when you scratch where do you set the cue ball, is it always set up on the breaking end or on the end where the scratch pocket was?

Thank you

Hi Paula,

In all sets of rules currently governing professional and league play in 8 ball and 9 ball a scratch gives the incoming player "ball in hand" anywhere on the table.

But in most bars the "house rule" is that the cue ball is played from anywhere behind the head string (second diamond) at the breaking end of the table. Billiard Congress of America rules used to play that way but not for the last 25 or 30 years.  

Play well and enjoy,



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Bill Newsted


I can answer questions related to shot-making, aiming, position play, strategies, practice, mental preparation and the psychology of the game. Also, rules as they vary from venue to venue and how to become a winning player. I have experience recovering and maintaining tables and will also answer questions related to cues and billiard equipment. However, I prefer not to make brand recommendations. I do not offer information identifying old tables and equipment or estimating their values.


I have played over forty years in every state in the US (except Alaska). My experience is largely in pool rooms but I have also played extensively on bar tables and in league organizations. I have directed numerous tournaments up to the professional level and have played several world champion players. I am a former Billiard Congress of America instructor.


B.S. in Visual Communication M.A. in Education: Career and Technology Education

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