Skip to Content

Rules For One Pocket Pool

*This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.


The first one-pocket tournament took place in 1961. It was promoted by the Jansco Brothers. The book that was published about the one-pocket game is by Hayden Lingo. It was later adapted for the national and international arenas directly from the book. It is a game that consists of two players, two teams of two.

These teams or players can only score if their ball falls in their respective pockets. These pockets are located in different corners. One corner pocket is located at the foot end while the other is on the opposite end.

The rest of the pockets are treated as neutral pockets in which all balls that fall on those pockets will be considered a spotted ball. The spotted ball will be laced back on the table at the end of the player’s turn.

This game uses 15 balls that are tightly packed with no particular order of the positions of the balls. Usually, to avoid conflicts, the players or team selects their own pockets before the game starts. For tournament play, players will lag to decide who goes first.

Lagging is where the two players will take two cue balls and shoot them from the foot of the table to the head of the table. The cue balls should bounce back, and the player who was able to get the cue ball closest to the foot of the table wins.

After the player wins the lag, they will get to go first in the tournament. After the first break, the players will alternate regardless of who won the set. 

When you are playing this game and you accidentally hit a ball into the opponent’s pocket, your opponent is still awarded a point. If one of the pockets becomes full to the point where no more balls will fit in the pocket, then the game is over and the owner of that packet is the winner. There are never any ties or draws in this game. 

If you are looking to get better at playing pool one of the best ways to do that is by upgrading your pool cue. One of my favorite cues is the Viking Valhalla. It is available in a variety of colors and won’t break the bank. You can find it by clicking here.

What Happens If You Scratch In One Pocket Pool?

When playing one pocket pool an accidentally pocketed ball to the opponent’s pocket, will not be counted if the cue ball is also pocketed at the same time. Any scratch on a player’s turn, will end their turn as well as give them a one-ball penalty.

This means if a player has 3 balls in his pocket and he accidentally scratches, then one of his balls will come back out onto the table and have to be re-pocketed.