4 ball

General Rules

Before the game starts- determining who breaks. While there are multiple ways to do this such as rock paper scissors, flipping a coin, or simply someone just letting the other person break, one way in particular is used on the professional level. Both players line up their balls parallel to the center dot on the same end of the table and strike their ball trying to make it travel the least amount of distance after hitting the far cushion, while at least hitting the far cushion or else automatically forfeiting the right to break to their opponent. In other words you want the ball to travel all the way down the table and strike the far rail, and form that point you then want the ball to travel a lesser distance than the other players ball.

Whoever breaks first may place the ball anywhere they want equal to or behind the center dot to break. Usually the ball is either kept on the dot or moved eight to twelve inches left or right, as it would make no sense to move the ball behind the dot. If a player scratches or mis cues on a break their opponent decides the next step. They may take their shot as is, or may re rack the balls and give their opponent another chance at breaking. A good break is traditionally one that spreads the balls out on the table, done by putting more speed on the cue ball and hitting the balls head on.

From time to time a player, traditionally shorter players or players with a smaller wing span, will be unable to comfortablly strike a ball

From time to time a player, traditionally shorter players or players with a smaller wing span, will be unable to comfortably strike a ball on their own accord and will need the assistance of a bridge. This instrument looks very much like a regular pool cue; approximately the same size and shape save for instead of a tip at the end it has a metal slit with three shoulders in which to rest the cue on and therefore have more control over the shot. A player holds the bridge with their non dominant hand and holds their cue stick in the other hand attempting a one handed shot, but a shot that is made stable by the bridge and therefore not nearly as difficult as it sounds.

Players go back and forth shooting unless a player legally makes a ball in which case they continue shooting and shoot until they fail to make a ball.

One foot must remain on the ground at all times, but players may lean on the table for balance or leverage.

A ball may jump off the table and still be a legal shot if it lands back on the table and strikes a legal ball. If either of those two stipulations fails to occur the shot is ocnsodered a scratch.

It is not uncommon for players to scratch while playing, a term referencing illegally pocketing a ball, pocketing the cue ball or pocketing a ball and cue ball in the same shot. In the first and third case, the illegal ball is taken out and placed at the far end of the table on the center dot. In all three cases, the cue ball is moved back to the center dot at the head of the table and the player who did not scratch may shoot from the dot or anywhere parallel or behind the dot, but must shoot at a ball in front of the dot, towards a ball at the opposite end of the table.