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If one calls a combination shot just as 6-5-12-7 does it count if the 7 is pocketed but the 12 was not part of the combination. In another word the 7 was pocketed but it was done using only the 6-5 and the 12 was missed in the combination.

Hi Gene.

From the perspective of authoritative rules which are often very different from what's played in the bar on the corner you need call nothing but the ball and the pocket. That's it. If the designated ball goes into the designated pocket and no foul is committed your inning continues. So calling any kind of combination is providing irrelevant information. In short, no it would not matter because the only relevant thing is that you clearly indicated that the seven would be going into whatever pocketed you indicated.

I say "indicated" because even though eight-ball is a "call shot" game, the modern rules are that you don't even need to gesture, much less call verbally if the shot is obvious, and for the set of shots that are defined as not obvious (which includes combinations), (clear) gesturing is perfectly fine.

Anyway, the problem for people who don't play by any set of codified, authoritative rules is that there is and can be no true right or wrong answer because they're all anecdote; they vary all over the place--sometimes between the "house rules" of two bars on the same street.

I invite you to read the BCAPL (the best most nuanced ruleset out there):

Best of luck,

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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