How To Play Cutthroat Billiards

Are you tired of playing the same old 8-ball and 9-ball? Don't have the patience to play 14.1 straight pool? Or are you and two of your friends looking for a game all three of you can play? Then try cutthroat billiards. Cutthroat is a three person billiards game which relies more on defense than offense. The object is to have your ball be the last on the table. Because the techniques used in cutthroat are similar to 8-ball and 9-ball, it is a very popular game in local pool halls and on college campuses.

Here's how to play:

  1. Rack the balls in the 8-ball triangle with one ball from each set of five (1-5, 6-10, 11-15) in each corner along with one ball from each side on the side of the triangle.
  2. The first player breaks and if that player pockets a ball, decides which set of five balls he would like to play. Typically if a ball is sunk, a player will NOT choose the set from which that ball is from.
  3. Each player try to sink their opponents balls into any pocket in the table.
  4. If the player sinks a ball, they continue to shoot.
  5. If a player scratches, each player is allowed to place a ball back on the table.
  6. If all of a players balls are made, that player is skipped. They may return to the game however if one of the remaining players scratches.
  7. The last player with one or more of their balls remaining on the table is declared the winner.