We have yet to establish a Pool Master, but here are our modified rules to Bottle Pool and a variation that we call Pick Pocket.


BOTTLE POOL

Requirements

For Bottle Pool, two object balls, numbered one and two, the cue ball and a kelly bottle* are required.

Object

The primary object of the game is to be the first player to score exactly 31 points. Additionally, if a carom of the cue ball from an object ball flips the kelly bottle upright (onto its base), the player accomplishing this feat automatically wins the game.

Scoring

Points are scored in the following ways:

Any or all of these can be accomplished on one stroke, for a maximum of nine points.

Any player reaching the score of exactly 31 points must announce this fact prior to his opponent's next shot. If this announcement is not made in time, his opponent(s) has the opportunity to also reach 31 points on his turn and, upon announcing his score, become the winner of the game. If his opponent(s) fails to accomplish this, the original player scoring 31 points may announce his score prior to his next turn (or at any time prior to his opponent's subsequent stroke) and become the winner.

If a player scores more than 31 points, his inning immediately ends, and his score is reduced to only the points scored in excess of 31. For example, if a player inadvertently scores 34 points, his inning ends, and his score becomes 3 (or 34 minus 31).

Bottle PoolStarting and Replacement Positions

At the start of the game, the table is set up as follows (see diagram):

Object balls are returned to their original spot after they are pocketed. If the ball's original spot is occupied (by the cue ball, other object ball, or bottle), it is placed on the other object ball's original spot. If this spot is also occupied, then the ball is placed on the center spot. Finally, if the center spot is occupied, the ball is placed on the head spot.

When the bottle is knocked down, it must be placed on (or as close as possible to) the spot where the open end lay when it came to rest. If the bottle is knocked off the table or into a pocket (see Fouls below), it is placed on the center spot as at the start of the game, or as close to it as possible without contacting an object or cue ball.

When the cue ball is pocketed or knocked off the table (see Fouls below), the next player may place it anywhere behind the head string as at the start of the game.

End of Inning

A player's inning ends if he commits a foul or fails to score at least one point on a stroke. Any points scored on a foul stroke are not counted and the player is penalized according to the table below.

Fouls

The following situations are fouls, resulting in the end of a player's inning and a corresponding point penalty:

FoulPenalty
Failure to hit an object ball on a stroke-1 point
Contacting the bottle with the cue ball prior to hitting an object ball-1 point
Forcing the cue ball into a pocket or off of the table-1 point
Shooting without at least one foot on the floor-1 point
Upsetting the bottle in any manner (object ball, cue, direct cue ball, clothing, etc.) other than by a carom of the cue ball off of an object ball-5 points

Penalties are cumulative, however a maximum of 5 penalty points can be assessed on any one stroke.

Other

Bottle Pool can be played by two or more players (or teams).
Order of play is determined by lagging, drawing numbered pills, or by any mutually agreed method.
Players do not need to call their shots.




PICK POCKET

Pick Pocket is based on Bottle Pool, but eight object balls are used, and pocketed balls are replaced by the ball in that pocket. Other differences are explained below. For any situation not addressed below, see Bottle Pool rules (above).

Requirements

For Pick Pocket, eight object balls, numbered one through eight, the cue ball and a kelly bottle* are required.

Object

The primary object of the game is to be the first player to score exactly 31 points. Additionally, if a carom of the cue ball from an object ball flips the kelly bottle upright (onto its base), the player accomplishing this feat automatically wins the game.

Scoring

Points are scored in the following ways:

Any or all of these can be accomplished on one stroke, for a maximum of 21 points.

Any player reaching the score of exactly 31 points must announce this fact prior to his opponent's next shot. If this announcement is not made in time, his opponent(s) has the opportunity to also reach 31 points on his turn and, upon announcing his score, become the winner of the game. If his opponent(s) fails to accomplish this, the original player scoring 31 points may announce his score prior to his next turn (or at any time prior to his opponent's subsequent stroke) and become the winner.

If a player scores more than 31 points, his inning immediately ends, and his score is reduced to only the points scored in excess of 31. For example, if a player inadvertently scores 34 points, his inning ends, and his score becomes 3 (or 34 minus 31).

Pick Pocket PoolStarting and Replacement Positions

At the start of the game, the table is set up as follows (see diagram):

When an object ball is pocketed, it is left in the pocket, and the ball previously occupying that pocket is placed on the table. Balls placed on the table are spotted at the left diamond of the foot cushion if numbered lower than the other object ball on the table, or at the right diamond if numbered higher. If the designated spot is occupied (by the cue ball, other object ball, or bottle), it is spotted at the other diamond. If this spot is also occupied, then the ball is placed on the center spot. Finally, if the center spot is occupied, the ball is placed on the head spot.

When the bottle is knocked down, it must be placed on (or as close as possible to) the spot where the open end lay when it came to rest. If the bottle is knocked off the table or into a pocket (see Fouls below), it is placed on the center spot as at the start of the game, or as close to it as possible without contacting an object or cue ball.

When the cue ball is pocketed or knocked off the table (see Fouls below), the next player may place it anywhere behind the head string as at the start of the game.

End of Inning

A player's inning ends if he commits a foul or fails to score at least one point on a stroke. Any points scored on a foul stroke are not counted and the player is penalized according to the table below.

Fouls

The following situations are fouls, resulting in the end of a player's inning and a corresponding point penalty:

FoulPenalty
Failure to hit an object ball on a stroke-1 point
Contacting the bottle with the cue ball prior to hitting an object ball-1 point
Forcing the cue ball into a pocket or off of the table-1 point
Shooting without at least one foot on the floor-1 point
Upsetting the bottle in any manner (object ball, cue, direct cue ball, clothing, etc.) other than by a carom of the cue ball off of an object ball-5 points

Penalties are cumulative, however a maximum of 5 penalty points can be assessed on any one stroke.

Other

Pick Pocket can be played by two or more players (or teams).
Order of play is determined by lagging, drawing numbered pills, or by any mutually agreed method.
Players do not need to call their shots.




* Kelly Bottle

A Kelly Bottle (sometimes called a pill bottle, pea bottle, shake bottle, pool bottle, etc.), used in billiards games like Bottle Pool and Pick Pocket, is typically about 6" tall and is made of leather or plastic. I find that the lighter-weight plastic bottles work better for the games explained above. A large-mouthed, single-serving, soft drink bottle (Gatorade, etc.) can also be substituted.



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