Playing pool can be a big test in foresight and patience when your date is not quite getting the game. To help you understand how to play pool, here’s a quick rundown of the rules:
The balls are arranged in sets of seven into balls that must be struck in order (1 ball through 7 ball). Once all balls have been struck, they are then re-arranged according to their placement after shooting (object is to strike each set with the lowest number of strokes). The goal when playing pool is usually to reduce one’s score to zero, which occurs when all pool balls are pocketed. When only the cue ball remains on the table, it is also considered live until either a player or pockets another object ball. The game requires a cue ball, two object balls also known as colored balls, and six pockets on the table—one for each set of balls.
The game starts with the cue ball placed anywhere behind or within the “kitchen” (a semicircular area extending from the middle of the bottom rail to the head rail). The initial contact between ball and tip must be below center (“balls below center”) in order for shot to count. Once you’ve established your position, it’s time to take aim at your object ball. A player is aiming his or her shot if their eyes are directly over any point of an imaginary line drawn through the center of where his/her cue will strike their cue ball until it hits their object ball. If a player is aiming correctly, the center of his or her cue will be aligned with the point that their object ball touches a rail before it falls into a pocket.
Once your position and aim have been decided upon, square up to your cue stick as if you were going to shoot it as if no one else was around. If you’re waiting for your date to clear off some free space at a pool table in a bar or club, this is where you might want them to step back from the table so they don’t get hit by an errant shot (or try and help them anyway). Now line up your shot and sink that ball! Finesse isn’t usually necessary when playing pool since good technique can compensate for speed; accuracy is more important.
At smaller clubs and bars where space is limited, you may find that there’s not enough room to take a proper stance at the table. In this case, it can be helpful to sit on the edge of your date’s barstool with your legs stretched wide apart on either side of the chair—this will give you plenty of stability while taking aim! When playing pool in bars or clubs, don’t be afraid to ask other customers for permission before moving their personal belongings (like beer bottles) out of your way.
You’ve got your place, line up your shot, now make some magic happen! A good strategy is to start by pocketing solid balls first if they are available because sinking them gets you closer to the 8 ball. Solid balls can be recognized by their stripes and solids alternate in color (i.e. 7-ball is yellow, 8-ball is black). If you plan on sinking a solid ball into its pocket, you need to hit it straight since banking will likely send the ball flying off the table (and end up costing you shots when you miss).
When your date’s turn comes along, don’t forget to warn them before they shoot so that they won’t get hit in the face by an errant shot! If there are other people at the pool table who would like to play next, step back so your date can move in to take their turn and allow others space at the table. When playing pool with a date, try not to talk too much about rules and strategies—other players may have been playing longer than you have so it might be best to stay quiet and let them show you the ropes.
This article was written by my partner-in-crime, Matt Mazur. Enjoy!
I’m a big fan of Date Ideas in general because they’re a great way to get out there and meet new people without being too overt about your intentions right off the bat (because nobody wants to be called a creep). Date Ideas also give you more opportunities to express yourself creatively as long as you can think outside of typical dinner/drinks/movie type dates that we see on TV all the time. Date Ideas are great for building chemistry with someone since you’re sharing new experiences together, even if it’s something as small as mini golf or playing pool. Date ideas are also a good way to see how well both of your communication styles mesh since they can be more casual and less formal than traditional dates – which is where I think “playing pool” might have the edge on regular old mini golf!