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Pool/Billiards/straight pool questions.


Hi Bill,

Just wondering after studying the rules of straight pool carefully I am still not sure of a few things that I would like answered...

1. Player breaks 2 balls hit a rail and cue ball scratches straight into the pocket without once striking a rail. Is this a foul -2 or playing foul -1?

2. Same scenario except no balls hit a rail. Whats the ruling?

3. When spotting balls, is there an order when spotting them? Say you pot the 8 ball and 15 ball. Would you spot the 8 first?

4. When spotting balls, if a ball is spotted and does not move between lets say 3 shots and another ball is to be spotted, is it spotted in contact with the interfering spotted ball that is on the foot spot or should a small separation be made?

Thank you :)

Hi Andrew,

Your answers:

1. All fouls that occur on the break are "Breaking Fouls", penalty 2 points

2. Same as question 1.

3. There is no order in which balls are spotted in 14.1.

4. Spotted balls should be in contact with each other with the exception of the cue ball. If the cue ball is on the line of spotted balls a small separation should be made.

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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