Ten Ball Rules

Ten Ball is basically Nine Ball with one more ball. The goal is to pocket the 10-ball which ends the game; the other balls have no scoring value. Although there is only one more ball on the table than nine ball, it is significantly harder to run ten ball rack. The tenth ball increases the odds of clusters and other problem situation.


Ten balls in a triangle with the 1-ball in front and the 10-ball in the middle.


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

Valid Shot

Must pocket a called shot to continue at the table.

Wrongfully Pocketed Balls

If a player misses his intended ball and pocket, and either makes the nominated ball in the wrong pocket or pockets another ball, his inning has finished and the incoming player has the option to take the shot as is, or hand it back to his opponent.

Spotting Balls

Only the 10-ball spots. Any other ball pocketed on a foul or driven off the table remains off the table.

The new WPA rule that the 10-ball must be pocketed last is now used. The 10-ball can be called and made but it will always spot and the game win requires the 10 to be pocketed last. Note this does not apply for money ball handicapped matches.

Push Out Rule

On the first shot after the break, the shooter may choose to play a ‘push out‘ and the ‘No Rail‘ and ‘Bad Hit‘ rules are suspended for that one shot, and no ball pocketed counts. The opponent then chooses to shoot or to pass the shot back to the player who pushed.

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 ten ball early, but if you play a combination shot on the ten, be sure to hit it firmly enough that the ten 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.