Bumper pool is a variation of billiards that is played on a rectangular or octagonal table. This game is different from traditional pool in that there are bumpers in the center of the table and around the scoring pockets that are intended to prevent players from scoring. Additionally, there is only one pocket for each player to shoot at, instead of six. Bumper pool is a fun game to play, but a very difficult game to master.
Basic Bumper Pool Play Overview
Each player selects a color, and lines up their five bumper pool balls on the circular marks next to their goal. To see who will go first, each player hits their cue ball off of the right bank board and towards their goal. The player whose ball gets closer to the goal gets to go first. If a player gets the ball in on this shot, that player may continue shooting until he misses. Normal gameplay continues from there.
How to Score
Players take turns shooting their balls towards their colored goal. A player will score one of their balls if they can shoot it directly into the goal, or shoot their cue ball into one of their other balls on the table, causing it to go into the pocket.
Knocking The Ball Off of The Table
If a player knocks one of their balls off of the table, that ball is placed into the center of the bumpers in the middle of the table. However, if a player knocks the any of the opposing player's balls off of the table, that ball is just replaced back in its original spot.
All players must first score their spotted cue ball before any of the other balls can go into the pocket. If one of the balls that is not the spotted cue ball is scored first, the balls are reset to their original position before the shot was made.
Winning The Game
The game is over once one player has shot all five of their balls into their goal. A player loses the game automatically if their last ball is scored in the opposing player's goal.
Detailed Bumper Pool Rules
Bumper Pool can be played with two players or by four on teams. Each side has five red balls or five white balls, one of each color being a marked as the cue ball.
To set up a game of bumper pool, place two red balls on each side of the white cup (pocket) on the marks, placing marked red ball directly in front of the white cup. Place white balls in same position around the red cup (Pocket).
Object of the game:
The first player or team to sink all five balls is the winner unless the the final ball is place into his opponent's cup in which case the game is lost.
Both players shoot the marked ball at the same time, hitting first the side cushion, banking the ball into or near his color cup. The player who plays his ball into or nearest his cup shoots again.
Rules of Play:
1. Marked cue balls must be pocketed first. If a player sinks another ball before his marked ball is pocketed, his opponent may remove two of his own balls and drop them into his cup. In the event that both marked balls are pocketed on first shots, each player takes one of the remaining balls and spots it in front of cup and both shoot at same time, just as they did with marked balls. From there on they take turns, beginning with the player who pockets his ball or is nearest to his cup.
2. A player receives another shot upon sinking his own color ball in his own color cup.
3. In the event that a player causes a ball to leave the table, his opponent may place this ball anywhere he wishes and in addition can remove two of his own balls and drop them into his cup.
4. No player is allowed to jump his ball over balls or bumpers in making shots. Penalty for this will be same as in rule 3.
5. The length of time that the winners may continue playing is governed by House Rule.
Penalty for fouls:
1. Before shooting other balls, player must score his spotted ball.
2. If player uses the unmarked ball before scoring his spotted ball, all balls disturbed must be placed in their original positions.
3. In the event that both players score their spotted balls on first shot, they shoot again using the ball to the left of the hole.
4. If you hit your own ball off table, place it in center of the bumpers at the center of the table, and your opponent shoots next.
5. If you hit an opponent's ball off table, replace it in its original position, and place one of your balls in the center of the bumpers at center of table.
6. If a player scores his opponent's ball, it will count for his opponent.
7. If a player scores his own ball in his opponent's scoring hole, his opponent may drop any 2 balls (by hand) for his score.
8. If a player scores any ball before his spotted ball, his opponent may drop any of his own 2 balls (by hand) for his score.
9. If a player scores his last ball in his opponent's scoring hole, he loses game.
Bumper Pool Tips and Tricks:
1. You should always shoot at an opponent's ball if the opponent is in a good scoring position. Knock him into area where scoring becomes difficult.
2. Block your opponent's scoring hole with your own ball to prevent your opponent from scoring.
3. Always leave one of your balls in position to hit your opponent's ball.