9 ball pool is the most played format of billiards and this game is used as the main variant in most of the billiards tournaments worldwide. 9 ball pool game is quite well-known for its fast-paced, trick shots and anticipatory gameplay that forces players to think far ahead, for multiple shots.
9 ball has its roots in the 1920s and originated from the USA. It was initially referred to as “the money game” because of pool enthusiasts who gambled on the results of the game. However, it has now become a staple type of tournament game among the pool players. It is highly likely that you have seen this game on a sports channel because of the huge popularity among the professionals. The gameplay also gives it an exciting flavor due to the combination shots that players attempt and it is a natural spectator sport. This is the best game to showcase one’s talents in trick shots and brilliant pool plays.
Online Pool games like 9 ball pool are generally more about positioning the balls, blocking the opponents and setting up shots, than the usual single-minded pocketing of the colored balls. We have the same set up of an 8 ball pool game, but here the focus of the game is the 9 Ball, instead of the 8 Ball and interestingly there are only 9 colored balls, numbered from 1 till 9. The players can play the game with the usual cue sticks and the white cue ball to hit the colored balls with. The table on which the game is played, is the same 6 pocket pool table, as used in 8 ball pool.
The colored balls are arranged in a diamond shape at the spot called the Foot spot, on the Foot string, an imaginary line on the table. The ball numbered 1, is placed at the front of the rack, with 9-ball at the rack’s center and 5-ball at the tail. The remaining balls can be placed randomly around these balls in the rack. It used to be the standard triangle rack that was used, but nowadays, the diamond rack is a signature element of a 9 ball game.
9 ball is not a “Call Shot” variety of pool game and the requirement here is to hit the balls from the lowest number on the table in ascending order. Players must always hit Ball 1 before Ball 2 and continue to hit them in order, into the pocket until the 9 ball is in the pocket. This is a rotation game with anyone who misses to pocket a ball or conducts a foul will have their turn skipped. So, if you are starting with the lowest-numbered ball on the table, say ball 1 and you pocket it, then the next target is 2, and then 3 and so forth. The basic requirement is that player must hit the lowest ball first with their cue ball. If the player touches any other ball, then it is a foul and the turn skips. The objective of the game is to get the 9 ball as quickly as possible. Whichever player pockets the 9 ball, wins. A player can also win by pocketing the 9 ball combining with the actual ball that was targeted. For example, if the nine ball is sitting in front of a pocket, and you hit the one ball into the nine, and the nine goes in, you win the game. You should not shoot the 9 ball directly until it is the very last ball on the table.
Even though there is a similarity to 8 Ball pool in its gameplay, 9 ball pool is considered to be a game of skilled pool players, whereas 8 Ball is more casual. In the 9 ball pool game, the players are forced to think multiple hits/shots ahead in order to position oneself in the best possible place to pocket the 9 ball. This covers the basics of nine ball that any pool enthusiast should know about. More on the rules of 9 Ball pool and the fouls that can be made, in other articles.
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