When in Doubt, Refer to the Official Rules.
If you play a lot of bar games, you are probably familiar with the occasional dispute over rules of play.
Whether you’re playing pool, darts, foosball, shuffleboard or a different game, there will always be different recollections and interpretations of what the rules say.
If there are house rules posted or otherwise available, these rules should govern your game and (hopefully) put an end to the bickering.
But if there are no house rules, or if there are issues that arise that the house rules do not address, you will need to consult a higher authority.
To make this task easier, I’ve compiled a list of links to official rulesets and summaries for the games of pool, darts, shuffleboard and foosball.
The Official Rules of Pocket Billiards (Pool)
If you need official rules, game formats and specifications for the game of pool, look no further than the Billiards Congress of America (BCA).
The official rules and specifications for most pool games can be found on the Billiards Congress of America website: http://bca-pool.com/.
There are general rules that apply to all games of pocket billiards unless the individual game rules explicitly state to the contrary:
Official BCA rules of pool
The official BCA rules of Nine Ball Pool:
Official BCA rules of Eight Ball pool:
A list of official billiards FOULS:
For a list of billiards and pool definitions used in the official rules, check out this summary: http://c.ymcdn.com/sites/bca-pool.com/resource/resmgr/imported/RulesDefinitions_January2008.pdf
The Official Rules of Darts
Here is the current rulebook from the Darts Regulation Authority (DRA): http://www.thedra.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/DRA-Rules-final-140115.pdf.
The DRA is the governing body of professional darts, based in the UK.
Also, the Official Rules of Play from the National Darts Association covers basic dart technique and rules for Cricket and 01 games.
The NDA governs electronic darts but the general rules of play are universal.
For a snapshot of dart rules, here is a summary of 13 rules that will apply to most dart games.
The Official Rules of Table Shuffleboard
We have an overview of shuffleboard rules that applies to the standard game of barroom table shuffleboard (aka “knock off”).
But if you’re looking for the official rules of table shuffleboard, the best and most current version I could find is the Table Shuffleboard Rules and Guidelines (current version effective 2014).
The Official Rules of Foosball
The United States Table Soccer Federation (USTSF) is the governing body for the sport of table soccer (foosball).
The USTSF has created a condensed version of their official rules as a handy reference: http://www.usatablesoccer.org/uploads/Documents/2007%20Individual%20Competition/ITSF_Condensed_Rules.pdf
The full version of the official rules of the USTSF can be found here: http://beta.foosball.com/features/USTSARulesofPlay/
I will be updating this list and adding to it with official rule-sets for other popular bar games. If you have any suggestions, please let me know!