TYPE OF GAME
Ten ball is preferred by some professionals because it is slightly harder to pocket any balls on the break, opponents cannot win the game by pocketing the 10 ball early (such as on the break or on a combination shot), and performing a break-and-run on multiple racks becomes increasingly difficult. The game is played with ten object balls 1 through 10 and the cue ball.
The game is normally played with two players but can also be played with two teams.
The ten balls are racked as a triangle as in eight-ball, with the 10 ball positioned in the middle of the rack.(see picture below)
OBJECT OF THE GAME
The object of the game as its name implies, is to pocket the 10 ball on a legal shot to win the game.
One person is chosen to shoot first, or “break”, the rack. Usually this is determined by flipping a coin, or by lagging, especially in professional tournaments in the case of the latter, or it may be ruled by the authority in charge or the sponsor or the players themselves that the winner or loser of the previous game will always shoot first in the next rack. If the player who breaks fails to make a legal break (by contacting the one ball first and pocketing a ball or driving four or more object balls to a rail), the opponent can either demand a re-rack and become the breaker, or continue to play as if it was an ordinary foul. If the breaker pockets a ball and commits no foul, it remains the breaker’s turn.
RULES OF PLAY
In 10 ball, on all shots, a player must cause the cue ball to contact the lowest numerical ball on the table first before the cue ball strikes any other ball otherwise a foul has been committed. Players alternate innings at the table, meaning play continues by one player until he or she misses, commits a foul or pockets the ten ball for the win. The penalty for a foul in ten ball is that the player’s inning ends and the opponent comes to the table with ball in hand, which means the opponent may place the cue ball anywhere on the table prior to shooting.
Ten ball is a relatively fast-paced game and is rarely played by the rack. Instead, players normally play a match to a set number of games, often five, seven or nine. The first player to win that set number of games wins the match.