Off the Beaten Path – Different Billiard Games

When you’re bedroom tells you to go to sleep, you known damned well that the place where you have your mattress is good for more than just one thing. Eating crackers is an example. There are other matters with which you can use your bedroom, but we’ll let you apply some imagination for other options.


As a matter of course, most everything serves a dual purpose. Take a billiards table. While it’s fairly sure you’ve already racked the balls into a triangle, whacking the solids and stripes around, there’s more than a single way to shave that cat. Check out a few of the other games worth dipping your stick into.

Carom, Anyone?

The most fundamental form of pool takes merely three balls. Put the trio on the felt, anywhere you so desire. The object is that one player needs to slam a sphere (no cue ball is required) into another ball. Each time you do that, you get a point and another shot. Miss the second orb, no points. Pass the cue to the next player. Figure out in advance how many points will make a winner. First one to hit the number wins the round.

Three-Cushion Magic

This game ratchets-up Carom to the next level. You must not simply smack another ball, but the orb which is targeted has to bounce off three sides of the table in a single shot. Do it, you get to score. In the U.S., this has become one of the more fashionable versions of Carom.

Get Artistic

You’ve gotta be tricky to play this type of pool. Called Artistic Billiards you have to be able to perform some fairly complicated maneuvers. Players have to try to pull-off 76 preset shots. You receive points when you accurately hit the individual goal. After reaching the number 76, the winner is determined by the one who came closest to the magical number.

Decimal Places

This one is named 14.1 Continuous. You need to call the shot, pocket-by-pocket. Get a point when you make it. Flub it and hand the stick over to the competition. Rack ‘em as if you were playing 8-ball.

Once you’ve holed the balls, re-rack them – but leave the top space vacant. Place the 15th ball somewhere on the table. The player then tries to cluck that orb by calling the pocket and sinking it. The ploy is you cannot touch any of the other 14 balls. First player to 150 points wins.

Color Coding

This game of pool is played only with solids. That means you’ll include the almighty 8-ball, too. Pick an amount of points that will determine the winner. Play either against one other person or as a team. The competitor chooses a particular shade for the other side to pocket. If they pull it off, two points are awarded. Failure? They lose one point and pass to the next person or team. They then get to call the color. You can actually submerge into negative numbers from a scoring standpoint.

Going to Target

Bulls Eye means you have to cover the pockets and play with just 5 balls. A cue ball, three solid balls and the 8-ball. Stick the solid white sphere in the smack-dab middle of the table. The other four end up in each of the corners. Give each ball a point number. To play you must clock one of the four balls. Hit one, you get the agreed-to amount of points. For instance, you could make the 8-ball a negative number. So if it’s accidentally hit, subtract the amount of points from the person who screwed-up. One shot per round and the folks with the highest number, at the end, buys the beers.