One Pocket. ~ Mark Finklestein

One of the most rewarding things about playing pool is that pool is a great equalizer.

It amazes me how I can still be competitive with 20 year olds and collect social security at the same time! But as I have gotten older, my eyes have gotten a little soft and the edges of the balls aren’t as sharp as they used to be.

Pool gives us a game though where I can use my skills and knowledge as a great equalizer to the young, sharp shooting eyes out there. From another direction, if 9 ball is hoping your opponent misses as the pattern is obvious to you, and you have mastered the intricacies of playing safe in 8 ball, it might be time for you to open the door to a new challenge and a new game, one pocket.

One pocket has a lot more thinking and problem solving than 8 ball or 9 ball, and you still get to shoot balls off. One pocket places a premium on knowledge, patience, safety play, and nerve. One pocket can be easily handicapped depending on skill level as well. If you are new to one pocket, give it a try. I think you will find it challenging, addictive and fun. Not a bad way to spend an afternoon!

The Rules:

I’m not going to bore you with a whole lot of rules. You can find them at this site which is a great site for stories, strategies, and the one pocket community. Basically you have to hit a ball and then after the crash, something has to hit a rail. On a foul, the incoming player gets ball in hand behind the head string and the player committing the foul loses a ball. The object of the game is to pocket 8 balls into your designated pocket. Traditionally each player takes a corner pocket by the foot of the table. The strategy revolves around finding ways to get balls in to play for your pocket, and denying the chance for your opponent to score.


Here is a diagram of the traditional break. The idea is to push balls by your pocket, and leave the cue ball by the 2nd diamond. This puts balls in play by your pocket, and hides them from your