One Ball One Pocket

NH Steve

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This form of our game seems to be catching a lot of interest lately. I thought I would post the rules that I wrote some time back (with minor tweaks). At Buffalo's recently, they played by rules 1-2-3 but not the optional limit on owed balls.

One Ball One Pocket


  1. The break: Start with just one ball frozen to the center of the foot cushion. The breaker chooses their pocket and ‘breaks’ from behind the head string. Standard legal shot rules and foul penalties apply on the break. The player to shoot first cannot shoot at their own pocket; they must play a safety.
  2. Rules of play: All regular One Pocket rules apply. In the event of a scratch or foul, the offending player spots up an additional ball, and play continues with the offending player now needing two balls for the win.
  3. Winning the game: The first player to score game ball wins (as long as any applicable scratch penalties have been paid).

Optional:
4. Owing 3 is loss of game: To avoid longer games due to extra scratches, in the event that a player already needs two balls (due to an earlier scratch or foul not yet repaid), any additional scratch or foul that would normally result in that player needing three balls to win, instead results in loss of game. If this rule is in place, the scratches or fouls do not need to be “in a row”, so no warning is necessary.​


Possible way to handicap:

Start the same way, except add one or more additional balls frozen to the head rail (the opposite end of the table), so the stronger player actually has to score 2 (or more) to win, depending on the handicap level. The weaker player only needs one.
 
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darmoose

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In Bal-ti-more the way we play to make the game move fast is this. Any foul is loss of game......none of this multiple balls on the table... :)
 

cincy_kid

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I have still never played this but just out of curiosity how do you enforce rule #1? What if I shoot a 4 railer and get it to hang in my pocket and I say "that was my safety, I just hit it bad"...or is it more of a bad sportsmanship type thing? Also if it's frozen to the foot rail and I shoot straight at it and double kiss the CB back towards the head rail but it doesn't make it there, then that would be a foul from the break due to no rail?

I probably have some other curious questions but just those for now... :)
 

darmoose

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I have still never played this but just out of curiosity how do you enforce rule #1? What if I shoot a 4 railer and get it to hang in my pocket and I say "that was my safety, I just hit it bad"...or is it more of a bad sportsmanship type thing? Also if it's frozen to the foot rail and I shoot straight at it and double kiss the CB back towards the head rail but it doesn't make it there, then that would be a foul from the break due to no rail?

I probably have some other curious questions but just those for now... :)
there has to be some honor amongst thieves..........
 

NH Steve

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I have still never played this but just out of curiosity how do you enforce rule #1? What if I shoot a 4 railer and get it to hang in my pocket and I say "that was my safety, I just hit it bad"...or is it more of a bad sportsmanship type thing? Also if it's frozen to the foot rail and I shoot straight at it and double kiss the CB back towards the head rail but it doesn't make it there, then that would be a foul from the break due to no rail?

I probably have some other curious questions but just those for now... :)
I believe you would be asked to break again and play safe this time lol
 

Bob Jewett

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In Bal-ti-more the way we play to make the game move fast is this. Any foul is loss of game......none of this multiple balls on the table... :)
There's nothing said about multiple balls. If you owe two and pocket the single ball on the table, it spots up, you owe one, and you shoot the spotted ball. If you make it, you are at "0" and the ball spots up. If you shoot it off the spot and make it for the second time off the spot your score is +1 and you win the game. Or at least that's what the rules seem to say.

I like the "any foul is loss of game" rule. And the "pocketing any ball ends the game" rule, so side pockets are death. That would teach you to know where the pockets are for safes and multi-rail banks.
 

NH Steve

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A simple addition is that the break must leave the OB above the side pockets.
They were all breaking to land near the side pocket, and many did not go that far. I don’t think you’d have to require passing the side pocket. The thing about landing low is you often sell out a cross corner if you land too low! If you had to you could specify a minimum distance to prevent somebody from gaming the rules. But it seems like “must be a defensive shot” wasn’t an issue there at Buffalo’s.

I’m curious if creative people start playing this game variation if they come up with other “breaks” that might actually be more effective??
 

NH Steve

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There's nothing said about multiple balls. If you owe two and pocket the single ball on the table, it spots up, you owe one, and you shoot the spotted ball. If you make it, you are at "0" and the ball spots up. If you shoot it off the spot and make it for the second time off the spot your score is +1 and you win the game. Or at least that's what the rules seem to say.

I like the "any foul is loss of game" rule. And the "pocketing any ball ends the game" rule, so side pockets are death. That would teach you to know where the pockets are for safes and multi-rail banks.
I don’t like the idea of conflicting with standard One Pocket rules 😁😁
 

HowardK

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I've heard that the cue ball is also frozen in the center of the rail on the break. It's a disadvantage to break.
 

