pool table

How to play pool for beginners is a guide to get you started playing pool. To start pool is a game that can be learned fairly quickly, but takes years to master.

If you want to master pool you have to start with the basics. You have to learn the fundamentals and practice them regularly. Having been shooting pool for years I still set the pool table up and practice basics.

When learning how to play pool for beginners it’s important to remember that you’re playing a game that’s meant to be fun.

Pool is a mental game and if you get upset or aggravated you probably will not shoot very well. To shoot pool you need to be calm, relaxed, and have a good time.

table of Contents


A good stance level cue the start for how to play pool for beginner

When shooting pool you want to have a good stance to get down low to the table to line up your shot. When aiming you want to hit on the center axis of the cue ball.

Aim where you are going to hit the cue ball then look at the ball you want to pocket. 

Keep the stick as level as you can. When you practice, pay attention to keeping your stick level.

Then you need to only bend your elbow to keep your upper arm stationary.When you are starting out make sure to not swing your whole arm.

Keep a loose grip. Don’t grip your stick really tight; it throws off your aim and the stick doesn’t stay level. Instead keep a loose grip aiming for the center axis of the cue ball and shoot softly.

Don’t jerk the stick, hit soft with follow thru. 

Learning how to play pool for beginners is important to remember the basics every time you play.

So for the basics. You want to keep your upper arm stationary. Only bend the elbow. Keep a loose grip. Keep your stick level. Have a stance to get low to the table. Aim on the center axis of the cue ball. Then look at the ball you’re shooting. Finally shoot softly with a smooth follow thru.

If you keep these basics in mind and practice them you’ll have a good start at mastering the game.  Practice regularly, think about the basics and remember it’s a game so have fun.



example of how to rack
  • First you start by “racking” the balls. Get the triangle and put the balls inside.
  • Next arrange the balls with the 8 ball in the center and 1 ball in the front.
  • Then you push the rack to the center even with the second dot.
  • Finally remove the triangle from the balls. 


example of a brake
  • Next you go to the other end of the table and get the cue ball.
  • Line the cue ball up behind the second dot.
  • Then you hit the cue ball hard enough to break the rack.

If you make a ball on the break then those are the balls you shoot at. One person will shoot stripes and the other will shoot solids.

The object is to shoot all your balls first and then shoot in the 8 ball.

Remember to call your shots. This means when you get ready to shoot you state to your opponent which pocket you are going to shoot the ball into.


8 ball on a pool table


The first game we’ll cover is 8 ball. In 8 ball you shoot all of your balls in calling your shots as you go.

Then when you have made all of your balls you shoot the 8 ball in. If you shoot and the cue ball goes in a pocket that’s a “scratch”.

If you scratch when shooting at the 8 ball you lose.

There are 2 variations of 8 ball.

  • One is called straight 8.
  • The other is called last pocket.

In straight 8 you shoot all your balls in and then you can shoot the 8 ball in any pocket as long as you call it.

In the game last pocket it means you shoot all of your balls in and you have to make the 8 ball in the pocket you made your last ball in. If you shoot and it goes in another pocket you lose.

example of a rack for 15 ball


  • In 15 ball you rack all the balls like in 8 ball.
  • Then someone breaks and you have to shoot the balls in numeric order.
  • You have to call all shots.
  • Before you start the game you decide how many points to play to.
  • Then you play till one person reaches the set points reracking as needed till someone wins.

Balls 1-10 are worth 1 point. Balls 11-15 are worth 2 points.

pool ball against rail to show how to bank to play bank pool for beginners


Bank pool is a little more advanced game. To play bank pool you rack like in 8 ball. The object of the game is to make 8 bank shoots to win.

  • The rules are you have to call all shots.
  • The ball has to bank off the rail.
  • The ball can’t touch any other balls for the point to count.
  • The first one to make 8 bank shots following these rules wins.
9 ball rack how to play pool for beginners


In 9 ball just as the name says you only use balls 1-9.

  • You rack the balls in a diamond shape. One person breaks.
  • The object is you have to shoot in numeric order.
  • As in other games you have to call all shots.
  • The person to get to and sink the 9 ball wins.


So that’s my thoughts on how to play pool for beginners. Find a place you’re relaxed with a pool table. Practice as much as you can. Keep the basics in mind and implement them every time you play. Above all remember you are playing a game. Have fun stay relaxed if you miss a shot just tell yourself I’ll get it next time. Study your game and practice week points until they are strong points. Do this and you’ll be on your way to mastering the game of pool and dominating in your local tournaments. I hope this was informational for you and you get as much satisfaction and joy from the game as I do. 

For more pool tips checkout this article.

And you can checkout this

Leave a Comment