White Ball In Pool And Billiards: Relevance, Rules And More

White Ball In Pool And Billiards: Relevance, Rules And More

Table of content:

What is the white ball in pool called?

The white ball in 8 ball pool, or any billiard game really is called the cue ball. It is like a striker in carom and holds similar importance and functions.

The white ball is the only one that comes in direct contact with the cue stick and delivers the prompt that causes the object balls to break rack, move, or sink. That is why the nomenclature ‘cue ball’ came into play.

Although not popularly known as white ball games, the importance of the white ball has driven many players to refer to ‘no pocket’ billiard games by that moniker. This is because, in the olden days, they used two white balls, one solid and one spotted as cue balls.

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What is the necessity of white ball in pool?

The white ball in billiards, pool, snooker, and whichever game variant of the billiard game you talk about has a very important role in the game. It is the only ball on the playing table that is allowed to come in contact with the cue stick or pool stick.

If a player happens to touch an object ball with the cue stick, it is a foul. The players must only strike the cue ball with their pool stick such that the energy transfers from the stick to the cue ball and then to the object balls when they make contact with each other.

Another necessity of the cue ball is that it packs a mean torque. The white ball is made of phenolic resin or polyester as compared to other object balls which are usually made of plastic and bakelite in most cases. Thus, the heaviness of the white ball allows it to store more energy and transfer it to whichever object ball it touches.

If you wish to spin an object ball into the pocket or bounce it against the cushion to cause a rebound into an opposite pocket, this energy must be passed via the cue ball. The amount of force you use on the cue ball will directly transmit to the object ball and accurately send it on the course you anticipated.

FAQs

  • What happens when you sink the white cue ball?

Pool rules – white ball in pocket comes into play when you sink the cue ball. This phenomenon is called a Scratch and there is a penalty involved. If you sink the white ball in 8 ball, 9-ball, 10-ball, cutthroat, Snooker, whatever, you lose your turn to your opponent.

The opponent, then, has the unique opportunity to place the white ball anywhere behind the head string as per their convenience to take their next shot. If their object balls are behind the head string then you just gave them an advantage.

  • When can you move the white ball in pool?

In casual play, if a player fouls by potting an opponent’s object ball, then the opponent can move the white ball to wherever they like behind the head string.

Even if a player performs a Scratch, the opponent can move the white ball anywhere behind the head string for their next shot. This rule differs in tournaments where players can move the white ball anywhere on the table for their next shot, not just behind the head string.

  • Is the white ball heavier in pool?

Yes, the white ball is slightly heavier in pool if you’re playing on a coin-operated table. It may sometimes be bigger than the object balls too.

The reason is that the white ball in 8 ball on certain tables has to be distinguished by the mechanism not manually. Therefore, having different weights allows the machine to identify the cue ball when it has been mixed in a set. It is also handy during gameplay when a player performs a Scratch. The machine just spits it back out or rolls out another cue ball.

  • What is the second white ball in Billiards?

For ages, Billiards was played with two white balls and one red ball. In today’s modern times, the second white ball has been exchanged for a yellow ball to avoid confusion, although its function remains the same as the second white ball in billiards.

Based on the objective of the game and the number of players, the second white ball in billiards is used as a cue ball too. It usually has spots on it for easier identification. The purpose of the second white ball is the same as the first white ball. They are both used to hit the red ball and the other white ball on the table simultaneously or on a rebound course, in a single shot.

  • Can you scratch on purpose in pool by sinking the white ball?

This practice has come into play in recent times as a cheat on live pool tables. Players often Scratch on purpose just so their opponent has to place the ball behind the head string for their next shot. What prompts this move is when an opponent’s object balls are far from the head string and not in a position to be hit directly by the cue ball.

Although in informal bar games or casual play, it is ok if you want to practice this move, in tournament play, the pool rules for white ball in pocket differ. Given the propensity of players to cheat, tournament rules state that if a player performs a Scratch, then the opponent has a unique opportunity to place the white ball anywhere on the table, not necessarily behind the head string. Thus, no player can create a disadvantage for their opponent.

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