3 Ball Pool Game Rules & Tournament Instructions
Three Ball Pool is the Game
Great for Parties and Get-togethers.
Well suited for Club and Bar Tournaments and an Easy Teaching Game.
3-ball is played using a point scoring system
to determine the winner. The object of the game is to
break and pocket three object balls (in no particular order) in the least
amount of shots committing the
least amount of fouls.
Balls Used: Three standard
(2¼“) pool object balls and the cue ball
3 Ball Rack (used to align the three object balls)
Ball Rack shown with standard 2¼" pool balls.
Picture shows the added clearance or "Finger Space".
The game begins by placing any
three object balls into the 3 Ball Rack. Position the rack
(as you would for 8-ball or 9-ball pool) so that the lead object ball rests on
the foot spot of the pool table. With the three balls pressed
forward and touching each other, simply slide the 3 Ball Rack forward and lift
The first player in the group positions the cue ball anywhere behind the head
string of the pool table
(known as the kitchen) for the break. That player breaks and continues to
shoot until all three object
balls are pocketed. The number of shots that player took to pocket all three
(including FOUL points as explained below) is that players score for their
A new rack of three object balls is positioned for the next player in the
group and play continues in the
same manner. At the end of all innings, when each player in the group has
played out their individual
rack of three object balls, the player with the lowest score is the winner.
It is not necessary to call pockets,
balls, combination or bank shots.
The cue ball must cross the head string to count as a legal break.
No balls need to contact a rail on the table to constitute a legal shot or
One Tie - All Tie
In the event of a tie, where any two
players have the same score, another inning for the entire group
shall be played to determine a winner. The group may also allow only tied
players to repeat innings
to determine a winner. The group however must agree to this rule change
before play begins.
With or without any or all object balls hit / pocketed counts as one (1)
point. If the object balls
are missed during a legal break, the cue ball is played from the spot where it
stops moving. It is not
reset behind the head string for another break attempt.
Each shot taken after the break counts as one (1) point.
A foul of any kind counts as an
additional point added to the players score.
The following are examples of common fouls.
Pocketing the cue ball or knocking it off the pool table.
Example: A player breaks and pockets all three object balls but knocks the cue
ball off the table.
The score is two (2) points. One point for the shot and one point for the
Resetting the Cue
ball: If the cue ball is pocketed or
knocked off the pool table and needs to be reset,
it is placed anywhere behind the head string and play continues.
On the cue ball with the cue stick. One point for the shot and one point for
Moving A Ball: By hand or with the
butt of the cue stick. One point for the shot and one point for the foul.
Knocking an Object Ball Off the Pool Table:
The player does not receive a foul point for knocking
an object ball off the pool table, as it will require at least one more shot
to finish their rack once the object ball is reset on the table.
Object Ball: The object ball is
returned to the table and placed on the foot spot or directly behind it if
there is another object ball resting on that spot. If more than one object
ball is to be reset, they are to be lined up with the first ball on the foot
spot and the remaining balls placed directly behind it.
The cue ball is played from the spot where it has stopped moving.
Tournament - League Play
Innings – Each player will shoot three
(3) innings (also known as a "Round").
A player’s combined score from each inning played is their Total Round Score.
A 3-ball pool tournament
can consist of one (1) round of three (3) innings per player.
It can also be spread out over many rounds and many weeks of play.
The tournament winner is
the player with the lowest Total Round Score at the end of the tournament.
Order of Play
– (for all innings) shall be in order of sign-up. This makes score keeping
playing 3-ball, different players will "rack" the
three object balls at the start of
another players turn. Usually, the last player racking for the next.
– To conserve time allowing everyone to play,
five shots per inning is the limit.
A player that does not pocket the three object balls in five (5) shots shall
receive a five (5) as their
score for that inning.
– In the event of a tournament tie, those players with a tie score shall play
Tie Breaker round (of three (3) innings) to determine the winner. As this is
a process of elimination,
only players with tied scores will continue on with Tie Breaker rounds until
one player wins the
tournament with the lowest score at the end of a round.
Players pay a
predetermined "Ante" prior to the start of the game. This will be the "Prize
for the game winner. One (1) round consisting of one (1) inning per player is
played. The player with
the lowest score at the end of the round is the game winner.
Tie All Tie – In the event of a tie,
where any two players have the same score, another round for
the entire group shall be played to determine a winner. Players will pay the
predetermined "Ante" at the beginning of each additional round. The "Prize
Pot" continues to grow until the player with the lowest
score at the end of a round wins it.
It's All In The Rack
Whether playing for
or just getting together with friends, If you're going
to play 3-ball pool, insist on using the 3 Ball Rack and keep the game fair
3-Ball Game Instructions
3 Ball Pool / Three Ball Billiards -
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