Bumper Pool Rules
The game of bumper pool is played on an octagonal bumper pool table or rectangular bumper pool table with fixed bumper obstacles on the playfield. Bumper pool tables are definitely different from ‘regular’ pool tables with their small size and only having two pockets, as opposed to the usual six on regular pool tables.
Most slate bumper pool tables will have twelve bumper obstacles, however, some will have up to 14 or 16, with two bumpers on either side of the pool table pockets. The rest of the bumpers form a cross in the center of the pool table, with one cross line in-line with the pockets. There is an open space at the center of the cross that is just big enough for a ball to pass through. The table is covered with the same pool table cloth material as regular standard pool tables.
Bumper pool is played with five white and five red bumper pool balls. One ball is marked from each set of five.
There is not a dedicated cue ball. Each ball can be directly shot into the table pockets.
To start a game of bumper pool each set of bumper pool balls is arranged on five spots near each end of the bumper pool table by a pocket- with the marked ball placed in front of the pocket. The object of bumper pool is to sink all of your balls into the opposite pocket first. The player’s marked ball has to be pocketed before the player can sink any other balls.
The game begins with each player simultaneously shooting their marked ball, banking it off the pool table cushion to their right and trying to sink the ball in the pocket at the other end of the table. If both players make the opening shot they select another ball and attempt the opening simultaneous shot again. If both players sink all five of their balls off of the first simultaneous shot the game ends in a draw.
If on the opening simultaneous shot one player misses, the next shot goes to the player who sunk their ball on the opening shot. If neither player makes the shot, the ball closest to the intended pocket shoots next. A player’s turn will continue until they fail to pocket a ball.
Jump shots are not allowed in the game of bumper pool.
If a player pockets one of their opponent’s balls there isn’t a penalty. The ball is considered sunk no matter what pocket it falls into. If a player sinks one of their own balls (not the last) in their own pocket, the opposing player may put two of their balls into their own pocket.
If a player sinks their last ball into the wrong pocket, they lose the game.
If a player makes a ball leave the table, the opponent can place the ball anywhere on the table, usually in the middle and drop two of their balls into their own pocket.
The first person to legally pocket all five of their balls wins!