April 10, 2014
For me, pool was a game about bonding with people for a long time, especially my brother. He was eight years older than I, so for the most part we didn’t have too much in common. When I was eight though, we had a pool table in our apartment building, and he started showing me how to play. Since then I’ve gotten a lot more competitive in playing, but through the game I’ve met a lot of good people despite only knowing them as other regulars at a specific pool hall or table.
Pool is actually a broad name covering a variety of games, the most common being 8-ball and 9-ball. There are 16 balls in total, 7 solid colored balls, 7 striped balls, one solid black numbered 8 and one all white ball. The goal of all these game is based in some way around hitting one main ball so it collides with another target ball, resulting in it going into one of six pockets. The game is played in turns, where you keep going if you make your “called” shot. Calling is declaring which ball is going into which pocket before taking it. If you get a different ball instead of what you called or a different pocket then your turn ends. Sometimes if it’s obvious, and you know your opponent you won’t have to specifically call, but you must always call the 8. You win by either pocketing a specific number of balls or a specific ball before your opponent. 8-ball is played by pocketing either all the solid or all the striped balls, finishing with the black 8-ball. 9-ball is played with only the first 9 numbered balls. The goal in that is to pocket the 9-ball whilst only hitting the lowest number ball. There are a variety of different “types” of ways to do this, or different shots, as they’re called. “Banking” is when you ricochet either the cue or target ball off the wall in order to either hit your target ball or pocket it. A combo is when you hit more than one ball after hitting the cue. A jump shot is when you hit the bottom...