One Ball One Pocket

NH Steve

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One Ball One Pocket
An abbreviated form of One Pocket, beginning with just one object ball on the table.

The Game:
Begin with one ball frozen to the center of the foot rail, B-I-H from the kitchen. Breaker must open with a defensive shot. If the opening break leaves the object ball within one diamond of the breaker's own pocket, the opponent has the option of accepting the balls as they lie and continuing play, or calling for a re-break. Standard One Pocket rules apply thereafter.

Continuing Play:
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 the additional ball/s for the win. The first player to score game ball wins, as long as any applicable scratch penalties have been paid.

Foul Limit Options:
“Sudden Death” One Ball One Pocket:
Played the same as above, except any scratch or foul is an immediate loss of game. There is no penalty for pocketing the object ball in a neutral pocket; it simply spots on the foot spot and play continues.

Needing 3 is loss of game: To avoid longer games due to back 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, 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.
 
Last edited:

darmoose

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Yes, you are talking about limiting fouls -- to a maximum number of balls on the table per player. Way up top in my first post I included setting an optional limit. But the feedback in the this thread indicated the most popular foul limiting option was "Sudden Death" -- zero extra balls allowed. Here it is below, where it would limit each player to a maximum of two balls at any one time on the table. If they scratch or foul when they already have two on the table, that would be loss of game. That is a little more forgiving than Sudden Death, and you add in some of the nice complexities of strategy that come with 2-3 balls on the table.

If there is support for this option, I can put it back in, but as an additional option, not to replace Sudden Death, because clearly Sudden Death has a camp that is going to play that way no matter what rules we adopt :)

This is what it said:
I like this limitation because this game is not supposed to be a game of unlimited balls on the table with no end in sight........there is nothing wrong with putting some kind of limit on it.......and moving on. Personally, I would allow only one foul per player so that you would never have more than 3 balls on the table, that is enough.......... :)
 

NH Steve

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T
I like this limitation because this game is not supposed to be a game of unlimited balls on the table with no end in sight........there is nothing wrong with putting some kind of limit on it.......and moving on. Personally, I would allow only one foul per player so that you would never have more than 3 balls on the table, that is enough.......... :)
That’s pretty much what that second option says — only one unpaid foul that is — although you could have one and then re-pay it and then I have another one later 😀
 

HowardK

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I like the idea of OBOP especially if it is used for sudden death. An example would be race to 2 and each person has one game each. OBOP would be used as the deciding factor. Hopefully, it would speed up the tournament and still provide enough excitement.
 

jokerley

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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.
Yes it is played that way here ...similar to snooker where you spot up after shot and shoot ball in hole again. These guys going to 2 play position on the spot shot so it is 2 and done !
 

BrookelandBilly

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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.
Are there any videos online of “one ball one pocket” matches?
 

NH Steve

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Are there any videos online of “one ball one pocket” matches?
Not that I know of, but I did bump a thread recently that has MANY links to end game situations that have come down to either an extended battle over the last ball or the last 2-3 in some cases. Here it is:

 

baby huey

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What is starting the game with a defensive shot? The game I have played is that both the object ball and the cueball are frozen on the end rails in the middle of the table opposite each other and you are supposed to call your pocket. If you make a ball in your pocket on the opening shot......you WIN that game. Good luck with that.
 

BrookelandBilly

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Not that I know of, but I did bump a thread recently that has MANY links to end game situations that have come down to either an extended battle over the last ball or the last 2-3 in some cases. Here it is:

Thanks Steve. I’ve saved this page to Favorites. The end game opened my eyes to safeties and banks I never considered before.
 

BLT

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There is a match on you tube spanish danny vs max, from 2018 billiards expo. They were playing 5 ahead
 

BLT

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Sorry Steve I was at work not sure how to load it if your on you tube and put in one ball one pocket Spanish Danny in search it should come up
 

BLT

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It doesn't have much commentary but the little that was said they were playing the rules you spot a ball if you foul and then you go to two and the opponent still goes to one. At end of table they were also moving a coin that one player was following to track which pocket they were shooting at. End of video Orcollo was barking at the winner.
 

BLT

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Really interesting watching these end game scenarios seems a real common move is leaving the ball in front of one of the front pockets. This cuts off a lot of banking scenarios for your opponent.
 

sorackem

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Really interesting watching these end game scenarios seems a real common move is leaving the ball in front of one of the front pockets. This cuts off a lot of banking scenarios for your opponent.
Seemed to me they were doing that and careful with their speed and guarding against leaving a shot if the ball went in and had to be spotted.

Thanks for posting, Steve. I'll be watching it again tonight..
 

BLT

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At about 54 minutes in this match there is some good example of one ball moving.
 

Tobermory

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Every month there is $30 entry open one pocket tournament at California Billiards in Fremont. Usually there are at least 20-30 players, some of the more experienced one holers in the Bay Area. Race to 2 on both sides. If you keep winning, it is a looooong day. This month the final match didn't begin until about 1:30, but at least it was mercifully short. Bryce Avila made it though the losing side and met me sitting pretty in the hot seat. He went for broke and I managed to snap it off, a win for the old guys everywhere! Earlier, when we had a long wait for next matches, Bryce and I stayed loose playing one ball one pocket for an hour and half for $20 a game. We play even, though everyone would agree that he has the edge, probably a big edge, and this time he ended up ahead a few games. Robert Collier has been recording matches for a few months now, and he turned on the camera and caught about an hour of us going at it. We play the break with the cue ball on the center of the rail, not ball in hand behind the line. The breaker has to call their pocket before breaking, and there are no other rules regarding the break because they aren't needed (if the breaker is foolish enough to try an offensive shot, they will sell out more often than not). Every foul requires a new ball to spot up on the spot and the fouler now has to make 2 (or 3 or 4 or...?). Don't bother complaining that we shouldn't call it "one ball one pocket" if we do that...it is a much better game with the one ball penalty just like in regular one pocket. The game is called "one ball one pocket" because it starts off with one ball. Period. Robert has posted dozens of tournament and action matches, mostly one pocket...not many pros, some rank amateurs, but mostly decent games for your viewing pleasure. I change the settings to double time since there are no commentaries.

!?! Bryce Avila vs Mike The Lawyer...One Ball.. One Pocket Race to 7 - YouTube
 
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