You may have played traditional games of billiards such as 8-ball or 9-ball. However, pool, like poker, is a game where there are many variations with different rules. You can quite easily find a game of pool where you have no idea what the rules are, but still the best game of pool you have ever played.
Pick a Color
In this game of pool, you must only play with solids, including the 8 ball. You can play one-on-one or a team against another team. The game begins with one team choosing a color for the other team to shoot into a pocket. If the other team succeeds, then they gain two points. If they fail, they lose one point and their turn ends. It is possible to have negative points. The position then switches. The winner of the game is the team with the most points at the end.
The game begins with only solids, 8 ball included. One team designates one of the six pockets for the other team. This is the only pocket in which a team can shoot. If the team makes it, three points are earned. If a team fails, one point is lost and their turn ends. The position then switches. The team with the most points at the end wins the game.
This game requires only 5 pool balls and the pockets to be covered. Of the 5 pool balls, one is the cue ball, one is the 8 ball, the other three can be any solid balls. The game begins with the cue ball in the center of the table and each of the other four balls at each corner. Then a team tries to hit one of the four balls. If a hit occurs, the team receives points corresponding to the ball that was hit. It is completely up to you to designate point values. For example, the 8 ball can be the most points or negative points while the other three balls are worth one point each. Teams take turn shooting and after a designated number of rounds, the game ends. The team with the most points wins.
This game is played with every ball, including both the 8 ball and the cue ball. It is set up like an ordinary 8 ball game, with the balls in a triangle and the cue ball on the opposite side of the table. However, the pockets are now labeled with point values. For example, you can have three pockets be worth positive values while three negative. If a player shoots a ball into a pocket, they get the corresponding point value. Of course shooting the 8 ball into any pocket at the wrong time results in immediate loss. You can make up your own point values and rules, like whoever has the most points or least points at the end wins.
Zachary Nguyen is an avid guest writer and editor for a year and a half since 2009. His work appears in three publications at his university, including the weekly newspaper "Argus." He is currently in his third year of pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in mathematics and economics. Nguyen attends Wesleyan University.