The Pool is a traditional pub game in many respects. Plenty of bars, clubs and even some restaurants have Pool tables for customers to use. But when you go to play Pool, what game are you playing?
When most people play a game of Pool with a friend, they are likely playing 8-Ball. This is usually the game of choice for most people. But there is a wide range of different Pool games you can play.
There are even Pool games you can play alone! But in this blog, we’ll be counting down our top 6 multiple-player Pool games. We’ll even include some pros and cons so you can make a more informed decision about what game is best for you and your friends.
We’ve also included a quick guide listing the essential elements you need to consider when choosing a game. The Pool is a much more versatile game than many people think. So, let’s take a more in-depth look at this pub classic.
At a Glance: Our Top 6 Multiple Player Pool Games
- One Pocket Pool
- Cutthroat Pool
- Bank Pool
- Speed Pool
How To Choose The Best Multiple Player Pool Game?
Choosing a suitable multiple-player game can be difficult. Thankfully with so much variety in Pool-style billiards games, there really is something for everyone! You’ll want to ensure everyone can play the game and have fun. To help you choose the right game, make sure you consider the points below.
Player Skill/ Experience
If you want any multiple-player gaming session to be fun, you have to try and ensure everyone has a chance to win. This is easier said than done, we know. The good thing about many Pool games is that learning the basics is pretty straightforward.
So, after a game or two, even a complete beginner will have a chance to win. Of course, this doesn’t go for every game, and if you are particularly experienced in a specific game, you’ll have an advantage. But to make things fair and fun, you should try to choose a game with a level playing field.
The Pool Table
We all love an excellent mini-Pool table, but while they are great for gaming on the go, you can’t play many different games on them. To play many of the different Pool games, you’ll need a proper full-sized Pool table.
The Number of Players
One other important point to consider is the number of players. Are you playing a two vs. two doubles game, or are you looking for a game for just two people? Certain games will only be suitable for two or four players.
While others will be more flexible and can accommodate a more varied amount of players, 8-Ball, for example, can be a fun two-player game but is also suitable for four players in a doubles game.
One last important thing to remember when choosing a multiple-player Pool game is how much free time you have to play. Some games like Bowlillards can be quite long if you play for a full ten frames.
Whereas games like Speed Pool are much more fast-paced. You don’t want to start a game you can’t finish. So, think carefully about how long you have to play when choosing which game to play.
6 Best Multiple Player Pool Games
#1. One Pocket Pool
One Pocket Pool is a fun, challenging way of playing Pool. The rules for One Pocket Pool are simple to learn as well. In this game, each player will only be able to score using one pocket on the table.
There are several ways you can decide which pockets are used. Players can either be free to choose whichever one they want or work together to choose. Under traditional rules, the two pockets used should be opposite from each other.
All the standard 15 balls are used, but the aim of the game is to score 8 points. So, you’ll need to make every shot count! You will be racing against your opponent, so you will need to score 8 points before they do.
There is no order to which balls need to be potted, so you are free to shoot for any ball on the table. One Pocket Pool is ideal for two players, but it can be played as a doubles game with four players.
Learning the basics of One Pocket Pool is relatively easy, but to win, you’ll need precise shots. You can even impose a time limit to make the game more frantic as well. Playing One Pocket Pool will also be sure to help you develop your skills for other games too.
- Ideal for two players or doubles matches.
- Very competitive, fast-paced gameplay.
- Easy to learn but challenging to master.
- Restrictive gameplay won’t appeal to everyone.
Everyone knows this game, and you likely already know the rules. But while it might be a little boring to some, you can’t deny that it’s a fun multiplayer game! In fact, 8-Ball is arguably the most popular Pool-style game.
Is it the most adventurous choice? No, but that’s okay because 8-Ball offers a fun game for anyone, and learning the basics is relatively easy. In 8-Ball, each player will need to pot the solid or striped balls.
Once they have potted their set, they will need to pot the 8-ball to win the game. However, if you accidentally pot the 8-ball early then, you lose right away. So, you need to be very precise with your shots.
Another fun thing about 8-Ball is that it lends itself well to house rules. You can add time limits, penalties, and other restrictions. One common rule is that balls need to be potted into certain pockets on the table to count.
8-Ball is the traditional choice and a great way to relax after a long day. You can even make the game more challenging and complex with additional house rules. Or simply play it as a more casual, friendly game. While it is a great two-player game, it can also be played with four players as a doubles game.
- A traditional choice with beginner-friendly gameplay.
- Very relaxing and the perfect way to unwind with friends.
- You can add your own house rules with ease.
- It might be a little boring for more experienced players.
#3. Cutthroat Pool
Cutthroat Pool has an enticing name, doesn’t it? This fun multiple-player Pool game is sometimes overlooked, which is a real shame because it can be a lot of fun. Cutthroat Pool is also very versatile and can be played with a wide number of players.
What makes this game quite appealing is that it can be played with odd numbers of players. Many Pool games are designed to be played with two or four people, but Cutthroat Pool can be played with three players! So, it stands out thanks to this.
To play Cutthroat Pool, the first thing to do is split the balls between players. For example, if you have three players, the balls will be divided into the following groups: 1 – 5, 6 – 10, and 11 – 15. Players will take turns shooting, and if your five balls are pocketed, you are out of the game.
