Learn How To Play 10 Ball Rack: Meaning, Rules, Setup And More

How To Play 10 Ball Pool

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If you have mastered the arts of 8-ball and 9-ball pool then it’s time to take a crack at the toughest on the lot: The 10 ball pool game.

How to play 10 ball pool?

10 ball pool, in some ways, is almost similar to a 9-ball. Here too, you must hit the ball with the lowest number and work your way up to the number 10 ball.

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If you’re wondering how to play 10 ball pool, here goes:

  • Just like any pool game, you must create the 10 ball rack which is triangular.
  • The first player must hit a legal break to continue the game or re-rack.
  • Hit the ball with the lowest number. If you can pocket it, well and good. If not, at least aim to hit another ball with it and pocket that.
  • Before each shot, a player must call the pocket they are aiming to sink an object ball. If you make the shot, that’s great. If you don’t either the opponent takes a turn or if they choose, they can allow you to continue but you do not score.
  • If you accidentally pot the 10-ball before the other object balls, you must return it to the table or spot it.
  • The game ends when one player successfully completes the sequential sinking of the object balls, culminating with the 10-ball.

What are the rules of the 10 ball pool?

The rule to 10 ball pool is a combination of 9-ball and 8-ball. Here are the terms you need to keep in mind with a 10 ball rack:

  1. You must always start the game with a legal break. We will explain the conditions in just a while.
  2. You must not pot the 10-ball during the breaking of the rack. Unlike 9-ball, you won’t win. You’ll end up having to spot the ball and lose your turn.
  3. You must call out each shot before you make it, i.e., name the pocket where you aim to sink the ball.
  4. In every shot, your cue ball must first make contact with a ball of the smallest digit. Subsequently, it can touch other balls.
  5. You can aim for pocketing a ball indirectly but you need to specify your intent before taking the shot.
  6. During every shot, either your object ball or the cue ball must touch the cushion or rail of the pool table.
  7. If you commit a foul then your opponent gets ‘ball in hand.’ This means they can move the cue ball wherever they want, behind the head string, before taking their shot.
  8. The 10-ball is potted last to win the game.

Scoring, breaking, and fouls in 10 ball pool

There are three important components that make 10 ball pool so challenging.

a. Scoring

For every ball you pocket after calling, you get one point. If you sink multiple balls in one shot, you get that many points. Whoever sinks the 10-ball at the end of the game gets 10 points.

b. Breaking

Before you break the 10 ball rack you must know how to rack 10 balls correctly. You begin by placing the 1 ball on the foot spot and balls 2 and 3 on the remaining corners. Then you place the 10-ball in the center and fill the rack with the remaining 7 balls. Unlike 8 ball, this triangle only has 3 lines so you need to ensure that the 10 ball rack is tight.

For a legal break, you must aim at the 1 ball. Hit the cue ball with enough force such that 4 balls from the rack touch the rails. Be mindful of not pocketing the 10-ball during the break.

c. Fouls

  • Much like all other pool games, it is a foul if you pocket the cue ball. This phenomenon is known as Scratch.
  • It is also a foul if you bounce the cue ball or any ball straight off the table.
  • It is a foul to pot the 10-ball before you sink all the object balls.
  • It is a foul if you hit anything but the ball with the smallest digit first. Your cue ball must always be aimed at the smallest number but you can create deflection shots to hit other balls.
  • It is a foul if at least one ball or the cue ball doesn’t touch the rails during each shot.

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