Six Ball Rules

Six ball is basically Nine Ball with only six balls. The goal is to pocket the 6-ball which ends the game; the other balls have no scoring value. Six Ball racks can be strung together quite easily by better players. Players that are not skilled enough to run nine ball rack may get more enjoyment from Six Ball.


Six balls in a triangle with the 1-ball in front and the 6-ball in the middle of the back row.


Open break required. Failure to do so is a foul.

Valid Shot

Pocket any ball in any pocket without a foul to continue at the table.

Spotting Balls

Only the 6-ball spots. Any other ball pocketed on a foul or driven off the table remains off the table.

Penalty for Fouls

Ball-in-hand anywhere on the table.

Three Foul Penalty

Three consecutive fouls is loss of game.


The ideal is to run all the balls off the table from the break. If that seems unlikely, keep an eye out for good safety possibilities. Play to miss and leave the cue ball where it is impossible or very difficult to hit the object ball. If your opponent fails to hit the lowest object ball first, you get ball-in-hand anywhere, and that can often win the game for you. Look for shots to pocket the six ball early, but if you play a combination shot on the ten, be sure to hit it firmly enough that the six is not left as a duck sitting in the jaws of the pocket in case you miss.

If you push out after the break, try to leave a hard shot but not impossible -- make it hard for your opponent to decide whether to pass it back to you.