Over the years, I have been introduced to many variations of billiard games. Some games may take some time to complete, while others are over relatively fast. The two most popular games, 8-ball and 9-ball, for example, will cost average players about 10-15 minutes of their time. Some games, such as rotation and cowboy pool, will take a bit longer. But what if you are pressed for time and want to get in a quick “bragging rights” billiard match with a friend? Or maybe you are alone and want to brush up on your shot setups and break speed, and you want something quick and easy.
One of my favorite, quicker billiard games involves a simple 3-ball triangle setup and one or more opponents. A single match with two players should not take any longer than five minutes. If no opponent is available, a quick game of solo 3-ball is a great drill for leaves and anticipating a few shots ahead.
The rules of the game are quite simple. Place three billiard balls in triangle formation on the head spot, and place your cue ball anywhere in the kitchen(behind the scratch line), as if you were breaking for a normal game of 8-ball or 9-ball. Each billiard shot, including the break, counts as one stroke. If a scratch occurs, it is counted as two extra strokes, plus the shot you just made, totaling three. Each player keeps shooting until all three balls have been pocketed. The player with the fewest strokes after each player sinks all three of their balls is the victor.
If you are looking for a billiard game that is simple to understand and not very time-consuming, then 3-ball billiards is the way to go. Make it more interesting by setting up tournaments or making small wagers with your friends. Or incorporate it into other pool games as short bonus rounds. Whatever your preference, once you start, you will be finding yourself playing 3-ball pool over and over again.