What To Know When Playing Pool At A Bar

You are out on the town and ready to play your favorite game! But wait, there are some things you should know about playing pool at a bar versus in familiar settings.

Pool Hall Billiards

1. The Rules

There are different rules for each bar and each person.  Make sure to get familiar with the bar rules where you are playing.  If you are playing with a group in a bar setting, establish what rules everyone plays by so there is no confusion.  The basic rules for 8 and 9-ball always apply, but there can be slight differences in the way customers at a bar play or the local house rules.  Remember, sometimes there are people new to that bar, area, state etc., so communication is key.  Players may even bring their own balls, rack or cue stick.   Game tips from other players during the game is prohibited.


2. Racking

Unlike in other settings, when racking in a bar pool game, there is no rule regarding the way the solids and stripes are placed, only that you have the 8-ball in the middle.  For a tight and consistent rack every time, check out our Delta-13 Elite.


3. Open Table

The table is considered open even if you make a ball in on the break shot.  The shooter can select either solids or stripes on their next shot. Combination shots can be hit on all balls, excluding the 8-ball, until the first ball is made.


4. Your Color Touched First

In order for it to be a legal shot, the cue ball must always hit your color ball first before your opponents’.


5. Call the Exact Shot

In bar pool, make sure to ALWAYS call your shot because:

1. It may not count if you don’t

2. Your opponent can take your turn if you don’t i.e. you knock their ball in with yours


6. The Safety Shot

Safety shots are legal shots that allow you to pocket a ball from your own group without a turn after—many situations deem this technique helpful.  Since many bars do not allow safety shots, this is something that must be discussed before the start of your game.  If on a small chance they do, the shooter must call “safety” before their shot.


7. Footing

At least one foot must be on the ground at all times during your shots. You cannot sit on the table to make a difficult shot.


8. Pool Table Touching

Do not touch the pool table for any reason while your opponent is shooting.


9. Scratch

After a scratch, the cue ball is placed at the head of the table behind the second diamond or head string.  If other balls are made during the scratch, those stay in the pockets.


10. 8-Ball Remains Until Last Shot

If the 8-ball goes in on the break, you have won the game!  It is illegal to take any shot that hits the 8-ball first.  Do not touch the 8-ball until the very last shot and it must be a clean shot into the pocket.  A scratch on the 8-ball in the final shot is an automatic loss.


11. Winner’s Rules

Note: Sometimes after a player wins, they can dictate new rules on the following game.  This does not happen often, but can, so be prepared.


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