The Rules of 9 Ball Pool (Nine Ball Pool) – EXPLAINED!

The Rules of 9 Ball Pool (Nine Ball Pool) – EXPLAINED!

Ninh explains the Rules of 9 Ball Pool
The object of the game is for you to win more games than your opponent. 9 Ball Pool (not to be confused with 8 ball
pool) is a game that’s usually played between two people, and to win a game, you must legally
hit the 9 ball into any pocket. To get to the 9 ball, you must use a wooden
cue to hit a white ball (known as a cue ball), into a numbered ball and for that ball to
go into any of the pockets on the table. This is known as ‘potting’ or ‘sinking’
the ball. The table is roughly 9ft by 5ft, and the object
balls are numbered 1 to 9. The game starts with a break.
This is where the first player hits the 1 ball to start the game.
For a break to be legal, at least 4 balls have to hit the rails of the table and the
cue ball must not go into any pocket. If you haven’t already guessed, you have
to try and sink the balls in numerical order to get the nine ball, and then you must sink
the 9 ball legally to win the game. If at any point you fail to pot the relevant
ball, it is the end of your turn and your opponent will be given the chance to aim for
the lowest numbered ball so that they can sink the 9 ball themselves.
So rather cruelly, if your opponent sinks the balls 1 through 8 and you come to the
table and sink the 9 ball – you win. In Snooker, if you pot in a different coloured
ball to the one required, it’s classed as a foul.
In 9 Ball Pool – it’s perfectly legal to hit the correct number ball and then for
different ball to go in. Take for example this shot.
Darren Appleton is required to hit the 4 ball. He hits the 4 ball first and the 9 ball goes
into a pocket. Because he hit the correct number ball first,
any other ball that goes into a pocket is a legal shot.
This example also shows you can win the game early by sinking the 9 ball after hitting
a correctly numbered ball first. Pretty cool, huh?
Wait a minute, so what can’t you do in 9 Ball Pool?
Well … You cannot touch any of the balls with anything
except your cue. You cannot sink the cue-ball, accidentally
or otherwise. You cannot hit an incorrectly numbered ball
out of turn. You cannot fail to hit the object ball.
You cannot hit any of the balls off the table. You cannot hit the cueball twice in one stroke.
And in ranking events: you must complete your shot within 30 seconds.
These infractions result in a scratch (or a foul), and your opponent will be awarded
the cue ball in his hand. He can then place the cue ball anywhere on
the table and continue with his shot. Competitive matches are usually played to
the best of 9, 11 or 17 games, and the player who wins 5, 6 or 9 games faster than their
opponent – wins. That’s basically the rules of 9 ball pool
in a nutshell, but there’s a few things you’ll need to understand before playing
or watching a game. For example:
Lag – To start any match, a lag is used to determine who breaks first.
Both players will hit a cue ball down the table to bounce off the end rail.
The person who can get the cueball closest to the front rail wins the first break.
Push Out – After the break, regardless of whether a ball goes into the pocket or not,
the player can opt to take a ‘push out’. This is where the player can play almost any
shot and no foul will be called against him. This is to eliminate an unlucky lie after
a break. Extension – As earlier stated, you have
only 30 seconds to play your shot. If you start running out of time, you are allowed
to take another 30 seconds so long as you inform the referee. This is known as an extension,
and you’re only allowed one per game. Golden Break – During a break, if you hit
the one ball, and the nine-ball goes into one of the pockets without fouling, you win
the game automatically in one shot. 9 Ball Pool is quickly becoming the more popular
variety of pool worldwide, and once you’ve played or watched a few games, the rules will
become clear. If you have found this video at all helpful,
please like, share and subscribe. It takes me ages to make one of these things
and good karma is very much appreciated. Be sure to follow me on Twitter also, but
in the meantime, enjoy 9 Ball Pool! Ninh Ly, @NinhLyUK,

Comments (100)

  1. Why not start with the rack instead of the break??

  2. Very good, but you didn't show us how to rack…

  3. Good video, nice & succinct.

  4. So a foul is only 1 shot?

  5. please do rotation pool

  6. 26 guys must've ran into a female pool shark!!????

  7. what happens when you pot the cue ball while as well as the 9 ball? and when on the 9 ball, do you lose if you pot the white ball?

  8. Dayum! You can take a lot more liberties in 9 ball pool.

  9. I saw this video in my suggestions, came to see if I really knew the rules and surprisingly, I do. 9 ball is so simple that you can learn the rules correctly by watching others play and having common sense. What a great game 9 ball is and pool in general

  10. Super job, thanks.

  11. Seriously, I have played pool (UK 15 ball) for years now, and this looks, well, easy!! Large pockets etc etc!! I REALLY need to get into this!!

