Scrub

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One of the many variations of Russian Pool, "Scrub" is unusual as any player making a foul stroke loses his entire score. The brown and pink balls have no scoring role in this game and must be avoided at all times. These are the "scrub" balls, and it is considered a foul if either is struck at any time by the cue-ball.

The game is best played by three or more players, and won by the first to reach either 31 or 61 points as decided before the game begins. Points are scored by pots and cannons, but the four 'scoring' object-balls may only be potted in certain pockets - see Rule 6.

On the opening stroke the first player must play for the blue ball, and every player must make a cannon before they can legally add to their score by potting.

The Rules of Scrub

 1 The game is played with the cue-ball and the six colours from the snooker set.

 2 To begin the game the six colours are placed on their normal spots, except for the blue     and the black, which are reversed.

 3 The brown and pink are the "scrub" balls and must be avoided at all times. If the cue-ball     contacts either ball, at any time in the stroke, it is a foul.

 4 The opening stroke requires the first player in the game to play for and strike the blue     ball first. If he fails it is a foul stroke, the game is not considered to have begun, and the     stroke must be replayed.

 5 No player may score by potting until he has first scored a cannon. To pot a ball before     making a cannon, even by a fluke, is a foul.

The table set to begin the game of "Scrub"  6 The four scoring balls may only be potted in certain pockets.

    The Blue in the two top pockets.
    The Black in the two centre pockets.
    The Green in the left-hand baulk pocket,
    and the Yellow in the right-hand baulk pocket.

    Potting any ball in a "wrong" pocket is a foul.

 7 Points are scored in the following manner:-

    2 points - For any cannon
    2 points - For potting the yellow
    3 points - For potting the green
    7 points - For potting the black
    9 points - For potting the blue

 8 The winner is the first player to score exactly 31 or 61 points,     as decided before the game begins.

    If the agreed score is 31:-

    scoring exactly 30, or more than 31, is a foul.

    If the agreed score is 61:-

    scoring exactly 60, or more than 61, is a foul.

 9 For any foul stroke the offending player loses their entire score.

10 After making a foul, the player must again begin scoring with a cannon, as in Rule 5.

11 All the usual fouls that are common to snooker apply to Scrub.


From Simon Glanville, added 11th May 2014.

I used to play Scrub at what was then my local club down in Rose, Cornwall with slightly different rules.

When we played it, we would use the yellow, green, blue, pink and black and one red which would be a replacement for the brown. Each of the other colours would be placed on its normal spot at the start of the game.

When we started the game, each person would have to fire at the black for their first shot and make either a cannon or go in off the black or via the cannon, pot another ball in its relevant pocket or pot the black.

The yellow could only be potted in the nearest baulk pocket to it and the green could only be potted in its nearest baulk pocket. The blue could only be potted in the two centre pockets, the black could only be potted in the two bottom pockets and the pink could be potted or gone in off of in any pocket but any player playing the pink must make a score off it otherwise they would lose their entire score.

Any ball potted in the wrong pocket or any in off in the incorrect pocket would be considered a foul shot and the player would lose their entire score.

Any contact with the red or potting the red at any point in the game would be considered a foul shot and the player would lose their entire score.

Any cannon would score two points as would potting or going in off the yellow. Potting or going in off the green would be 3 points. Potting or going in off the blue would be 5 points, the pink 6 points and the black 7 points.

The winner would be the first player to reach exactly the agreed score at the start of the game which was usually 39 when we played it.

I once got up to 39 in 6 shots by potting the black 5 times (including a cannon with one shot) and then getting another cannon to win and I remember another player once potting the black, getting a cannon and potting the pink in the same shot thus scoring 15 points!


We also occasionally used to play a game called "Cork" using one red ball and the white and a cork from a wine bottle. The cork would be stood on the black spot, the red placed on the blue spot and the white in the D at the start of the game. Each player would place a set amount of money on top of the cork, usually 5p, and the idea would be to knock the cork over therefore winning all the money on it, via a cannon of the red and contact with at least one cushion. Well, it couldn't be made too easy for anyone to win!

The catch with this one was that every time you made a foul shot for example knocking the cork over with the red or without contact with a cushion first, you would have to place another 5p on the cork.

                The rules of Cork Pool from 1896 can be found within the History section.



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