The Game Of 3-Ball
The game of 3-ball is a very simple game, but one that can be interesting and exciting. It is usually played as a money game with multiple players. Where I play, everyone usually throws in a dollar per match.
The game uses just three balls and the cue ball. The three balls are racked in triangle formation on the foot spot. The cue ball is placed in the usual kitchen area behind the head string.
The object of the game is to get all three balls in with the least amount of shots. Any ball may be sunk in any pocket and shots need not be called. The first shooter breaks the rack, shoots all his balls in with the least amount of shots possible, and then he re-racks for the next shooter who does the same thing.
All players in the game get three balls and keep track of how many strokes it took them to sink them all. When all players have had their turn the scores are tallied.
If one player has the fewest strokes with no other players matching his score, that player wins the match and takes the pot. If at least one other player matches the low score, another round of shooting by all the players takes place. All players place another dollar in the pot.
The rounds continue until one player shoots the lowest score by himself with no other player matching him. This player wins the match and takes all the money in the pot. When another match begins, all players put in another dollar and you start all over again.
One major penalty in this game is scratching the cue ball. This costs you two strokes. If you scratch on the break, you start your turn with three strokes - one for the stroke and two for the scratch. Not a great way to win the match.
Obviously an important strategy in this game is to not scratch and lose two strokes. Another is to hit the break good and hard so you can possibly make some balls on the break. If you can make two balls on one shot, that will save you a stroke and is perfectly legal.
Since you are basically shooting against yourself, there is really no defense involved with this game. Just try to make some balls on the break and, like the game of golf, get your balls in with as few strokes as possible.
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