One Pocket REGLER (World Standardized Rules)
One Pocket is typically played with either two players or two teams but can be played with any number of players.
• Using only the two foot rail corner pockets, players score by legally pocketing any object ball (numbers and colors
are insignificant) into the players designated "one pocket".
• The player to have eight pocketed balls wins the game.
• Handicaps can be created by adjusting the required number of balls to be pocketed to win.
• Players can decide who breaks first or lag for the first break.
• The break alternates between players regardless of who wins each game.
• The breaking player or the opponent can rack the 15 balls in no particular order with the apex ball placed on the
• Either player may inspect the rack and ask for a re-rack.
• The break begins with ball in hand behind the head string.
• The breaking player chooses a pocket at the foot of the table and typically breaks opposite the chosen pocket to
send balls towards the breaking player's designated pocket.
• In subsequent games, whoever breaks is free to change their pocket selection on their own break. The chosen
pocket is the only pocket a player can score in and the opponent is assigned the other foot pocket by default.
• On the break, the cue ball may contact an object ball or cushion first; however, after contacting an object ball, any
object ball must be pocketed, contact a rail or the cue ball must contact a rail; otherwise, it is considered a foul
(one ball penalty).
• If a legal stroke is employed from behind the head string on the break, the incoming player must play the balls
where they lie – there are no re-racks for a pocket scratch or failure to contact a cushion or pocket a ball on the
• Players are not required to call any shots and balls can be pocketed in any numerical or color order because color
and number group is insignificant. A player’s inning continues when they pocket a ball or balls in their designated
pocket on a legal stroke.
• Any scratch or foul results in the end of the shooter’s inning, as well as a one ball penalty.
• All balls pocketed in the shooter’s pocket as a result of a stroke that includes a foul do not count for the shooting
player and are to be immediately spotted, along with the standard one ball penalty.
• Any balls pocketed in the opponent’s pocket on a stroke that ends in either a pocket scratch or with the cue ball off
the table are not to be counted for the opponent, and are to be immediately spotted. However, on a stroke when
any other foul is committed (such as a push shot, double-hit or illegal ball contact), any balls scored into the
opponent’s pocket are to stay down and be counted for the opponent.
• Following either a pocket scratch or the cue ball jumping the table, the incoming player has cue ball in hand behind
the head string. Following any other foul, the cue ball is played where it lies.
• If the offending player has no balls to spot, then they will owe one for each such scratch, which must be repaid by
spotting at the end of the first inning or innings in which they score. All owed balls must be repaid before any
pocketed balls count towards a player's game score.
• Any owed scratches are indicated by placement of a small coin on the foot rail top adjacent to the offending
player's pocket. An additional coin is placed to represent each additional scratch without a scored ball to spot. One
coin is removed for each owed ball repaid by spotting at the end of the first inning or innings in which they are
scored, until all owed scratches have been repaid, and standard scoring can commence.
• Driving either the cue ball or an object ball off the table is a foul, whenever either comes to rest off the playing
surface, or comes in contact with anything other than the table itself while airborne.
• Intentional fouls are an accepted part of One Pocket tactics as long as they are played by use of a legal stroke,
such as by lightly touching the cue ball with the cue tip; by rolling the cue ball to a new location without regard for
World Standardized Rules of One Pocket legal contact with either an object ball or a cushion; by pocket scratching the cue ball; or by using a legal jump
technique to force the cue ball off the table.
• It shall not be a foul to accidentally touch the cue ball while removing an object ball from an adjacent pocket, or
when spotting a ball where the cue ball interferes.
• It shall be a foul for the incoming shooter to accidentally touch an object ball with the cue ball while placing it in a
ball in hand situation.
• Three consecutive fouls is loss of game, however the opponent or tournament referee must notify the player that is
on two fouls, prior to their third foul. Should no notice occur until after the shot resulting in the third foul is in
motion, it is not immediate loss of game, but the player will be considered to be on two fouls for their next shot.
The three fouls rule is often waived in after hour’s situations by agreement between the players.
• For a foul to result from failure to legally strike a rail after contacting a frozen ball, the ball in question must be
inspected and designated as frozen prior to a player’s shot, otherwise the ball is not considered frozen.
• If the cue ball becomes wedged between an object ball and the cushion and frozen to both, then legal shot
requirements must be met by pocketing the frozen ball, or by contacting either another ball or another cushion
enroute to a legal shot. Failure to do so is a foul.
• Any penalty balls owed by the shooter, or balls pocketed in a neutral pocket, are to be spotted at the end of the
shooter’s inning. However, if a player runs off all the balls on the table without reaching a winning score, then all
such balls are spotted immediately (all at once, not one ball at a time), and the shooter continues their inning. At
no other time in One Pocket are balls spotted during any shooter’s ongoing inning.
• In the event of a handicapped game with the combined winning ball count needed by the two players or teams
totals greater than sixteen at the start of the game, then the player going to the longer count must spot the first
ball or balls they score, immediately at the end of the first inning in which they score, as necessary to bring the
combined winning ball count back down to sixteen, at which point the game continues in standard fashion.
