Basic Rules of Ultimate Pocket Billiards
OBJECTIVE - Accumulate the most points in one inning by pocketing up to one rack of balls (15 balls) in any order, without
missing or scratching based upon a pre-established scoring system. Essence of the game is that points are awarded
based on difficulty of shots.
SCORING SYSTEM - Points awarded as follows:
- a. Direct shot – 1 point
- b. Combination/billiard – 2 points
- c. Short side bank/kick – 3 points
- d. Long side bank/kick – 4 points
- e. Two or more cushions bank/kick – 5 points
- f. Double points on MONEY ($) ball which is the number 8 ball.
- Rack as in the game of 8-ball. In other words the head ball in the rack shall be placed on the spot
and the $ ball (# 8 ball) shall be in the center of the row containing three balls.
- Cue ball shall be placed anywhere in the “kitchen” for the break shot similar to other pool games such
as 8-ball or 9-ball.
- There are no requirements for rail contact on break shot. Break as hard or as soft as you wish.
- All balls pocketed on the break shot are worth 2 points each. Pocketed $ ball on the break is worth 4 points.
- Not pocketing a ball on the break does not end the inning. Simply shoot the next shot from the location
that the cue ball comes to rest.
- Scratch on the break does end the inning with a total score of 0 points.
- Shoot and pocket balls in any order. Award points based on above criteria.
- Must identify pocket of ball to be made and the type of shot that it will be (combination, short side
bank, etc...) All other balls pocketed on the same valid shot will be awarded 2 points each, $ ball will
be awarded 4 points (similar to initial break). Pocket and type of shot for these subsequent balls does
not have to be designated.
- Points awarded for one shot are not added. Only highest criteria awarded. (i.e. playing a combination
to a short side bank is awarded 3 points, not 5.)
- Upon missing called shot, scratching or pocketing all fifteen balls, inning is over. Total score for
the inning is the sum of the points for each shot made based on the above scoring system.
- Inning points are not cumulative. Point total is zero at the start of each inning.
- Competition formats as described below are similar to golf. That is why Ultimate Pocket Billiards can
also be characterized as "golf played indoors".
ULTIMATE POCKET BILLIARDS – STROKE PLAY
Note: a game in Ultimate Pocket Billiards is known as a table. This is analogous to a hole in golf.
The object of Stroke Play is to maximize your score on every game/table with the focus being on maximizing the
score for a round, which consists of 9 games/tables. This would correspond to a round of 9 holes in golf.
Just like stroke play in golf, even though you may chose to play with someone and compare scores at the end, the
main focus is on your own score for each table so as to maximize your score for the round.
The score you receive for each table is obtained as follows:
a. You shoot and post a score based on the "Basic Rules of Ultimate Pocket Billiards"
as described above. This becomes your benchmark score.
b. You now have two attempts/innings to best the benchmark score that you have just posted.
c. If you are able to obtain a higher score than your benchmark score, the new score
will become your benchmark score and you will again have two attempts/innings to beat your benchmark score.
d. You keep repeating this sequence until you are not able to obtain a higher score
than your benchmark score within the allotted two attempts/innings.
e. When you do not beat your benchmark score within the allotted two attempts/innings,
your benchmark score becomes your score for the table.
Typical table in Stroke Play may look something like this:
Player shoots and posts a score of 18 points. (18 is benchmark)
1st attempt - Player shoots and scores 16 points.
2nd attempt - Player shoots and scores 24 points. (24 is new bmk.)
1st attempt - Player shoots and scores 28 points. (28 is new bmk.)
1st attempt - Player shoots and gets a score of 28 points.
2nd attempt - Player shoots and gets a score of 12 points.
Table is completed. Therefore this player’s score for table 1 is 28 points as this was the highest benchmark
score he/she obtained for this table.
Sequence is repeated for table 2, table 3, table 4, etc... Unlike golf where each hole is unique, you can play
the entire round on the same pocket billiards table.
Total score for a round is calculated by adding the scores from each of the nine tables, much like a round in golf
is calculated by adding the scores from each of the eighteen holes.
A tournament may consist of three rounds or twenty seven tables. This is analogous to a tournament in golf
which consists of four rounds or seventy two holes.
ULTIMATE POCKET BILLIARDS – MATCH PLAY
Note: a game in Ultimate Pocket Billiards is known as a table. This is analogous to a hole in golf.