  12. what if 9 ball is your object ball and you pocket the 9 ball and the cue ball in one shot?

  13. Now I finally know how to play that mode in 8 Ball Pool

  14. Been reading through a lot of the comments out of interest at peoples perception of the game. Made a couple of replies but I thought I would clear this one up here. With regards to pocketing the 9 ball then scratching, whether the 9 is the final object ball or not, the 9 ball is re-spotted on the footspot and the opponent has ball in hand.

  15. Does anyone else prefer 9 ball over 8 ball?

  16. 9 Ball is much more fun to play than 8 Ball.

  17. I also love how unlike 8 Ball you won't and can't accidentally lose if you pot the 9 ball accidentally or the cue ball goes in accidentally alongside it at the last shoot, instead, the 9 ball is replaced on the table.

  18. Wait so if anyone scratches u always can place the que ball anywhere? Doesn't have to be in the kitchen?

  19. Is slop legal in 9 ball, except on the 9 ball itself?

  20. I'm a newbie so forgive me, but this seems like such a strange game to me. You can sink 1 to 8, and then mess up on the last shot. Then your opponent sinks 9 and they win, and all my efforts were for naught. What's the point of that? Can someone explain to me?

  21. The cue doesn’t need to be made of wood.

  22. You forgot that after the cue ball contacts with the object ball, at least 1 ball (including the cue ball) must hit a rail or the shot is foul (unless a coloured ball is potted)

  23. I watched a video of Minnesota fats playing seven-ball pool, it seemed to have virtually identical rules to this, am I right?

  24. You forgot to mention that after contact between the white and whatever ball your shooting for a ball must hit a rail or it's a foul

  25. what if you hit the 1 ball on the break and more than just the 1 and the 9 ball is sunl do you still win?

  26. What if you pot 9 ball(last ball) and scratch ?

  27. What about the 3 foul rule?

  28. Does anyone know why some filapinas mark the table after a shot? Thank you

  29. I’m viewer 222204

  30. make one on Russian pool!

  31. I can't seem to find a ruling on pocketing the 9 Ball (last ball on table) but also scratching the shot. i know the 9 Ball gets spotted, however where can the opponent place the Cue Ball, behind the head string or anywhere on the table?

  32. Did anyone else come to this after watching poolhall junkies?

  33. Why you say its 9 x 5 when its 9 x 4.5 mts…

  34. What if the 9 ball was in when start to break

  35. What if you hit the 9 ball in without hitting the 1 ball in for the break?
    Do you lose?

  36. Can you do 10 ball?

  37. I tried to find this question in your comments and couldn't. If the relevant object ball is used in a combination to pocket the 9 ball do you win the game?

  38. If a numbered ball leaves the table, what do you do? I know it's a foul, but what happens to the ball that left the table? Is there a specific spot on the table where you're supposed to place it, or is that ball just out of the game?

    Looks like a lot of fun, gotta try that the next time I go to the bar with my friends to play pool.

  39. Another great video ??

  40. So to be perfectly clear, can you already hit the 9 ball after the break, to try and put it in?

  41. All the professional billiards matches I've watched on ESPN play 9-ball. The game also became the basis for a television game show here in the States called "Ballbreakers" (where four players combined 9-ball with the concept of casino gambling).

  42. The winner of lag does not get to break first….he gets to decide who breaks first. For beginners the might be advantageous to allow your opponent to break first.

  43. nine ball pool is just lame stupid .

  44. Very informative mate?

  45. Please do Russian Pyramid pool rules

  46. What happens if the 9 ball goes in and the cue ball too at the last shot?

  47. Golden Break is common among pool video games, and if one is achieved, it often rewards the player with large amounts of in-game money or instantly increase the player's rank

  48. wait… so if after the break ball number 1 is still on the table, I hit that first and then sink the 9-ball in the same shot I still win?
    That does sound like a load of ballsch if you ask me…

  49. parang gusto ko matuto nito ah.

  50. what if you get a golden break, but the cue ball goes in?

  51. I'm going to get myself a 9 ball rack just so I can go practice on my own. I never knew there was a nine ball game. I've been playing it with friends on Facebook. There are so many rules to remember but I'll just stick to the basics at the beginning. Going in numerical order. Sometimes I'm just very lucky when I play 8 Ball and I beat my boyfriend's half the time. LOL when I usually tell people that I'm not very good at playing 8 ball he laughs and says don't believe her. I'm just lucky I guess.
    Very good instructions. Thank you.

  52. Why 9 ball is rarely played on the 7 foot table?

  53. Nice video! I understand everything now

  54. First question, push out shots must be shot after breaking or at any time of the game? 2nd, while breaking you have to hit ball No.1 or any ball? Thank you.

