TYPE OF GAME
Forty one is another game that is well-suited for social play at parties or other gatherings where players of mixed abilities will take part. Since no one knows what number “pea” is held by the opponent(s), it is difficult to play defensively. In addition, the rules are designed to greatly equalize all the players’ chances. An unusual and interesting game.
3, 4 or 5 players are generally preferred
A standard set of 15 balls plus cue ball and a set of 15 peas or “pills” with a shake bottle.
Standard triangle rack with balls placed totally at random. (see picture below)
DETERMINING PRIVATE NUMBERS
After the balls are racked but before play begins, each player is given a pea from the shake bottle containing the peas numbered from 1 through 15. The number of the pea is the player’s private number and is kept secret.
OBJECT OF THE GAME
As its name forty one says, the object of the game is to score points which, when added to the player’s private number, total exactly forty one.
Each legally pocketed ball has a point value equal to its number.
Starting player must make an open break. He is not obligated to pocket a ball on the break shot but if he fails to make a legal open break, it is a foul.
RULES OF PLAY
Any ball(s) scored on a legal stroke count for the shooter. Players may shoot any ball and need not call ball, pocket or mode of shot.
A player is permitted only one shot or turn per inning, regardless of whether or not he scores.
On all shots, player must cause the cue ball to contact an object ball and then either
a) pocket an object ball or;
b) cause an object ball or the cue ball to contact a cushion.
Failure to do so is a foul.
Any illegally pocketed ball is a foul, and does not score for the shooter.
When a player has the cue ball in hand behind the head string (as after a scratch) and all object balls are also behind the head string, the object ball nearest the head string may be spotted on the foot spot at his request. If two or more balls are an equal distance from the head string, the player may designate which of the equidistant balls he desires to be spotted.
When a player has a total count of forty one, he must announce his victory and present his pea for confirmation before the next player shoots. If he fails to declare his forty one total until the next player has shot, he must wait until his next turn to so declare. If, in the meantime, another player succeeds in attaining a legal total count of 41 and properly declares, the latter player wins the game.
If a player totals more then forty one points, he has “burst” and must so declare immediately (before the next player shoots). All ball the burst player has pocketed are spotted, and the burst player may request a new pea prior to his next turn. Any player who bursts and does not declare it prior to the following player’s shot is disqualified from further play in the game; if a two-player game, the opponent is automatically the winner.
If all balls are pocketed prior to any player attaining a total count of forty one, the player whose count is closest to 41 wins the game. If two or more players are tied for nearest to 41, the game is a tie.
ILLEGALLY POCKETED BALLS
All spotted, no penalty
PENALTY FOR FOULS
The player committing a foul must spot one of his previously scored object balls for each foul committed. If a player has no previously pocketed balls, he is exempt from a penalty for that particular foul.