What Happens If You Scratch In Pool?

Have you ever been playing a game of pool, and you scratched? Maybe they said that they got to do whatever they want with the cue ball, and that does not sound right? Well, in this article we will go over the rules about scratching for most pool games, and what the official rules say. 

So what Happens if you Scratch in pool?

If you are playing 8-ball which is what is normally played here in the United States, and someone scratches, the opponent then is able to put the ball anywhere on the table that they choose. Other variations of this rule are used, but they should be discussed before the game begins. 

If you want to know more about the different rules for scratching, you will want to keep reading. You can also watch this video to learn all the official rules of 8-ball. 

Pool Table - Premium Billiard 32 Pieces Accessory Kit - Pool Cue Sticks Bridge Ball Sets

If you have a pool table then you have to get this amazing set of pool balls, cues, bridge, two racks, two brushes, tip repair kit, chalk, table cover, tally bottle, and tally balls.

This pack of pool table accessories is must have.

Rules for baseball billiards

It is a game that is played using 21 object balls. The balls are numbered from 1 to 21. It uses a cue ball that is white. This game was invented in 1912. Same with other billiard games the 21 balls are racked in a triangle-shaped wood at the foot spot. In this game the foot spot is called home plate. The ball that is marked number 1 is placed on the home plate during ball racking. The balls 2 and 3 are placed left and right in the rack, while ball 9 for this game is referred to as the pitcher. This ball gets placed near the center of the rack.

Players in this game will continue playing until the player commits a foul. Once a foul is committed, the player’s turn will end. You win the game by getting the most runs. In order to get a run, all you have to do is to pocket a ball. Each ball is worth the number on the balls. So if a player pocketed 12 and 13 balls in one inning then the player will have 25 points for the one inning. The game will stop when all the nine innings have been played. The player with the most runs at the end of the 9 innings, wins the game. 

What happens if you scratch?

If a player scratches, it automatically completes the inning and the player who scratched will have a score of zero for that one inning. It will be easy to tell if you scratch, as one single scratch can easily cost you the game.  No matter how many points you have in the inning, if you scratch, then all of your points for that inning will be voided and you will get 0 points for that inning. This is one game that you definitely want to make sure you never scratch in! 

Rules for one pocket

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 from 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. 

What happens if you scratch?

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 players 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. 

Rules for bowlliards

Bowlliards, as the name states, is a combination of two games. It combines bowling and pocket billiards. In the terms of bowling, there is a perfect score that you want to reach. This game can be played by any number of players or teams and it can even be played with just one player. In this game, you will need 10 object balls plus a cue ball. They are then set in a diamond rack.

The scoring for this game is also easy. Unlike other pool games, no matter what the marked number of the ball, all pocketed balls will be scored as one point. Handicapping in bowlliards is also done exactly as with bowling. It is a percentage of the difference between a player’s average score and a basic score that is higher than all players in the tournament. In bowlliards, when the break is done, it does not necessarily mean that he needs to pocket balls to continue. The player may continue even without any balls pocketed after the first break. However, if any balls are pocketed during a break, all those balls will be placed in the spot. After the ball is put in the spot, the player will have to start and score with his cue ball in hand.

What happens if you scratch?

If the cue ball ends as a scratch or jumping off the table, he will need to place the cue ball behind the head string to begin his second chance of the frame. This is applicable only for his first foul on the frame. If this happens more than one time in a frame, there will be no second chance, and one point will be deducted from the player’s score.


Regardless of the scratch, either intentional or accidental, it will always give the offender a disadvantage of either losing a turn or having a point deduction from his overall score. Rules on scratching are different for different types of pool games. No matter what pool game you are playing, you will never want to scratch when it is your turn as it might just cost you the game. 

Matt Robbs

There is nothing quite so enjoyable as bringing back memories from your childhood. We used to spend hours playing pinball in my friends basement and that really got me involved in everything retro!

Recent Posts