TYPE OF GAME
Seven ball is a speedy rotational game. Averaging only about three minutes per game, contestants shoot at the same seven object balls, permitting players to show skills in making combination and carom shots, defensive shots and placement. At the same time, it is attractive to players of moderate skills and really adapt to handicapping by limiting the number of pockets in which the better contestant can legally pocket the game winning seven ball.
Two player or two teams.
Object balls 1 through 7 and cue ball.
A special rack has been designed for this game. A standard diamond rack (as used in nine ball) may also be used by turning it sideways. The balls are racked in a circle on the foot spot, with the 1-ball at the apex and the balls increasing numerically 1-6 (clockwise in a circle) with the seven ball in the middle of the circle. (see picture below)
OBJECT OF THE GAME
To legally pocket the 7-ball
The balls have no point value. The player legally pocketing the 7-ball is the winner.
The starting player must either make an open break or legally pocket an object ball. If not, the incoming player has choice of foul penalty (1), or having the balls reracked and shooting the opening break shot. In subsequent games, players alternate break shot.
RULES OF PLAY
A legal shot requires that the cue ball’s first contact be with the lowest numbered ball on the table. A player must then either pocket a numbered ball or cause the cue ball or any object ball to contact a cushion. Failure to meet these requirements is a foul and Penalty for Fouls (2) applies.
A legally pocketed ball entitles the shooter to remain at the table until failing to pocket a ball on a legal shot.
After a legal opening break, the opponent chooses which side of the table (any of the three pockets on one side) into which he will pocket the seven ball. Balls 1-6 may be pocketed on either side of the table.
Pocketing the 7-ball on a fair opening break wins the game.
Any violation of General Rules results in Penalty for Fouls (2)
LOSS OF GAME
In Seven ball, a player loses the game by committing any of the following infractions :
a) pocket the 7-ball in a non-assigned pocket after the break;
b) scratches when the 7-ball is the legal object ball;
c) pockets the 7-ball on an illegal shot;
d) misses when the 7-ball is the object ball (optional alternative is to assess Foul Penalty(2));
e) commits three successive fouls.
ILLEGALLY POCKETED BALLS
All spotted and Penalty for Fouls (2) applies.
PENALTY FOR FOULS
(1) Incoming player has cue ball in hand behind the head string and object balls in position, but if the lowest numbered object ball is also behind the head string, it must be spotted.
(2) Cue ball in hand anywhere on the table.
VARIATION FOR SEVEN BALL
Players of unequal ability may be handicapped by assigning them pockets in which they can play the 7-ball. It is suggested that more skilled players shoot the 7-ball into the side pocket on either side of the table and less skilled players shoot it into any pocket.