  55. 9 ball pool has 9 balls, 8 ball pool has 15 balls

    that makes sense

  56. I like 9 ball and 8 ball pool

  57. Can’t wait to learn the rules of 9 boo poo!

  58. What if you have only the nine ball left. But when you hit the nine ball. The nine ball goes in, but you scratch. What happens, do you win or is the ball put back on the X.

  59. Great tutoiral, I just didn't know aboo=ut hitting the lowest ball on the table to the 9 to win m/

  60. Hello Ninh. Two things i am going to say in this cooment. No.1 did you know that the term "golden break" was started by a famous darts commentator. I have question for you. What is his name?

    I have a video idea: the rules of 10 ball pool?
    A bit of a tough video possibly to make. You don't have to i am not forcing you. Catch up with you later mate!

  61. no mention of the 3 foul rule

  62. So what's the point of balls 1 – 8 if only who pots the 9–Ball is important?

  63. Question — If I aim for the object ball, (let's say it's the 1 ball), and I hit the 1 ball, and the 1 ball then hits another ball into a pocket (say the 8 ball goes in), but the 1 ball does not sink, does it remain my turn? Basically, the question is, does it remain my turn if any ball sinks, so long as I make contact with the object ball first? Or MUST the object ball sink for it to remain my turn as shooter?

  64. This game is pointless unless you are an expert. For your average low skill player, most of the shots have no impact on the end result of the game and nothing is really at stake until the last couple balls are at play.

  65. 3:15 Almost any shot? What shot is not allowed in a push-out? How far does the cue ball have to travel for it to be a legal push-out? If a ball is potted in a push-out, does it then get spotted?


    Are object balls that are potted during a shot spotted if the cue ball scratches? Are they spotted only if they go in after the cue ball scratches (not before or at the same time)?

    What if one commits a different kind of foul (like touching a ball) during a shot where an object ball was potted? Do they get spotted (both the ball that got potted and the ball that got touched)? Does it make a difference if the ball was touched after or before the other ball got potted?

    What happens if you accidentally move a ball? Ball in hand for the opponent? Does the ball that got moved get spotted, or placed back where it was, or just left where it got moved to?

    If you scratch on the break, does it mean that you have to re-rack and let the opponent break, or is it possibly up to the opponent to decide? Does it mean that you lost that game?

    Does a ball have to make contact with a rail after the cue ball hits an object ball for it to be a legal shot (if a ball is not potted)?

    Can we think of anything else that wasn't in the video?

  67. sometimes i don't understand why player get ilegal break when it looks legal.

  68. Lol i been kicking peoples ass

  69. What happens if I pot the 9 ball illegally do I lose…… what if I get the 9 ball and then I get the cue in too do I lose

  70. What happens if you hit the color ball and a different one goes in, do you still continue shooting?

  71. Hey Ninh, I've found a billiard sport that you might be interested in doing a video for, It's called Carom or Carambole, like Pool and Snooker there are different variations of Carom, but the most popular type is 3 cushion Carom. Also the sport's main international federation is also part of the WCBS (World Confederation of Billiards Sports), who are trying to make billiards an Olympic sport

  72. Thanks for the great video. Just moved to an apartment that has a pool table. I’ve been practicing with eight ball. But I think this would actually be a more interesting and challenging way to play. I’ll try it out.

  73. With a push shot is it correct that your opponent can opt not to play the shot and there for handing it back to you

  74. What happens if you don’t get a legal break?

  75. Good video. Easy to understand and follow.

  76. I still prefer English Pool.

  77. Oh if the nine ball in the cue ball
    sink at the same time you lose

  78. FUCK 9 BALL great video tho

  79. Nice video Ninh Ly

  80. Thanks for the video! I’ve been watching some pool highlights, and everytime it gets to 9 ball I have no idea what’s going on ?

  81. Great job on explaining it!

  82. Five Rules of Pool (From the movie Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man)

    1. Always play with a cigarette hanging out of your mouth.
    2. Always know the table before you play.
    3. Don't make a bet if you can't pay the debt.
    4. Make sure you chalk that stick up real good before every shot.
    5. If you lose, stand up straight and tall

  83. After a push out, your opponent can either take the shot themself or make you take it.

  84. I won a game of this, my opponent fouled when it was down to the 9 ball.

  85. What happens if a ball jumps out of the 5 table… Is it reset on the table or is it thrown out of the game?

  86. You rock my friend

  87. Can I use the 8-ball pool set to play 9 ball?

  88. 9-Ball is the perfect alternative to calm down from 8-ball

  89. You explained hardest of the game rules in the easiest manner.

  90. How are the balls racked in 9 Ball. Are they placed in any paticular order.

  91. This is the only form of pool I've ever really enjoyed. Never heard of a push out though!

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