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How to Play Cutthroat Pool

How to Play Cutthroat Pool?

There are so many different games that you can play on your billiard table. The most popular games you can play are 8 Ball and 9 Ball. These games, however, can only be played with an even number of people – either two or four. Cutthroat is a game that is great for players of all skill levels and is usually played with either three or five players and is played head-to-head, making it a significant competitive game among friends. 

Objective of Cutthroat Pool

The objective of this Cutthroat Pool game is to be the last player with their assigned balls on the table. The Cutthroat Pool game is played using the standard 1-15 balls, and the cue ball is divided evenly amongst the players. Players then take turns shooting at their opponent’s balls, continuing their shot if they sink in a pocket.

How to Play Cutthroat Pool?

1.   The first step is to assign groups. For games with three players, grouping is 1-5, 6-10, and 11-15. For games with five players, grouping is as follows: 1-3, 4-6, 7-9, 10-12, and 13-15. There are multiple ways in which players can assign groups. One is that players can decide before the game starts. Another common choice is to have players choose groups as they sink a ball. For instance, if the player sinks a ball, they can claim a group. The next player to sink a ball would claim the next group, and the final player would be stuck with the final group for games with three players.

2.  The next step is to break. For a break to be considered legal, the player breaking must drive at least four of the balls to the rail. If this does not happen, the next player can either play the table as it is or call for a re-rack and re-break.

3.  Players then take turns in taking shots. For players to complete a legal shot, they must first hit an opponent’s ball before hitting one of their own, and the object ball or the cue ball must make contact with the rail. If either of these does not occur, the shot is considered illegal, that player receives a foul, and their turn is over. If a player sinks one of their opponent’s balls, their turn continues until they either foul or fail to sink an opponent’s ball.

4.  Play continues until only one player with any of their balls is still on the table. 




Additional Cutthroat Pool Rules

1.  If a player commits a foul, one of their opponent’s pocketed balls is placed back on the table. This means that a player with all of their balls pocketed can get back into the game if a player fouls. If there is no opponent with a ball pocketed, play goes to the next player

2.  Fouls also occur if a player jumps an opponent’s ball off the table. That ball is spotted back on the table, and that player receives a foul.

3.  If a player scratches by pocketing the cue ball or jumping off the table, the next player receives the cue ball in hand and can place it anywhere behind the head string. 

This game is a great way to play with friends when you have an uneven number of players and is excellent for players with varying skill levels. If you want to make the game even more competitive when playing with advanced players, you can agree to call your shots, meaning that each player must name the object ball they are aiming for and the pocket in which they are aiming.

For help with any terminology used within this article for how to play Cutthroat Pool, please refer to our article 8 Ball – How to Play. Please keep reading and sharing our posts for more tips and tricks on shuffleboard games!


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