General Pool Q&A; No. 1

Free Ball Rule in Pool Games

Q:

My friends and I are Australians with little experience in playing pool and snooker. The other night we were playing pool games with a British friend of ours who wanted to benefit from a Free Ball rules, which we never heard about it before. The owner of the pool hall where we played stressed us to abide with the house rules, which clearly do not list any free ball rule, and so we did. Our British friend still insists that such a rule exists.

I've been trying to find any reference to the free ball rule in Australian pool or British pool, but I could find any. I also find some references that say the rule is questionable in snooker. Can you clarify for us whether such a rule can be applied in pool games or is it very specific to snooker or any other game?

Regards,

Alvin

A:

Hi Alvin,

The free ball rule is very specific to snooker. After a foul, the incoming player can declare "Free Ball", and by that nominate any ball (whether red or colored) as "on ball" and attempt to pot it.

Note that snooker and 8-ball are completely different played with special equipment and by separated set of rules. The only variation of Australian 8-ball rules I'm aware of, is the one that requires the losing players to drop their pants…

Best Regards,

John

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