Newest Review: ... green in colour for English 8 ball with dimensions of H 41cm W 115cm L 192cm, this is a typical 6 foot table, although the game is so... more
I'm just pooling around
Pool, 8 ball
Member Name: B_O_M_B_A_
Pool, 8 ball
Advantages: easily accesable, great for socialising
Disadvantages: Can get expensive in some pubs
After the first year of university me and my friends were looking for something to do in the evenings that didn't cost as much to do, and wouldn't leave us in the same sorry state we always woke up the next morning in. Yes I agree, drinking can be a lot of fun, but did we really need to be getting drunk every night, spending money that wasn't really ours (thank you loan company, although they have recently put the interest up to 4.84% so I'm only paying off £80 per year). One day whilst sitting in the cafeteria we decided to see if there was a sport that we all liked doing that we could perhaps do in our free time, weekends or evenings. We soon decided that anything physical was out of the question, we wanted a sport where we could converse and perhaps have a little cheeky pint while we were playing it.
A sudden spark of genius hit my friend Michael, he suggested we play pool. We all showed our signs of agreement with simple nods, although my friend Liam did yell a bit which scared us all slightly. We did a bit of research and decided we would play at Riley's. Riley's are a nationwide snooker and pool club who also have a bar and serve bar food, ideal.
We had all played pool before and were all actually pretty good, I had learnt from my dad and uncle whilst down by the coast where we went pretty much every week. We paid 4 pounds to become members for a year, a bargain considering a guest pays £3 every time, and had the choice of paying by the hour or unlimited at certain times, usually after 6pm, it was around £5 a table per hour and £12 for unlimited.
The game is played on a pool table, usually green in colour for English 8 ball with dimensions of H 41cm W 115cm L 192cm, this is a typical 6 foot table, although the game is sometimes played on a 7ft table. There are 6 pockets that the balls are potted into, one in each corner of the table, and two on either side half way up the table. The table also has a line around a foot from the top of the table with a small D coming off of it mid way along the width of the table. There is also a spot at the bottom of the table which is where the black is placed (the black is placed amongst the coloured balls ready for the break).
Each player will have a cue which will be hand picked by themselves, so there is no specific size. The end of the cue will be chalked in order to provide better grip on the ball when the shot is played.
14 coloured balls are needed, 7 of one colour and 7 of another which are the individual players balls they must pot. There will also be a black ball which needs to be potted after the 7 coloured balls in order for the player to win the game. The balls are potted by the use of the white ball, the white is usually slightly larger and heavier than the other balls so if it is potted the table can separate it from the coloured balls and will release it for another shot rather than holding it until a new game is played.
The Game -
The nature of pool means that it can be played pretty much anywhere, the space needed is around 5m by 4m, this allows for the table and space for the player to move around it when playing a shot.
Pool is predominantly a two person game, although it can be played in doubles. The idea of the game is for each player to pot their own coloured balls with the use of the white ball, after which they can pot the black ball to win the game. The coloured balls are usually red and yellow and combined with the black form a triangle which is broken at the start of the game.
In order to choose who breaks the participants often each place the white ball on the line near the top of the table, they can shoot the ball up the table off the top cushion, it is the player who can place the ball closest to the line that will break. The player who breaks must place the white behind the line and shoot the ball up and hit the triangle, the break is deemed 'legal' if at least 4 balls hit a cushion, if a ball is potted it is a 'fair break'. If the player pots a red ball, they are the reds, if they pot a yellow they are then the yellows, if they pot both they can then choose what they are. If however they pot the black straight off the break they automatically win the game, I've never actually done this myself but I have witnessed it, the idea is to hit slightly to the right of the top ball, this apparently causes the black to go off into the top pocket, I've yet to do it.
If a player pots a ball it is their go to shoot again, they continue until they either don't pot a ball or cause a foul. The following are all fouls within pool:
- If you shoot the white and it doesn't contact and other ball
- If the white hits a coloured ball that isn't yours or the black before you pot it
- If you pot the white
- If you pot a coloured ball that isn't yours
- If you handle a ball
- If you pot the black (You automatically lose the game)
- If you pot the black legally but the white goes in (lose game automatically)
If a player commits any of these fouls the other player gets two shots, unless of course they commit a foul during their go in which case you get two shots. The only time you only get one shot from a foul is if you are playing to pot the black, although this rule is played differently all over, some people still allow two shots on the black.
If the white is potted by accident the other player must play the shot from behind the line at the top of the table, and also shoot down the table, usually making sure the white ends up on the other side of the line. For those who play Pool casually and do not have a lot of skill it can be luck as t whether or not you win, ball placement isn't so important, whilst smashing the balls and hoping they go in is. Professional players can place the balls where they want them by using backward and forward spin on the white which will force it to land in a specific area ready to play the nest shot. I can not do this very well myself, I have kind of got the general idea but to place every shot it very difficult.
The game is very fun to play and is great for socializing, you don't have to concentrate very much and it's great to play with a beer and some curly fries covered in cheese on the side. The game can be played in pretty much any pub although the price per game will vary from around 50p to £1.50, therefore if you are serious about playing I suggest joining somewhere like Riley's. You don't have to be fit to play it and it wont get you fit which may put some off, but for a laugh it is great fun and anyone can pick up a cue and play.
Fitness factor - 3/10
Fun factor - 9/10
Social-ability - 9/10
Cost - 7/10
Summary: Pick up a cue and hit some balls!