The object of Match Play is to defeat your opponent on every table/game. The actual value of the winning score
is not relevant. Match Play games/tables are contested based upon the "Basic Rules of Ultimate Pocket Billiards".
Sequence for a typical match play game/table is as follows:
a. Player A shoots and posts an initial score.
b. Player B has two innings to best posted score.
c. If score is bested Player A has two innings to best score.
d. If score is bested Player B has two innings to best score.
e. Sequence c. & d. will continue until there is a conclusion to the game. Game is over when
opponents’ score is not bested.
Typical match game may look something like this:
Player A shoots and posts a score of 21 points.
Player B shoots and gets a score of 21 points.
Player B shoots and gets a score of 24 points.
Player A shoots and gets a score of 32 points.
Player B shoots and gets a score of 26 points.
Player B shoots and gets a score of 12 points.
Game over. Player A wins.
In a tournament, Ultimate Pocket Billiards – Match Play contests are best of nine games/tables to be consistent
with stroke play however best of three or best of five tables/games can also be designated.
Ultimate 8-BALL is a heads-up match between two players. The game will mimic regular 8-BALL with one side having
solids and the other having stripes and being able to shoot the number 8 ball only when you have cleared all of
your balls. The difference is that points will be awarded based on difficulty of each shot and the winner will
be the person with the higher point total. Game is over when the number 8 ball is pocketed.
This is a game that is well suited for a coin operated bar-box table and/or for the recreational player that
usually does not run-out an open table after a break.
An interesting scenario in this game is that the type of shot on the number 8 ball will depend on the score.
Therefore if you get to the number 8 ball first but you are 5 points behind on your score, you will have to
shoot a short side bank (or higher point shot) to obtain the 6 points needed to win the game.
ULTIMATE STRAIGHT POOL
Ultimate Straight Pool is a heads-up match between two players. The game will mimic regular straight pool
in that a player keeps shooting until he/she misses leaving the last object ball on the table to enable a run
continuation. The difference is that points will be awarded based on difficulty of each shot and the winner
will be the person that first reaches a pre-established total (i.e. 150 points).
Since the value of the $ ball is double, it’s location on the rack is always in the center of the row with
three balls. If the $ ball is the last ball on the table and therefore not in the subsequent rack, locations
of the balls in the rack is irrelevant.
This game is well suited for a pool hall environment with avid players that enjoy a challenging long term contest.
It will likely replace straight pool and one-pocket as the game of choice for this type of player.
Ultimate Cut-Throat is a game among three players. The game will mimic regular cut-throat in that each player
is assigned five consecutively numbered object balls (1-5, 6-10 and 11-15) with the object being to eliminate
your opponent’s balls from the table. The difference is that points will be awarded based on difficulty of
each shot and the winner will be the person with the higher point total. Game is over when only the ball(s)
of one player remains on the table.
The value for the $ ball (number 8 ball) has to be determined prior to the start of the game. It can be used as
a handicap for a strong player or it can be treated as any other object ball so that there is no penalty for
having balls 6 to 10.
This game, like regular cut-throat, is an interesting game that three people can play at the same time.
An interesting scenario in this game is that the type of shot that a player attempts is dependent on the score
of his/her opponents. There is no use taking direct shots if the total points will not exceed those of your
opponents. This will make for a longer and more interesting match.
GUIDANCE FOR HANDICAPPING
In order for a game to be popular with the average player there must be a handicapping system so that
all players can experience the thrill of competition.
The game of Ultimate Pocket Billiards is easily handicapped by allowing any number of misses/scratches per inning.
Ability to play Ultimate Pocket Billiards compares favorably with the ability to play Straight Pool (also known as points).
By knowing one’s high run in Straight Pool (SP) an Ultimate Pocket Billiards (UPB) handicap can be determined. Guidance
showing the relationship follows:
SP - High run of 14 balls or less
SP - High run of 15 to 29 balls
SP - High run of 30 to 49 balls
SP - High run of 50 to 99 balls
SP - High run of 100 balls or more
UPB - 4 misses/scratches per inning
UPB - 3 misses/scratches per inning
UPB - 2 misses/scratches per inning
UPB - 1 miss/scratch per inning
UPB - No handicap
Of course for handicapped matches additional rules apply. These additional rules are:
- After a miss, cue ball is played from where it comes to rest.
- Any ball(s) made in a different pocket than was designated spots up.
- After scratch, player gets "ball in hand".
- Any ball(s) made during “scratch” shot spots up.