Cowboy Rules

Type of Pool Game
Balls Used
The Rack
Object of Cowboy Pool Game
Opening Break
Rules of Play
Illegally Pocketed Balls
Penalty for Fouls


Cowboy is another game that combines carom and pocket billiards skill, and employs a very unusual set of rules. Certainly a change of pace game; how many games have you played in which the cue ball must be pocketed on a carom of the 1 ball on the last shot??!


Any number.


Object balls 1,3 and 5, plus the cue ball.


No triangle needed; the 1 ball is placed on the head spot, the 3 ball on the foot spot, and the 5 ball on the center spot.


To score 101 points prior to opponent(s).


The first ninety points exactly may be scored by any of these means on legal scoring strokes: pocketing any of the object balls: points equal to the balls' numbers; and/or carom of the cue ball off two of the object balls: one point; and/or carom of the cue ball off the three object balls: two points. Points 91 through 100 (exactly) must, and may only, be scored by execution of carom shots #2 and #3 above.

Point 101 (winning point) must be scored by caroming the cue ball off the 1 ball into a called pocket without the cue ball contacting any other object ball. Should a player accomplish more than one scoring possibility permitted by these rules, he scores for each; thus a single shot can result in a total of 11 points scored.


No "break shot" as such. Beginning with cue ball in hand behind the head string, starting player must cause the cue ball to contact the 3 ball first. If starting player fails to do so, incoming player has the choice of (1) requiring starting player to repeat the opening shot, or (2) executing the opening shot himself.


A legally executed shot, conforming to the requirements of "Scoring", entitles the shooter to continue at the table until he fails to legally execute and score on a shot. On all shots, player must cause the cue ball to contact an object ball, and then the cue ball or object ball must contact a cushion. Failure to do so is a foul.

At the completion of each shot, any pocketed object balls are spotted on their same positions as at the start of the game. If the appropriate position is occupied, the ball(s) in question remain off the table until the correct position is vacant after a shot. If, however, the 1 ball would be held out as a player with exactly 100 points is to shoot, the balls are all placed as at the start of the game, and the player shoots with cue ball in hand behind the head string.

When a player scores his 90th point, the shot must score the number of points exactly needed to reach 90; if the shot producing the 90th point also scores a point(s) in excess of 90 for the player, the shot is a foul. When a player is playing for points 91 through 100 (which must all be scored on caroms solely), it is a foul to pocket an object ball on a shot. When a player is playing for his 101st point, it is a foul if the cue ball fails to contact the 1 ball, or if the cue ball contacts any other object ball. When a player pockets the cue ball on an otherwise legal shot, and according to the special requirements given in "Scoring" for counting the 101st point, pocketing the cue ball on such a shot on the 101st point is not a foul. Player loses the game if he fouls in each of three consecutive plays at the table.


All spotted per the provisions of "Rules of Play" #3 (above), with no penalty, except in the special cases covered by "Rules of Play" #4 #5.


All spotted; no penalty.


Incoming player has cue ball in hand behind the head string.


No point deduction, but any points scored on previous shots of the inning not scored, and player's inning ends. After fouls other than cue ball jump or scratch, incoming player accepts the cue ball in position.

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