A player will continue taking shots till they scratch or commit a foul. You could even end up accidentally pocketing one of your own balls if you’re not careful. There are also several house rules you can use in Cutthroat Pool as well.
Cutthroat Pool is a very fast-paced game usually and ideal for people who enjoy more fierce competition. You can alter the number of balls used to make it easier/ harder. Or add time limits for shots so players won’t always have the time to aim carefully.
- It can be played with groups easily and is very versatile.
- Easy to learn but also quite challenging.
- You can add your own house rules to alter the gameplay.
- Very fast-paced.
- Setting up the balls for the number of players can be a little confusing at first.
#4. Bank Pool
Bank Pool (also known as Bank Billiards) is the multiple players of choice if you want something extra-challenging. We don’t recommend this game for Pool beginners, but if you’re playing with more experienced players, then this could be the game for you.
Bank Pool is ideal for two players but can be played as a doubles game as well. The regular 1 – 15 balls are used, but the scoring in Bank Pool is quite different. So, how do you play Bank Pool? To start with, let’s go over the basic rules.
In Bank Pool, a player will score one point for every ball they pocket. The game is played till all the balls are pocketed. Sounds simple enough, right? The challenge with Bank Pool is that a ball only counts as pocketed if you can pot it off a cushion.
This means you need to be very precise and skilled with your shots. If a ball bounces off another ball, then it doesn’t count as pocketed. This is a foul ball, and trust us, if you’re new to Bank Pool, you’ll be seeing plenty of them.
You can also add house rules to Bank Pool and impose a time limit for shots to make it even more challenging. Bank Pool is a challenging game ideal for more skilled groups of friends. Beginners can definitely give it a try, but it will take some practice to get good.
- Sure to help you develop your Pool skills.
- Complex and intricate gameplay.
- A great way to challenge yourself.
- More complex gameplay isn’t beginner-friendly.
Do you like Ten-Pin Bowling? If so, then Bowlliards could be the game for you and your friends! This game uses 10 Pool balls and a cue to act as the ten pins and your bowling ball. To start the game, rack the Pool balls as usual.
Then break the balls; you can use a break cue if you have one to do this. If any balls are pocketed, you should place them back on the table. Then you can start the game. You have two chances in Bowlliards.
The aim of the game is to pot the ten balls on the table. If you manage to get all ten balls without missing a shot, then you score a strike. If you miss a shot, you still have a chance but will only score a spare.
You can play Bowlliards with just one frame each and then compare scores. However, if you want the complete bowling experience, you should play ten frames each and then compare your scores at the end of the game.
Bowlliards is a very quirky and creative Pool-style game. But while the aim of the game is quite different, it still requires skill and precision when taking shots. It’s best played with two players if you’re playing multiple frames. But single-frame games are ideal for larger groups.
- Fun and quirky and sure to please bowling fans.
- Single-frame games are usually relatively fast-paced.
- Gameplay is quite varied and challenging.
- Suitable for larger groups.
- Multiple-frame games can be very long.
- Learning the basics could be a little confusing for some people.
#6. Speed Pool
Speed Pool is a popular game to play alone to practice your shots. However, it can also be a fun way for two friends to challenge each other. Speed Pool is easy to play but is very competitive, and every second counts.
It follows the same standard rules of 8-Ball but with a few small differences. To start, you must pot all the single-colored balls, then the striped colored balls, and finally the 8-ball. However, while you are playing, your friend will have a stopwatch.
You can easily use most smartphones as a timer these days. When you pot the last ball, the clock is stopped. The next player then takes their turn, and they aim to beat your time. While you can play Speed Pool with more than two players, we think it works best as a two-player game.
However, you could also have a Speed Pool doubles match as well! You can also play the game another way by starting the timer at 10 minutes and having each player race against the clock to finish in time.
The player with the most time remaining at the end of the game will win. Both versions of Speed Pool are a lot of fun and surprisingly frantic. Players need to be precise and aim carefully but at the same time can’t spend a lot of time aiming their shots. It’s a game of balance and quite challenging.
- Easy to play and very fast-paced.
- Different ways to play adds more versatility.
- Works great as a two-player game.
- It could be boring for players who are waiting for their turn.
Our Verdict: What’s The Best Multiple Player Pool Game?
So, what do we think the best multiplayer Pool game is? All these games are certainly great fun, but if we had to pick a favorite, we would give it to Cutthroat Pool, with 8-Ball coming in second. Cutthroat Pool is a very versatile and adaptable game.
While the basic rules are easy to understand, there is a lot of room to develop your own winning strategy. You can also customize Cutthroat Pool in several ways by adding your own house rules. It’s a game that all experience levels can play and is ideal for groups of friends.
8-Ball, on the other hand, is the traditional choice and a bachelor party favorite. The game is open to all skill levels, and learning the fundamentals will be quick and easy. But that is just the beginning; there are plenty of ways to customize the game too.
But whether you’re playing with the standard rules or special house rules, 8-Ball is a very relaxing game for most people. It’s the perfect way to relax with friends, and it’s easy to see why it’s a pub favorite even after all these years.