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Pool/Billiards/14.1 Continuous Straight pool and 8 ball questions (BCA)?

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Hi Bill,

Just curious about these questions really.

1. In straight pool what happens if you foul three times in a row, I understand its a 15 point penalty but is it a re-rack or is there the option for the opponent to accept balls where they are?

2. In straight pool what is the standard number of balls that need to be pocketed in a normal game?

3. In 8 ball if you pot all stripes on the break are you assigned solids? This would be unfortunate since the opposing player would only be left on the 8 ball. If you pot all balls but the 8, do you re rack or can the breaker pot the 8 ball? I ask this because a shot on the break is an open table in BCA regardless of whether balls are potted or not and you cannot hit the 8 ball on an open table.

4. Whats the procedure in both games if a breaker breaks in front of the head string?

5. In Straight pool after the stipulated number of balls have been potted by a player, does the opponent break for another game, or does the same player break again? Note, I am not talking about re racks after 14 balls have been potted but only after the game itself.

6. In straight pool I understand you have to either pot your called ball or drive at least 2 balls 2 a rail and the cue ball. My question is can both balls and the cue ball hit the same rail for it to be a legal break?

7. In straight pool, if you perform a legal break with at least 2 object balls with the cue ball hitting the a rail but then the cue ball scratches, I've heard that this is a 1 point penalty rather than 2 which counts towards the successive fouls penalties, 2 more fouls 15 point penalty, is this true?

8. Finally, If you perform an illegal break in straight pool its a loss of 2 points, lets say opponent accepts table in position then misses. As the breaker you foul again -3 points. The opponents go and he misses again. You come back to the table and you foul again, now is this -4 points or -19 points total?

I appreciate I am asking a lot of questions but the rules according to WPA and BCA aren't clear in these areas.

Thanks :)

Answer
Hi Andrew, thanks for the questions, it's been fun.

I copied your questions with my responses in between to try and keep things clear. Here they are:

1. In straight pool what happens if you foul three times in a row, I understand its a 15 point penalty but is it a re-rack or is there the option for the opponent to accept balls where they are?

After the third foul the balls are re-racked and the offending player is required to break a according the the normal rules for breaking.

2. In straight pool what is the standard number of balls that need to be pocketed in a normal game?

This varies from venue to venue. In world class tournament play the number of balls to be made can vary as a tournament proceeds. For example 64 players at the start play to 100. Final 32 play to 150, and final 16 play to 200.  

3. In 8 ball if you pot all stripes on the break are you assigned solids? This would be unfortunate since the opposing player would only be left on the 8 ball. If you pot all balls but the 8, do you re rack or can the breaker pot the 8 ball? I ask this because a shot on the break is an open table in BCA regardless of whether balls are potted or not and you cannot hit the 8 ball on an open table.

I've never heard of this happening, and I've heard some tall tales, but according to APA and BCA rules the table remains open until a ball is pocketed on a legal shot "after the break". So, yes, I guess if you pocketed all of one suit on the break you'd have to play the other suit in order to have a legal shot at the eight ball.

4. Whats the procedure in both games if a breaker breaks in front of the head string?

Well, you shouldn't let that happen. A referee would warn the player they are ahead of the line and you should too. After the break there's no way to prove if the ball was illegally placed; unless you happen to have a video cameral looking right down the string.

5. In Straight pool after the stipulated number of balls have been potted by a player, does the opponent break for another game, or does the same player break again? Note, I am not talking about re racks after 14 balls have been potted but only after the game itself.

Generally players lag for the break before each game.

6. In straight pool I understand you have to either pot your called ball or drive at least 2 balls 2 a rail and the cue ball. My question is can both balls and the cue ball hit the same rail for it to be a legal break?

I really can't imagine how you could do that, and only that, but it would be a legal break.

7. In straight pool, if you perform a legal break with at least 2 object balls with the cue ball hitting the a rail but then the cue ball scratches, I've heard that this is a 1 point penalty rather than 2 which counts towards the successive fouls penalties, 2 more fouls 15 point penalty, is this true?

When you scratch on the break it is a playing foul, not a breaking foul. One point penalty and one foul against you.

8. Finally, If you perform an illegal break in straight pool its a loss of 2 points, lets say opponent accepts table in position then misses. As the breaker you foul again -3 points. The opponents go and he misses again. You come back to the table and you foul again, now is this -4 points or -19 points total?

A breaking foul does not count against you as a playing foul. In your example you have a breaking foul (-2) and two playing fouls (-1 each) for a total of four points and the player is on two fouls; next one is 15.

Play well and enjoy,

Bill

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Bill Newsted

Expertise

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.

Experience

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.

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APA BCA

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

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