Pool/Billiards/Call the pocket


Do you have to specify off the rail shot when playing 8ball call pocket

Hi Dave.

Absolutely not. Period. The version where you have to all every nuance of a shot, such as rails that will be struck is only a bar rule played by amateurs who think they are making the game more rigorous, but it actually has the opposite effect, favoring the less skilled player.

Quoting from the BCAPL, call shot is defined as a "Game in which the specific game rules require the player, in advance of each shot, to designate the ball to be pocketed and the pocket into which it will be made."

See the nuance? You need only call the ball and the pocket--nothing else.

Best regards,

Pool Teacher


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I have wide ranging knowledge of all the cue sports, with the exception of snooker. I can answer most questions related to playing any of the standard games such as straight pool (14.1 continuous) eight-ball, nine-ball, one-pocket and 3-cushion billiards and the variations on these games. Questions welcomed regarding technique, strategy and rules, history of the sport, trick shots, the mental game, practice, practice drills, pool/billiards publications, and so on. I DO NOT DO CUE OR TABLE APPRAISALS OR IDENTIFICATION. See below.


I have been a dedicated player of pool and 3-cushion Billiards for many years. I have given lessons professionally and have run and participated in too many tournaments to name, including professional events such as the U.S. Open. I am also a cue collector and student of all aspects of the game. Note: I was starting to get far too many questions about pool cue (and pool table) valuation and identification and will no longer take these questions, sorry. I am a player and historian of the sport and the heart of my expertise is not product comparison or appraisal.


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