family on couch

When thinking about billiard games, most people know only about the 8-ball variation. The more “advanced” players also know the 9-ball variation, but usually, that’s it. But you’d be surprised how many different games you can play on your billiard table. In this article, I’ll introduce you to some of the most fun variations that can surprise your friends and family.  I’ll also add a few additional ways to make your game room even more fun and exciting. Starting with a :

siblings playing on billiards table

7-Ball

7-Ball is a variation of a 9-ball billiard with a couple of extra rules.

The game is played with balls numbered from 1 to 7. Don’t worry. You don’t need another extra rack. The diamond one — like this one — will work just fine. Just omit the last 2 balls in the long corners of the rack.

Here’s the racking setup: Ball 7 in the middle of the rack with the remaining balls around it. Ball 1 at the top of the rack.

After a break, the 2nd player will choose 3 pockets along either long rail of the table (he’ll select his “side”).

The player who broke gets the opposite side. The game’s goal is to sink the balls in raising order into one of your three pockets. The rest of the rules are just like in 9-ball.

The player who (legally) sinks 7th ball wins.

billiards table

15-Balls

Another great variation that doesn’t require any additional accessories.

While playing 15-balls, you have a few variations to choose from.

One way is to play it just like 9-balls. You sink the balls in rising order, and the player who scores the last one wins.

But to make the game more exciting, you can play for points.

You play the game the same way (sinking balls in rising number order), but now you earn points for each score.

Balls 1-10 are worth 1 point each. Balls 11-15 are each worth 2 points.

The player who first reaches the agreed-point target wins.

So, for example, if the winner must score 100 points, you play a game, and after sinking the 15th ball, you re-rack and continue playing until someone reaches that goal.

The great thing about it is that it can be played with more than just 2 players.

To play the game, rack the balls in the following way: 15 in the middle, 1 at the apex of the rack, and balls 2 and 3 in the right and left rear corners accordingly.

You can make the game more serious by having to call all shots or keep it more casual and allow the occasional lucky shot.

blue billiards table

Cutthroat

Cutthroat is another great game you can play in groups of 3 to 5 people.

Each player is assigned a group of balls, and your goal is to pocket your opponents’ balls before they pocket yours.

Let’s say you’re playing with 2 other friends.

First, you determine the groups.

For example, player A gets balls numbered 1-5, player B the balls 6-10, and player C takes 11-15.

As the one who makes the 1st shot, you get to choose your group.

If you pocket an opponent’s ball, you keep shooting. If you miss or commit a foul, your turn is over.

A player with all his balls pocketed is eliminated. The winner is the player with any balls remaining on the table.

If you’re playing with a formidable opponent, you might even form a temporary alliance to beat him!

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Table Tenis Top

Did you know you can easily transform your billiards table into a tennis table?

All you need is a conversion top on top of your table. It’s a fantastic way to add some variation to your game room and ensure that everyone in your family can enjoy some playtime. Even if they’re not big fans of billiards.

A conversion top can be easily stored away until you need it again. And it doesn’t take half as much space as the collapsable ping-pong tables.

people playing darts

Dartboards

Personally, I can’t imagine a game room without a dartboard cabinet inside it.

There’s just something about this game that instantly gives the room a bar-like atmosphere.

Like billiards, there are many ways to play darts, but the most popular one (and the one you’re probably familiar with) is the 301.

The rules are simple. Each player starts with 301 points and has to subtract points from his score by hitting numbers on the dartboard.

The goal is to reach EXACTLY 0 points (You can’t score 15 if you have 5 points left).

Each player has 3 throws per round.

Sometimes it can be tricky to keep track of the points, so make sure to get a cabinet with a blackboard included!

That wraps up the list of fun games you can play in your game room.

Plenty of games are left off this list, but the ones included will provide you and your family with hours of great playtime and fun.

So the next time you invite friends or family for a game of billiards, surprise them with something new, and see how much fun they have learning the game with you!