How To Play 10 Ball Pool

by | May 21, 2023

Learn how to play 10 ball pool, a strategic cue sport where you aim to pocket balls in order. Rack up the fun with this engaging game!

How To Play 10 Ball Pool

10 ball pool is a popular cue sport that is played with ten numbered balls and a cue ball on a standard pool table. In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the rules and strategies of playing 10 ball pool.

To play the game correctly and fairly, it’s important to understand and follow the rules established by the Billiard Congress of America (BCA). In this “How To Play 10 Ball Pool” guide, we will provide an overview of the BCA rules for 10 ball pool and explain how to play the game, how to set up the table, how to take shots, and how to win the game.

The Object Of The Game

In 10 ball pool, the objective is to pocket the balls in numerical order, starting from 1 through 10. However, unlike 9 ball pool where players can pocket any ball on a legal shot, 10 ball pool is a call shot game. This means that players must not only pocket the balls in order but also announce the intended ball and pocket before taking the shot. The player who successfully and legally pockets the 10 ball as called wins the game.

How To Rack The Balls

To set up the rack in 10 ball pool, place the 1 ball in the front and the 10 ball in the middle, with the other balls placed randomly in the triangle rack. The remaining balls can be placed in any order. The rack should be positioned so that the 1 ball is at the apex and the 10 ball is in the center.

Rules Of The Break

The break shot in 10 ball pool follows specific rules:

  1. The cue ball must be struck from behind the headstring (the line that runs across the table).
  2. At least four balls must touch a rail or a ball must be pocketed, otherwise, it is considered a foul.

If you fail to pocket or scatter the balls as described above, the incoming player has the option to accept the table as is or request a re-rack and break themselves.

If you pocket the 10-ball on break it will be re-spotted and your inning will continue. This does not result in a win like it does in 9-ball pool.

Push Out After The Break

After the break shot, the player has the option to push out. This means they can choose to shoot without the need to contact the lowest numbered ball first. The push out shot can be used strategically to set up a better position for the incoming player. The incoming player can then decide if they want to shoot next or not.

Legal Shots & Fouls

To make a legal shot in 10 ball pool, the player must adhere to the following rules:

  1. The cue ball must strike the lowest numbered ball on the table first.
  2. You must call the ball and the intended pocket for each shot.

If you accidentally pocket a different ball than intended or if your object ball goes into a different pocket than intended in 10 ball pool, the ball remains in the pocket. The next player then has a choice: they can either continue playing from that point or decide to return the shot to you.

In the event that you pocket your intended ball in the correct pocket on a legal shot but accidentally pocket an additional ball, that extra ball remains down, and you retain your turn to shoot.

However, if you miss your intended pocket on a legal shot, the next player takes over and plays the cue ball from the spot where it came to rest.

Standard fouls of pool apply in 10 ball pool, which include scratching the cue ball or shooting it off the table, hitting the wrong ball first, and failing to hit a rail after the cue ball contacts the object ball.

If a player commits a foul in 10 ball pool, the next player gains the advantage of playing the cue ball from any position on the table, known as “ball in hand.” This allows the player to place the cue ball anywhere on the table before taking their shot.

Three Successive Fouls

If a player commits three consecutive fouls without making a legal shot, they lose the game. The three fouls can occur over multiple turns or in a single turn.


In some cases, a stalemate can occur in 10 ball pool when neither player can legally pocket the 10 ball. This can happen if the 10 ball is blocked by other balls, or if it is the only ball remaining on the table. In a stalemate situation, the players can agree to a re-rack or continue playing without pocketing the 10 ball.

How To Win 10 Ball Pool

To win a game of 10 ball pool, a player must legally pocket the 10 ball after legally pocketing all the other balls. The player who accomplishes this wins the game. In case of a stalemate or three successive fouls, the opposing player can also win the game.




How To Play 9 Ball Pool

How To Play 9 Ball Pool

Unleash your inner pool shark! Learn the art of pocketing balls in the right order with our comprehensive guide on how to play 9 ball pool. How To Play 9 Ball Pool 9-ball pool is a popular variation of pool that is played with nine numbered balls and a cue ball. The...