Poker Pool

Snooker Cue

This is loosely based on the American game that uses the fifteen numbered balls and a special pack of playing cards. Each player is dealt seven cards from the deck and each card relates to a specific ball on the table. The winning player is the first to pot the balls which relate to the cards he was dealt.

This variation is much simpler and uses only the normal set of snooker balls. No points are scored when any balls are potted, instead the winning player is the first to pot each of the six colours at least once.

Like snooker, a red must be potted before a colour can be played, but unlike snooker, after the last red is potted, and before the next stroke is played, all nine reds are replaced as at the start of the game.

If you commit any foul stroke you miss your next visit to the table. So if only two play and you commit a foul, you hand your opponent a great advantage - two consecutive visits before you return to the table.

The game is best played by four or five players, any more and you wait too long for your next shot.

The table set to begin the game of Poker Pool

The Rules of Poker Pool

The normal rules of snooker apply to Poker Pool except where clearly contradicted below.

To begin the game set the table as shown in the dagram. The yellow, green, brown, and blue are placed on their normal spots.

The pink and black are placed in a direct line between the blue and the brown, the pink one-third of the distance between blue and brown, and the black half-way between the pink and brown.

Only nine reds are used and these form a diamond shape at the start of the game. The apex ball of the diamond must be positioned on the pink spot.

No points are scored for potting any ball.

The winner is the first player to pot each of the six colours at least once.

The balls must be played as they are in snooker, so a colour can only be played after potting a red.

After the last red is potted, and before the next stroke is played, the nine reds are returned to the table and placed in their original position.

If the cue-ball is within the area required for replacing the reds, it is removed and the next shot is taken from within the 'D.'

If any colour is within the area required for replacing the reds, then it is removed and replaced on its own spot.

How to spot the colours when the spots are occupied

When any coloured ball has to be respotted and its spot is occupied, it is placed as close to that spot as possible, without touching any other ball, on a direct line to the nearest part of the top cushion. It is NOT placed on the highest spot available.

For any foul stroke, the offending player misses his next turn at the table.


The BLACK spot is never used in Poker Pool.

The PINK spot is only used for positioning the apex ball of the nine reds.

A printable score sheet for Poker Pool
You will need some method of keeping score, so here is a printable score sheet.

It allows for six players, but four or possibly five make a better game. Then you don't wait too long for your next turn.

The score sheet is in the .pdf format, so you will need Adobe Reader or a similar .pdf program to open the file.

Historical Notes

On the old English games of Pool
Like all the old English games of Pool, this game is made more interesting with a small stake. Captain Crawley comments in "The Billiard Book" pub. 1866, that, "In public-rooms the Pool is usually three shillings, and the Lives one shilling each; though, of course, both Pool and Lives may be increased or decreased at the pleasure of the players".

When he mentions 'Lives' he is referring to the fact that in many of those old games the players received three 'lives' each at the start of the game, and for any foul stroke they lost one life. When a player lost all three he was out of the game.

Should you wish to play for a small stake, I would recommend each player pays £1.00 to enter the game, so of course each pays £1.00 into the 'Pool', and then 50p for a foul stroke. Include the 'Lives' if you wish, but keep the stakes small and you won't lose your friends!

On returning the pack of reds to the table
This seems to have no precedent in the English game, but it does in the American. Straight Pool, (originally known as 14.1 Continuous), used the fifteen numbered balls, and when only one was left the remaining fourteen were returned to the table. If the player could pot the last ball and then break open the pack his break would continue. Each pot had to be nominated, the ball as well as the intended pocket, and each pot was worth one point. Willie Mosconi's highest break in this game was 526!

Snooker Cue