the triangular rack and the 1-ball must be positioned at the corner of the triangle pointed towards the head spot. A striped and a solid ball must be racked at each of the remaining corners of the triangle. 

Here’s how to rack an 8-ball pool:

  1. Align the triangular rack along the foot string of the pool table. The head of the rack must coincide with the foot spot of the table.
  2. Place the ball numbered 1 at the foot spot. 
  3. Position the 8-ball at the center of the triangular rack.
  4. Take one solid and one striped ball and place them at each of the two remaining corners of the triangle. 
  5. Place the remaining object balls in random order inside the rack.
  6. Make sure that the triangular rack is tight enough. Remove the rack so that only the object balls remain on the pool table. 

9-ball Pool

There are nine object balls in a 9-ball pool beside the cue ball. The 9-ball must be positioned in the middle of the rack and the 1-ball should be positioned at the corner of the triangle facing the head spot. There are conditions for arranging the other object balls. 

How to rack a 9-ball pool?

  1. Take the diamond rack and place it on the pool table such that the head of the rack is situated at the foot spot of the table. 
  2. Keep the ball numbered 1 at the foot spot and the ball numbered 9 at the center of the diamond rack.
  3. Keeping the rack tight, arrange the remaining object balls randomly in the rack. Remove the rack carefully. 

7-ball Pool

In a 7-ball pool, there are seven object balls numbered from 1 to 7. The 1-ball should be racked at the head of the triangle and the 7-ball at the center of the triangle. The remaining balls are required to be arranged orderly around the 7-ball in a clockwise direction.

3-ball Pool

As the name suggests, the 3-ball pool uses only three object balls to lift the fun factor of playing pool. The balls are arranged in the shape of another small triangle with the 1-ball positioned at the head of the triangle. 

10-ball Pool

The 10-ball pool uses a total number of ten object balls and a cue ball. The ball numbered 10 must be racked in the center of the triangle and a ball numbered 1 must be positioned at the head of the triangle. You may arrange the remaining balls randomly around the 10-ball. 

How to rack a 10-ball pool?

  1. Align the triangular rack along the foot string of the table with the head of the triangle at the foot spot.
  2. Place the apex ball, usually ball number 1, at the head of the triangle. Position the 10-ball at the center of the rack. This will be the second position in the third row among the four rows in a 10-ball pool.
  3. Arrange the remaining object balls around the 10-ball inside the triangular rack while keeping the rack tight.
  4. Remove the rack to leave the object balls placed on the pool table in the form of a triangle. 

Cut Throat Pool

This is another kind of pool that uses 15 object balls. The 1-ball is positioned at the head of the triangle while the balls numbered 6 and 11 must be positioned at the other two corners of the triangular rack. 

Straight Pool

The straight pool makes use of all the 15 object balls and a cue ball. The balls can be arranged randomly in the triangular rack. 

Rules to be followed

The pool is an internationally recognized game. Therefore, some rules need to be followed while playing any kind of pool. These rules have been listed by the World Pool Billiard Association. In an official game of pool, these rules must be strictly followed. However, while playing casual pool, some of these rules can be skipped in mutual agreement of the players. 

  1. The object balls must be positioned at the end of the pool table opposite the head spot. Ball number 1 is to be placed directly at the foot spot while the cue ball must be kept at the head spot of the pool table. 
  2. For a legal break shot, the player must either pocket one of the object balls except for the 8-ball or drive at least four object balls to touch the rail of the pool table. For a break to be legal, the cue ball must not be pocketed by the player. 
  3. The player who pockets any object ball first is entitled to keep shooting until all the balls of his set go into the pockets. If the player misses any shot or scratches, then it’s the turn of the opponent player to start shooting. 
  4. Some of the most common fouls in a pool game are:
  • When the player fails to pocket any of the object balls of his set.
  • When the player jumps the cue ball off the table.
  • When the player pockets any of the object balls from his opponent’s set of balls.
  • When the player hits the cue ball more than one time.
  • When the player shoots before his turn.
  • When the player pushes the cue ball instead of hitting it.  
  1. Once the player has pocketed all the object balls of his set, he must pocket the 8-ball. Before hitting the 8-ball, the player is required to call his shots by pointing out the pocket he will be aiming. 

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