The One Pocket Game

The one pocket game is an interesting one. It is more of a thinking man's game and requires a little more strategy and defense than others. The shooter's choice of pockets is cut down to one instead of having six to shoot at.

In this game, each of two players is assigned a corner pocket at the foot end of the table, with each player having a different one. The object of the game is to be the first player to sink eight balls legally into his assigned pocket.

The game starts out with the usual 15 balls in the triangle rack. The player who wins the break attempts to make a ball into his assigned pocket on the break so that he may continue to shoot. If he doesn't, his opponent gets to shoot.

Any ball may be shot at, but all balls must go into the player's own pocket to be considered legally pocketed balls. Any balls that a player gets in his opponent's pocket count for the opponent, unless there is a scratch on the shot, and then the ball would be removed from the pocket and spotted. Any balls that go into any other pocket are removed and spotted.

The current player continues to shoot as long as he keeps making balls in his assigned pocket. When he misses, his opponent takes over the turn. When a shooter scratches, he forfeits one of the balls that he has already gotten in, so if he had three balls in before the scratch, he now has only two. If a ball is made on the scratch shot, it is removed and spotted and does not count for the shooter.

There are several types of strategy to the one pocket game. When breaking, try hitting the rack at the second or third ball on the opposite side of the rack from your object pocket. This will cause the balls to congregate more on your side of the table and nearer to your pocket after the break.

When shooting, use just enough speed for the ball to get to the pocket. If you miss the ball, it will still be near your pocket for the next attempt at it. The closer you can leave your balls to your pocket, the harder it will be for your opponent to knock them away and ruin your future shot.

When you don't have a good shot, don't waste the opportunity to at least knock your opponent's balls away from his pocket and ruin a future shot of his. This is especially important if your opponent is getting close to his eight ball limit to win. It's better to prolong the game and play defense against your opponent than to make a ball or two now and lose the game.

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