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Classic Billiard Games

image of billiards hall at jillians

When Jillian’s Boston opened in 1988, it embodied something new for the area, 41 billiard tables, resembling a pool hall. Though Jillian’s has changed through the years, today the second floor is reminiscent of when it first opened. Now there are 24 tournament-caliber tables along with 12 plasma screens and a full bar & lounge to enjoy while playing pool. Enjoy this pastime with a modern fix and try playing these classic billiard games!


The objective of this classic game is to pocket all 7 of your designated balls whether they be stripes or solids. Once all of the balls are in, pocketing the 8-ball results in a win.

Eight-Ball is played with 16 balls, 15 object balls and the cue ball. Begin by racking the balls. Place the 8-ball in the center, a stripe ball in one back corner and a solid ball in the other back corner, then fill in with the rest of the balls. Once the rack is broken, the first player to pocket a ball will determine if they have stripes or solids for the remainder of the game. The player will continue to shoot until committing a foul or failing to pocket an object ball. The winner of the game with be able to successfully pocket all 7 balls, plus the 8-ball.


Unlike eight-ball, nine-ball only uses the first 9 numbered balls and the cue ball. It is played in sets rather than just one game, because the 9-ball can be pocketed at any time.

Start by racking the balls in a diamond shape at the front of the rack with the nine-ball in the center and the one ball in front. Once the rack is broken, one player plays until they miss, commit a foul or pocket the 9-ball. The player must always hit the lowest numbered ball on the table before sinking the 9-ball in order to win. Players can go for the 9-ball in the beginning of the game or when there are no other balls on the table, which is why this game is played in sets.

One Pocket

In the game, One Pocket, players must only pick one pocket on the billiard table to deposit balls into. The object of the game is to score a total of 8 object balls in a player’s target pocket before the other opponent.

Set-up the rack the same as in eight-ball. Players will choose which corner pocket they are taking in the beginning. If their ball goes into the opponents pocket then it is in favor of the opponent. If the ball goes into the wrong pocket, it must be put back on the table. Players receive 1 point for every ball deposited into their pocket. The winner is the first player to score an agreed-upon number of points.

Cutthroat (Elimination)

Instead of the traditional 2 player games, cutthroat can be played with three people. The player wins by pocketing the balls of the other 2 players.

The 15 balls are divided into 3 groups for the 3 players: 1-5, 6-10, 11-15. When it’s a player’s turn, the cue ball must first contact an opponent’s ball to remain a legal shot. Players are eliminated when their balls are no longer on the table, however, they can return if another player scratches and returns a ball to the table.

Straight Pool (14.1 Continuous)

Set up this game’s rack similar to eight-ball to begin. Players earn points by calling which ball will fall into which pocket and then successfully following through. Every ball pocketed is worth 1 point. After 14 balls are pocketed, the balls are returned to the table and racked. The player continues to pocket the 15th ball in a way that will disturb the racked balls to continue the game. The first player or team to get to 150 points wins.

The next time you’re playing these classic billiard games at Jillian’s Boston, don’t forget to drop your business card into our drop box at the second floor booth for a chance to win a FREE After Work Pool Party for 20 people! This includes 2 hours of pool and complimentary appetizers. We hope to see you soon!