• If any owed balls, or balls that have fallen into a neutral pocket are forgotten and later remembered, then instead
of being spotted after the current shooter’s inning, they are spotted after the end of the next player’s inning,
unless there are no balls left on the table, in which case they are all spotted immediately. In any case, any owed
balls are not forgiven, but still must be paid. In practice, forgotten balls may be spotted at any time after they are
remembered, as long as both players agree on the timing; if either player objects to an earlier spotting, then rule
9.4 should be followed.
• Please note that playing ‘snooze you lose’ is the rare exception in house rules; it is by no means the standard rule,
and it should only be accepted when it is clearly and mutually agreed on by both players before play begins.
• In the event of a scratch with the offending player having no balls to spot when all of the balls are located behind
the head string, the ball nearest the head string may be spotted at the request of the incoming player. If two or
more balls are equally close to the head string, the highest numbered ball would be spotted.
What rules apply if we don't have a referee or official to watch the game?
• If no referee or official is available to officiate a play, players should referee their own match. Play resumes when
players come to an agreement on scoring or disputes and the agreement is deemed final. A neutral party agreed
upon by all players can be called to "watch the hit" if either player believes that it may be necessary. The players
should not dispute with the neutral party, deem their decision as final and resume play. Usually the opponent
takes the responsibility for calling a neutral party to watch the hit. Should players not come to an agreement, the
ball should be spotted on the foot spot if no other balls occupy the space or in a direct line behind the foot spot.
What if I pocket a ball into my opponents pocket?
• It is each player’s responsibility to remember which pocket is theirs; opponents are under no obligation – other
than good sportsmanship -- to correct such an error prior to an opponent’s shot. A ball legally pocketed in the
wrong pocket counts for the player who legitimately has that pocket, regardless of who shot the ball. However, a
ball shot into the wrong pocket does not entitle the shooter to continue their inning, unless on the same stroke
they legitimately score into their own pocket as well. In the event that a player shooting into the wrong pocket is permitted to continue the same inning at the table by their opponent’s or the referee’s failure to notify them of their error, such failure of notification does not legitimize any additional balls pocketed in that inning, whether pocketed in the shooter’s pocket or their opponent’s pocket. World Standardized Rules of One Pocket Thus the first shot to the wrong pocket in a given inning is the shooter’s responsibility, and the shooter’s opponent is entitled to any balls pocketed on that first stroke. However, any subsequently pocketed balls in the same inning are to be spotted as illegally pocketed balls, because it is the referee’s or opponent’s responsibility to notify the shooter before they erroneously continue their inning.
Is it considered a foul to pocket balls in pockets other than my designated pocket?
• While it is perfectly legal to pocket a ball in the side and head pockets (neutral pocket) or in the opponent’s pocket,
doing so does not entitle the shooter to continue their inning, unless on the same stroke they legally pocket a ball
into their own pocket. Any balls pocketed either accidentally or intentionally into the opponent’s pocket are counted
for the opponent, unless on the same stroke, either the cue ball pocket scratches or jumps off the table. In the
event that a player pockets both their own game winning ball, and their opponent’s game winning ball, both on the
same legal stroke, then the shooting player wins. There are no ‘ties’, and it does not matter which ball drops first,
as long as they both drop as a result of the same stroke. Any balls pocketed into the neutral pockets are to be
spotted on the foot spot or the long string at the end of the shooters inning.
I can't make a ball. Do I need to call a safety?
• There is no option to ‘call a safety’ in One Pocket; if a player legally scores a ball into their own pocket they must
shoot again, unless the game is over. Players may play safe to the same rail as many times as they wish, as long
as either the cue ball or at least one object ball is driven to a cushion after the cue ball contacts an object ball.
Standard ‘frozen ball’ rules apply to safety play.
Can I use a jump cue?
• Players may use jump shots in One Pocket as long as they are performed with the player's own standard playing
cue using legal jumping techniques as defined in General Rules. Specialized jump cues are not permitted in One
Pocket (Please note that many players, poolrooms and tournament directors have differing opinions on specialized
jump cues. It is recommended that players check with their opponent, the 'house man' or the tournament director
prior to an important match to come to agreement on whether specialized jump cues shall be permitted or not.)
My opponent bumped an object ball out of place. What should we do?
• Unless otherwise announced by the tournament director, One Pocket is played according to the General Rules ‘cue
ball fouls only’. In the event that a player accidentally moves a ball, the opponent may elect to have the disturbed
ball remain in its new position or be restored to its original position. When balls are restored, they shall be placed
as close as possible to their original positions, with no advantage to be gained by the offending player. If no official
is available to restore disturbed balls, then the players must come to agreement on satisfactory replacement of the
disturbed balls prior to continuing play.
My opponent used an illegal stroke on purpose.
• If the acting official rules that a player has used an illegal technique to direct the cue ball or any object balls to a
more desirable location, then the incoming player has the option of either playing the balls where they lie, or
requesting the official to restore all such moved balls to their location prior to the illegal maneuver. The offending
player is charged the standard one ball foul penalty, and in addition may be further penalized at the discretion of
the acting official under the general rules of unsportsmanlike conduct.