TYPE OF GAME
It is played using 5 small bowling pins called skittles, one black and 4 whites, 2 object balls and the cue ball. It is a game unlike no other.
The game is normally played by two players
The official rules states using object balls 1 and 3 but since the point values are 3 points for legally pocketing the 3-ball and 2 points for the 1-ball, we prefer using the 2-ball instead of the 1-ball since its point value corresponds to its number.
SKITTLES AND BALLS POSITIONING
The black skittle is set at the exact center of the table. The four white ones are positioned in a cross shape around the black. Two of them are of each side of the black on an imaginary line joining the center of the two side pockets. The remaining two being in front and behind the black on an imaginary line splitting the table in two equal parts. The distance between the black and the whites is 4 inches or 10 cm from center to center.
The whites are assigned a point value from 1 through 4 in a clockwise manner when looking at the table from the head spot. Number one being the closest skittle from the head string.
Most tables have a “D” drawn around the head spot. For those not having that “D”, here are the radius measures for drawing one with a felt tip pen:
The center being the head spot, for 4’x 8’ tables, radius is 7 1/16” (18 cm), for 4½’ x 9’ it is 8 3/8” (21.3 cm), for 5’ x 10’ it is 9 3/8” (23.8 cm) and for 6’ x 12’ it is 11 1/2” (29.2 cm).
The 2-ball is placed at the leftmost point of the “D”, the 3-ball is on the foot spot and the cue ball on the rightmost point of the “D”. (see pictures below)
OBJECT OF THE GAME
To score exactly 31 points coming either from pocketing the object balls, knocking skittles off or using caroms with the two object balls.
Players score points in the following ways :
a) for every white knocked off with their corresponding value;
b) Pocketing the 3-ball worth 3 points;
c) Pocketing the 2-ball worth 2 points;
d) Caroming the 2 object balls worth 2 points;
e) Any combination of points on a same shot is totalled.
NUMBER OF POINTS
First player to score exactly 31 points is the winner. Among those 31 points scored, the player must have achieve at least one carom and pocket at least one object ball or knock off at least one white skittle. It means that totalling 31 points by only pocketing object balls is not allowed.
To start the game, the player must shoot on the 3-ball and continues playing as long as he scores points.
RULES OF PLAY
Play starts with the cue ball on the rightmost point of the “D”
After a cue ball scratch, the incoming player has to place it in the “D”. He must then shoot on an object ball in front of the head string (outside the kitchen). If both object balls are behind the head string, he must use a bank shot.
Player loses all the points scored in an inning when :
a) the black skittle is knocked off;
b) cue ball does not contact an object ball;
c) cue ball hit a skittle before contacting an object ball;
d) one or more balls jump off the table;
e) player gets more than 31 points;
f) any skittle is knocked off by cue stick, the bridge or any other object or body part. This also applies while the player has the ball in hand and is positioning it.
SPOTTING SPACE OCCUPIED
If an object ball is on a skittle spot, that ball is spotted so that it can be placed on its reserved space. If it is the cue ball, player take it and place it anywhere in the “D”.
If an object ball or the cue ball is located on the space of the object ball to be spotted, the ball to be spotted must be placed on cue ball spot used when the game starts. If this spot is occupied, the ball must then be spotted on the remaining spot.
CUE BALL LYING ON AN OBJECT BALL
When the cue ball is lying against an object ball, no points can be score by shooting on that ball. Player must either shoot on the other object ball and it becomes a legal shot or play a defensive shot on the lying ball. If he caroms or knock off a white skittle, no points are allowed.
POCKETING THE SAME OBJECT BALL CONSECUTIVELY
Players are not allowed pocketing the same object ball more than three consecutive times after it has been spotted at its position. Player pocketing it a fourth time loses all his points. The only exception being if a double shot (for example pocketing the 3-ball a fourth time and knocking off a white skittle). In this case, all the points count and player continues inning.
DIFFERENT WAYS TO WIN THE GAME
1) Player reach exactly 31 points.
2) The four white skittles are knocked off on the same shot and the black one is still standing.
3) The two object balls and the cue ball are all pocketed on the same shot while all 5 skittles are still standing.