GENERAL Rules for CAROM BILLIARDS
- Balls Used
- Opening Break
- Lagging for Break
- Choice of Cue Ball
- Spotting Jumped Balls
- Safety Play
Except when clearly contradicted by rules specific to a given game these
rules apply to all Carom Billiard games.
The table should be either 4 feet by 8 feet, 4 1/2 feet by 9 feet, 5
feet by 10 feet, or 6 feet by 12 feet without pockets. Markings include
spots in the center of the head string, foot string, and center string.
There should be two additional spots on the head string six inches on
either side of the head spot.
Three balls are used (except in Four Ball where a second, darker,
red ball is also used) - one red bell, one white ball without spots and
one yellow (or white ball with two diametrically opposed spots). The
balls are roughly 2-3/8" diameter (metric equivalents range from 61mm to
65.5mm depending on the set; four ball sets are usually the largest).
The opening break is to be determined by lagging with the winning player
having the option of shooting the break shot himself or allowing his
opponent to shoot the break shot. For the break shot, place the red
ball on the foot spot, the opponent's cue ball on the head spot, and the
shooter's cue ball on the head string within six inches of the center
spot. For the break to be legal, the cue ball must contact the red ball
Choice of Cue Ball
The winner of the lag has choice of cue ball. Once cue balls are
assigned each player must shoot with only his cue ball (using the other
player's cue ball is a foul). (In games with an odd number of people
incoming player is assigned the cue ball which was not assigned to the
player who's inning just ended -- alternate which cue ball is used.)
Spotting Jumped Balls
The preferred order for spotting the cue balls is: head spot, foot spot,
then center spot. The latter spots come into play if the previous ones
are ocuupied by another ball.
If the shooter's cue ball and his opponent's cue ball have both jumped
the table then the shooter's cue ball spots first.
The preferred order for the red ball is: foot spot, head spot, then
If both object balls have jumped the table then they are spotted as
above beginning with whichever can occupy it's primary spot.
Is not allowed.
The following are fouls for which the penalty is loss of turn and no
count if a valid count would otherwise have been made:
- Playing out of turn.
- Accidental contact with any of the balls.
- Striking the cue ball twice or with anything other than the cue tip
(i.e. cue on the same stroke, shaft, hand, chalk, bridge, etc.).
- Push shots. (A shot is considered a push shot if the cue tip is in
contact with the cue ball for more than the time necessary for a
normal legal stroke.)
- Making a shot while one of the balls is still in motion.
- Shooting wrong cue ball.
- Not having at least one foot on the floor while shooting.
- If the shooter's cue ball jumps off (comes to rest off of) the
- Illegally jumping the cue ball (intentionally causing the cue ball
to jump by contacting it below the horizontal plane through the
center of the cue ball).
The following are fouls for which the penalties are described under
unsportsman like conduct:
- Intentional interference with the path of the the balls.
- Intentional interference with the play of your opponent.
- Playing a safety.
These rules are used by Billy Aardd's Club, NMIMT, Socorro, NM.