Rules for CUTTHROAT


Contents:

  1. TYPE OF GAME
  2. PLAYERS
  3. BALLS USED
  4. THE RACK
  5. OBJECT OF THE GAME
  6. OPENING BREAK
  7. RULES OF PLAY
  8. LOSS OF GAME
  9. ILLEGALLY POCKET BALLS
  10. JUMPED OBJECT BALLS
  11. CUE BALL AFTER JUMP OR SCRATCH

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

TYPE OF GAME

Cutthroat is a unique three player game. To win this game, the player must see his opponents' balls taken off the table while he still has some of his on the table (except for the case where he runs off all balls and wins).

PLAYERS

Three (or three teams).

BALLS USED

The standard set of object-balls numbered 1-15, plus a cue-ball. The numbered balls are split into three groups. The first group is composed of balls 1-5, the second group has balls 6-10, and the third group has balls 11-15.

THE RACK

Standard triangle rack with the apex on the foot spot. A ball from the first group should be on the foot spot. A ball from each group should be placed in each of the different parts of the rack. That is, the three corners of the rack are filled with one ball from each group, one ball of each group goes on each side of the rack, and one ball of each group goes in the middle of the rack.

OBJECT OF THE GAME

To be the only one with balls from his group on the table. Balls are taken off the table by being pocketed on legal shots, or by being "dropped" as payment for a foul.

OPENING BREAK

Shooting order is determined by lot or lag. The player being third in the shooting order will rack the balls, while the player being first will break them.

The starting player must make an open break or pocket a ball. If he fails to do so it is an illegal break (a foul) and the second shooter has the choice of either:

  1. accepting the table in position and shooting, or
  2. shooting the opening break shot himself.

Any balls which fall from a legal opening break count as legally pocketed balls if there were no fouls.

Should a player foul on the opening break, their opponent has cue-ball in hand behind the head string. Any balls made on a foul break must be spotted (in numerical order, lowest closest to the foot spot), except for those belonging to the breaker's group. In addition the breaker must then "drop" (take it off the table and put it in a pocket) one of his balls to pay for the foul.

RULES OF PLAY

When shooting the player must make the cue-ball contact an object-ball and then either:
  1. pocket the object-ball, or
  2. send a ball (object- or cue-) to a cushion.
Failure to do so is a foul.

A player may shoot at any ball that he chooses, but before he shoots he must call the ball and the pocket. He need not call any detail such as kisses, caroms, combinations, or cushions (all of which are legal). A legally pocketed ball entitles the shooter to continue.

If a player sinks his last ball he can still win the game if he runs the table out in the same inning.

LOSS OF GAME

Does not occur until the game is won. This is necessary since a player can be put out of the game (when his last ball is pocketed -- at the end of his inning if he pocketed it) and then later be brought back into the game by one of his opponents choosing to spot one of his balls to pay for a foul they committed. (When the game is over the last person to have been put out is the second player of the next game, the winner becomes the breaker, and the last person racks for the next game. This usually results in a shuffling of who has which group from one game to the next.)

ILLEGALLY POCKETED BALLS

Any of the shooter's balls pocketed on an illegal shot will be spotted, unless it was the shooter that pocketed them. (Note that an uncalled shot is an illegal shot.)

JUMPED OBJECT BALLS

Jumped balls will be spotted if they do not belong to the shooter. If the jumped balls belong to the shooter they will count as pocketed.

CUE-BALL AFTER JUMP, SCRATCH OR FOUL

Each of these requires the shooter to either: After the penalty has been paid the cue ball is put in play from:
  1. Jumped (off table) -- out of the kitchen (from behind the head string).
  2. Scratch -- out of the kitchen (from behind the head string).
  3. Foul -- where it came to rest.

These rules are used by Billy Aardd's Club, NMIMT, Socorro, NM.