Bank Pool

Bank Pool is exactly what you’d expect it to be: An easy and fun pool game in which you try to beat your opponent by making only bank shots! The goal is to be the first player to make 5 bank shots (or 8 if played with full pool ball set) in any order to win.

Participants can flip a quarter or compete in a lag for the first break. Balls are tightly racked in random order in a triangle rack with the head ball placed on the foot spot.

(If any of these terms are new to you, look at our Glossary of Pool Terms to learn what they mean!)

Bank pool can be played with 2 rack options:

Full Rack Bank Pool- All 15 balls from a pool table ball set are snuggly racked in the standard triangle rack. On break the cue ball can touch any racked ball first. After contact at least two numbered balls need to touch a pool table rail cushion.

Nine Ball Bank Pool- Nine balls, chosen at random, are snuggly racked using a diamond shaped nine ball rack. On the break the head ball must be hit first and leave at least one numbered ball past the side pockets or center string.

(If you don’t have a Nine Ball Rack, Game Room Guys carries all the pool table accessories you’ll need to get your pool table game-ready!)

Any balls pocketed on the opening break allow the breaking player to continue their turn. Balls pocketed on the break are not scored but spotted on the pool table after the breaker’s initial turn is over. If the player breaking fails to meet the legal breaking rules the opponent has the option to accept the balls as they rest or request a re-break. No other penalties are incurred unless a foul or cue ball scratch occurs.

Bank pool is a call shot game, meaning you have to state the path of the ball, your pocket and intended pool table rails. If the shot is not what the player called, the pocketed ball doesn’t count and is spotted without penalty to the offending player.

The call shot rule applies to all ‘non-obvious’ shots. Shots that include a single rail bank are considered to be ‘obvious’ and don’t need to be called before the player’s shot.

A player’s turn continues as long as they keep making their called legal shots. Only one ball can be scored per shot. Any balls scored in addition to the intended shot will be spotted after the player’s turn is over. A player’s turn is over when they fail to legally make a called shot, scratch or commit a foul.

Every shot must be clean and not touch other numbered balls on its path to the pool table pocket.

No combination shots are allowed in Bank Pool.

The cue ball has to touch the called numbered ball first. No rail first shots allowed.

The cue ball is allowed to strike the called numbered ball once on its path to the pocket. Any ball that is hit twice by the cue ball will be spotted and the player’s turn is over.

If a player accidently moves a ball the opponent can choose to have the ball remain where it was moved or restored to the original position at no advantage to the offending player.

A foul or scratch ends the player’s turn and a penalty of one ball is charged. If a called ball is made on the same shot as a foul, that ball is not counted. If the player doesn’t have any balls to their credit, the balls will be taken when they do legally score.

Jumping the cue ball from the table is a foul. The player’s turn is over and the cue ball is spotted.

If the ball is scratched or hit off the pool table the opponent has cue ball in hand behind the head string. If no balls are below the head string, the ball nearest the head string can be spotted. The head string is an imaginary line on which the head spot rests, usually marked by a pool table dot sticker.

With any other foul, the opposing player shoots from where the cue ball lies.

All spotted balls are placed on the foot spot or in a direct line below the foot spot. If a ball is in the way, the spotted ball can be placed right next to it. All balls are held to be spotted until after a player’s turn is over. If no balls remain on the table all balls being held are then spotted for play to continue.

If a player goes into a shooting stance without having called their shot, the opponent may ask what the shot is they are attempting. The player must then call their shot before hitting. If no shot is called then it is considered a ‘safety shot’, any balls made will be spotted and the player’s turn over.

If a ball hits two rails the shot is not obvious. If a shot hits two rails and was not called by the shooter, the shooter has no objection if the opponent says the shot wasn’t obvious. The made ball is spotted and the player’s turn is over.

If a called shot hits the cushions or pocket ‘points’ along the rails adjacent to the pocket that was called the contact does not count as a bank. (For instance the player hits an obvious shot off a bank to a corner pocket. The ball goes into the obvious pocket but may bounce side-to-side as it falls in. This is legal.)

The first player to legally make 5 (or 8, with a full ball set) bank shots wins the game!


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