Dennis "Whitey" Young

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I think as this thread progresses we are going to find different variables arises in how this game is played, depending on who showed them the game or the way the game is played in their room or area of the country.
Bob, mentioned that is how it is played in the rules. I would assume the rules are unofficial and pretty much follow the above sentence, as very similar to 5 rack ghost.

If the goal of this thread is to establish a standard game rule, plus possibly option play, it then will be very interesting. We already have any scratch and/or any pocketing a ball in a neutral pocket is a loss. It seems neither member knew of the other rule, so we going to get some variables.

In many ways, after the break, it reminds me of golf except for there is only one ball on the table. Bob states, to only play with one ball at all times vs. fouling and spotting up another ball by pulling it out from the table. Spotting more balls would create an end game OP scenario, which is a disadvantage to the player that has to score more balls, but fair for they have scratched.
Or, versus this:
Playing with one ball: It seems pretty easy to win the game once you get a shot even if you owe balls, just play shape for the spotted ball, because you get to keep shooting. So, taking a previous intentional or just getting a foul, does not have much impact.
Or,
if you owe a ball and score, you then do not get to shoot again, for this now resets the game on equal terms to continue forward, and helps thwart making fouls.

Just food for thought, I do not know how this game is generally played! Whitey
 
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darmoose

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The best move on the break is to keep the OB at or just below the side pocket so as to thwart the two railer to your opponents hole and to make it precarious for him to take a chance with the CB so near the side hole.

If you play the rule that the OB in any other hole you lose can get very tedious if one gets the OB near any corner or side hole not in play. I don't care for that rule, myself.

It is not considered a disadvantage to break in my room..... ;)....but we don't play the CB frozen to the head rail, just in the kitchen.
 

NH Steve

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The best move on the break is to keep the OB at or just below the side pocket so as to thwart the two railer to your opponents hole and to make it precarious for him to take a chance with the CB so near the side hole.

If you play the rule that the OB in any other hole you lose can get very tedious if one gets the OB near any corner or side hole not in play. I don't care for that rule, myself.

It is not considered a disadvantage to break in my room..... ;)....but we don't play the CB frozen to the head rail, just in the kitchen.
BIH in the kitchen was the way they played at Buffalo's, and every player I saw basically broke the same way: banking the OB to the vicinity of the side pocket, exactly for the reasons you state darmoose.
 

NH Steve

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BTW, Weenie Beenie talked about playing game, way back in the old days. He said they started with the OB a few inches out of the opponent's pocket, which pretty much necessitated a defensive shot. Bottom line is -- a defensive shot to start with no matter what.
 

darmoose

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BTW, Weenie Beenie talked about playing game, way back in the old days. He said they started with the OB a few inches out of the opponent's pocket, which pretty much necessitated a defensive shot. Bottom line is -- a defensive shot to start with no matter what.
I have played it some and watched many more times and have never seen a problem with anyone not starting with a defensive shot.....
 

Bob Jewett

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They were all breaking to land near the side pocket, and many did not go that far. I don’t think you’d have to require passing the side pocket. The thing about landing low is you often sell out a cross corner if you land too low! If you had to you could specify a minimum distance to prevent somebody from gaming the rules. But it seems like “must be a defensive shot” wasn’t an issue there at Buffalo’s.

I’m curious if creative people start playing this game variation if they come up with other “breaks” that might actually be more effective??
I think it is better to have a clear, specific rule. How about "must be left above the foot spot"?
 

NH Steve

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I think it is better to have a clear, specific rule. How about "must be left above the foot spot"?
The opponent might actually like it if it’s below the foot spot — because of an available bank, for example. If you had to specify, you could say that, but maybe give the incoming player the option of calling for a re-break, instead of just making it automatic.
 

darmoose

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I think it is better to have a clear, specific rule. How about "must be left above the foot spot"?
If we are gonna insist on a rule, and a player can do whatever he wants as long as he plays by the rule, you are not gonna stop a player from trying the 4 railer with that rule.

I suggest if we must have a rule, the breaker must break to his opponents side of the table at any speed he wants. Then the breaker is truly at a disadvantage.

Better we trust the breaker to break safe, and not play with anyone who doesn't understand. When you put in a rule you must have a penalty. I suppose the opponent could just call for a rebreak.
 

lll

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you could have a rule you cant cut the ball towards your pocket or try the 4 railer
but i dont think new rules are needed
 
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