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These are the rules of Bar Billiards:

You score until you bank, or screw up.

Placing a ball on the black dot near the front of the table, you poke it with a stick up the table. All the holes in the table have numbers, and the balls that you knock down the holes score the numbers indicated. If the red ball falls down a hole, you score double what is indicated. You do not record your score yet. If you have neither banked or screwed up, you go again.

If you have hit the ball and not screwed up but no balls went in, you have banked your score. Record it, add it to the board, hand over to the next player.

If the cue doesn’t hit any other balls, you have screwed up.
If a ball comes back behind the front line, you have screwed up.
If a ball goes off the baize, you have screwed up. (House rule: unless it comes back)
If a ball knocks over a white peg, you have screwed up.
If a ball knocks over the black peg, your recorded score goes back to zero, and you have screwed up.

If you screw up, it is the next player’s turn, and you do not get to record your score.

If all the balls are on the table, you play by taking the ball nearest the cue spot and playing it (from the cue spot).

Game continues until one or no balls are left on the table. At some stage the timer will end, stopping potted balls from reentering play, after which play continues as above (“all the balls are on the table”) until one or zero balls remain. If one ball remains, you enter sudden death.

The winner is the player with the highest score. The loser is the player with the lowest score. The unfortunate is the person who scored seven hundred points in one go before tapping the white peg over.

Sudden Death

If you only have one ball left, block off the top two rows of holes (leaving only the 100 and 200 score holes) and remove the white pegs. The aim is now to pot the remaining ball directly into the 100 or 200 hole, which is automatically banked and added to your final score. The red ball (double) and black peg (zero recorded score) function as normal. Each player gets a single shot, and the circle continues until the ball is pocketed.

  1. Is it not the case that any ball hitting the pegs is sufficient to cause a screw up, not only the cue ball?

  2. A shame there aren’t more pubs that have bar billiards. It’s more of a southern thing.

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