American Pool

Make a booking

Play American Pool At Rileys

Want to know the best thing about Pool? It’s easy to look like a pro, it’s fun and anyone can play!

Our American pool tables are what really set us apart. They are larger tables, blue cloths and balls that consist of stripes and spots instead of reds and yellows. Sounds fun, right? The eight-ball version of the game in the States is largely similar to its English counterpart. There are some variations of the rules that often differ but it depends on what you agree with your mates.


8-ball Pool Rules

1. Set up the rack like this...

American Pool Rack

2. The first player hits the cue ball into the rack. This is known as the break. 4 of the balls in the rack must bounce off the cushion. Anything less and it's a foul.

3. The objective of the game is to pot either the spot or striped balls using the cue ball. If none of them end up in the pockets following the break, then the two players exchange shots until one of them drops. If a player pots a stripe, then the striped balls are now allocated to that player. It becomes that player's objective to pot all the stripes and then eventually the black ball in order to win. Vice versa with the spots.

4. If a player fails to pot, the opposing player comes to the table. Keep potting the right balls and you'll stay at the table.

5. A foul can occur in a number of ways and results in the opposing player having the ball in hand (meaning that they can place the cue ball anywhere on the table for their next shot).

6. A foul can be given for failing to hit any ball on the table with the cue ball, hitting the cue ball into a ball that isn't designated to you before any other one or potting the cue ball accidentally. 

7. A player will automatically lose the match if they accidentally pot the black ball before they've potted all of their designated balls or if they pot the cue ball and black ball in the same shot. Hitting the black ball off the table is another way to immediately hand your opponent victory.

8. The game can also be played in pairs. Good luck!

There’s also an exciting format of the game known as nine-ball pool. As the name suggests, the game is played with just nine balls (plus the cue ball) instead of the usual 15. The objective is to pot each consecutive ball based on its number. So starting at one and ending with nine. The winner is the player that legally pots the nine-ball once all others are down. The nine-ball version of pool is popular at pro-level with the annual Mosconi Cup contested between the best players in Europe and USA in what is known as the Ryder Cup of pool.

Here’s a brief explanation. We provide diamond racks, so why not give it a try?


9 ball-pool Rules

1. Rack the balls in a diamond. one at the top, nine in the middle. The remaining balls can be placed randomly in the rack.

9 ball pool rack

2.You have to hit the one ball first. Pot a ball & you keep going. Fail to pot and your turn is over.

3. If you foul, your opponent gets the white ball in hand and can place it anywhere on the table (one shot only).

4. If you don’t have a clear shot at the lowest number ball after the break, tell your opponent you are playing a push out shot. Hit the white ball anywhere on the table. You don’t have to hit another ball but it’s OK if you do.

5. You opponent either takes the next shot, or asks you to play the next shot.

6. Pot the balls in number order. Miss a pot & it’s your opponent’s turn to pick up where you left off.

7. The nine ball should be the last ball on the table - whoever pots this wins!

8. Potting the nine ball in a combination shot wins too, as long as the first ball you hit is the lowest number ball on the table.

So there you have it, you can play both 8-ball and 9-ball on our American tables. As with all our tables, standards are well kept and cloths are replaced regularly to ensure that you experience the best playing conditions out there.

There are various versions of 8-ball rules, one of which is blackball, which is usually played on English Pool Tables. Visit our English Pool page for the rules.

Other Variations of Pool

For Teams, Parties or something a bit different


Killer Pool

A multi-player version of the game that’s perfect for parties. Take one shot before handing it over to the next player. Each time you miss, you get a letter on the way to K-I-L-L-E-R. Win by being the last player at the table. Check out our blog post for more on the rules and tactics. 

One-pocket Pool

Sometimes it’s just too easy to play with six pockets. This alternative game brings out your tactical side a bit more. The player making the break starts by choosing a particular pocket that they will need to pot into for the rest of the game. The second player then nominates a different pocket with the same restrictions. A point is scored for each pot and it’s first to eight. Three consecutive fouls and it’s game over!

Cut-Throat Pool

A three-player match in which the objective is to keep your balls on the table. Divide the 15 numbered balls into three sets (i.e. 1-5, 6-10, 11-15). Legally pot your opponent’s balls into they’re out. Win by keeping yours out the pockets.


Other games to play at Rileys


American Pool

English Pool


Table Tennis

Live Sport

Latest Blog Posts