Bar Billiards: All You Need To Know

Bar Billiards: All You Need To Know

Table of content:

What is bar billiards?

Bar billiards is a form of bar and ball game, a variant of billiards combined with the gameplay of golf.

Combining bars with billiards, this game calls for players to sink the object balls in holes on the table rather than those in the corner. Bars, also known as skittles, are erected in tactical locations around the table and the players must sink the object balls without collapsing these intrusive structures.

Even though bar billiards is a relatively tougher game than all other variants, there are no strict set of rules followed internationally. When in doubt, the players refer to local guidelines.

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How many balls are used in bar billiards?

There are a total of eight balls in the billiards bar. There is one red ball, much like the original carom billiards, and seven white balls. Players can choose their object and cue balls at random although most players prefer a combination of one red and one white ball. This is because if a player sinks the white ball in one of the holes, then they are awarded the assigned score for that particular hole. However, if the player sinks the red ball in a hole, then the assigned score for that hole is doubled.

You can say that the balls in bar billiards are assigned multipliers instead of designated points with white balls having a 1x multiplier and red with a 2x multiplier.

What is the gameplay for bar billiards?

The gameplay of bar billiards is very similar to other billiard games with a twist of golf.

There are no racks or breaking involved in billiard bar. The players toss a coin to decide who goes first and pick 2 balls of their choice from the trough at the head of the table. The balls are placed behind the baulk line but within the formation of ‘D’ which resembles a field game.

The first player strikes one ball such that it subsequently hits the other. They aim to sink the ball in one of the holes. If they succeed, they can pick another ball from the trough and use it like a cue ball to sink the remaining object ball on the table. If they fail, the next player takes their turn.

The game continues this way till there are no remaining balls in the trough. Once that happens, the ball that is closest to the baulk line is used as a cue ball.

If a player collapses the black skittle during gameplay, then all their scores are expunged to zero. If any other skittle is knocked over then the player simply loses their turn but their score remains. Although any ball they sunk while tumbling the skittle does not count.

Much like any other billiard game, bar billiards also has a number of fouls to look out for:

  1. If any ball is bounced straight off the table.
  2. If a player fails to make contact with any object ball with their assumed cue ball.
  3. If they tumble over any of the billiards bars.
  4. If a player causes one of the balls to roll back behind the baulk line.

As in any other form of billiard games, the player must pass their turn to the opponent in case of a foul. In some bar and billiards games, if a player knocks over the white and the black skittle, the penalty varies based on which one fell first.

  • If the white skittle was the first to topple down followed by the black skittle, then the player simply loses their turn and they don’t score even if they sunk a ball in a hole.
  • If, on the other hand, the black skittle topples first followed by the white skittle, then the player’s score is completely obliterated and reset to zero.

Difference between bar billiard and carom billiard

Among other things there are four main differences between bar billiards and carom billiards:

  1. Carom billiards are played with no pockets or holes on the table whereas in bar and billiards there are 10 holes where the players must sink the balls. Each hole has a designated score and is arranged tactically.
  2. Carom billiards uses 3 balls: 1 red and 2 white or 1 red, 1 white, and 1 yellow.
    Bar billiards uses 1 red and 7 white balls.
  3. Carom billiards uses ‘counts’ for scoring whereas bar billiards has a multiplier scoring system.
  4. In carom billiards, players must only strike the cue ball and aim to hit both remaining balls in the same shot to score. In bar billiards, players must sink the balls in holes to score.

Bar billiards is a really fun game that helps improve accuracy and concentration. It is best suited for pro billiard players though.

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