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  Main Menu

RULES: CUT-THROAT


Except when clearly contradicted by these additional rules, the General Rules of Pocket Billiards apply.


TYPE OF GAME
Cut-Throat (also known as Elimination) is a very popular game in social situations, rather than for serious competitive play. It is very enjoyable to play - fast and with simple rules. A perfect game when an odd number of participants are available.

PLAYERS
3 or 5.

BALLS USED
Standard set of object balls 1-15 plus cue ball.

THE RACK
Standard triangle rack with the 1 ball on the foot spot, and the 6 and 11 balls on the two corners; all other balls placed at random.

DETERMINATION OF GROUPS
In three-player games, starting player has the group of balls 1-5; second 6-10; third player has balls 11-15. In five-player games, starting player 1-3; second player 4-6; third 7-9; fourth 10-12; and fifth 13-15.

OBJECT OF THE GAME
To legally pocket your opponents' balls before the opponents legally pocket your group of balls.

SCORING
Group balls have no point value. The player with a ball(s) still on the table, when all the other groups' balls are legally pocketed, wins the game.

OPENING BREAK
Starting player must make an open break. If failing to do so, incoming player may:

1. accept the table in position and shoot, or;
2. require that the balls be reracked and shoot the opening break himself. All balls pocketed on a legal break remain pocketed.

RULES OF PLAY
1. Players must decide prior to the game whether they are playing call shot or not.
2. A legal shot requires that the cue ball's first contact be with an opponents' object ball. On all shots, player must cause the cue ball to contact an object ball and then either

(a) pocket a numbered ball, or

(b) cause any numbered ball or the cue ball to contact a cushion. Failure to meet these requirements is a foul. Any legally pocketed ball entitles shooter to continue at the table until failing to pocket an object ball on a shot. (Also see exception: Rule of Play 4.)

3. If player pockets any opponents' balls on an illegal shot, they are spotted; but if he pockets his own group balls on an illegal shot, they remain pocketed. If player pockets the last ball of his own group, whether or not a legal shot, it remains pocketed and his inning ends.

4. When a player's last group ball is legally pocketed, he is eliminated from the shooting rotation. He remains eliminated for the duration of the game unless a foul is committed by a player still in the game; when a player is reinstated due to a foul, he resumes his normal position in the original order of play.

5. When a player has the cue ball in hand behind the head string (as after a scratch), and all balls of all opponents' groups are behind the head string, the object ball nearest the head string may, at the shooter's request, be spotted on the foot spot. If two or more balls are an equal distance from the head string, the player may designate which of the equidistant balls he desires to be spotted.

6. When successive games are played, the order of play for the next game is the same as the order of final elimination in the preceding game. (First player eliminated breaks; winner shoots last; others in order of elimination.)

ILLEGALLY POCKETED BALLS
Opponents' group balls are spotted; no penalty. Shooter's group balls remain pocketed, no penalty.

OBJECT BALLS JUMPED OFF THE TABLE
All spotted. The stroke is a foul, and the penalty for fouls is followed. The incoming player accepts the cue ball in position.

CUE BALL AFTER JUMPING OFF THE TABLE OR SCRATCH
Incoming player has cue ball in hand behind the head string.

PENALTY FOR FOULS
Shooter's inning ends. In addition, one ball from each of the opponent's groups that is off the table is brought back into play. Players who had been eliminated can be reinstated at any time until the game is over. If a player's group has no pocketed balls at the time of a foul by one of his opponents, then the penalty has no effect on that group or player; the penalty is not carried forward.




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