(FAQ) What are some gambling handicaps?

(About the Author)

When gambling with individuals who regularly put money on their skills, they have ways to define some of the parameters (weight) given to a shooter. Here are the terms with short descriptions. The descriptions below assume you are getting the spot (advantage).

Warning: Do NOT place bets in any situation where localized bar rules are used. You will guarantee an argument or fight over how the rules and spots are applied.

General spots

  • (Number of games) - In a race to 7, if your opponent spots you 3 games, you need to win only 4 games against your opponent's 7 games to win the race.
  • "Break" - you break for each game. This is good when skill levels are close.
  • "Last pocket" - In 8 Ball, your opponent must make the 8 ball in the same pocket as he made the last ball in his group. In 9 Ball, your opponent must make the 9 ball in the same pocket he made last highest ball.
  • "Bank in the money ball" - To win, your opponent must bank the winning ball (8 ball or 9 ball).
  • Spot combinations - these spots can be applied one at a time, as multiple requirements to win, or if this spot is satisfied that the spot applies (or vice versa). It is important that the exact details be understood by both parties.
  • Random spots - spots can be invented to reduce your opponent's skills to a level that is relatively even. For example, your opponent shoots with the opposite hand, or one handed, whatever can be agreed upon.

9 Ball spots

  • "Give the X ball" (usually the 5, or 6, or 7, or 8) or "spot the X ball" - when running the table, a legal pocketing of the X ball or the 9 ball wins the game for you. If the X ball was pocketed by your opponent, you have to go to the 9 to win. If the X ball is illegally pocketed by your opponent, it is usually spotted.
  • "Spot the X ball and out" - If you legally pocket the X ball (or higher) ball, you win.
  • "Straight Xv" - The X ball must be made in turn and not in a combination or carom.
  • "Wild X ball" - If you pocket the 9 or X ball legally, you win. If "wild after the break", the X ball is only available if pocketed after the break.
  • "Call X ball" - You must call your spotted ball in a specific pocket, and no slop. This can also be a combo/carom shot as long as it is called.
  • "Last 2" - The last two balls on the table are both money balls for you (no combination or carom shots on the second highest ball until only two balls remain on the table.

8 Ball spots

  • "Extra money ball" - your last ball of your group on the table can also be the money ball. Make it and you win.
  • "Spot X number of balls" - (usually 1 to 3 balls) when the balls are removed is negotiated (after the break, later in the game by your choice or your opponent's choice, etc.).

1 Pocket spots

  • "Break" - If you have given the break, this can be a big advantage when well played.
  • "Ball on your break" - You get a ball (1 point) advantage when your opponent breaks. When you break, it's an even game.
  • "Hand span" - This is an interesting handicap spot. You get the move the cue ball in any direction within the width of your hand with fingers spread. (That's a huge move.)
  • "Scratches do not count" - If you scratch, you do not get penalized with a loss of point, except for loss of turn and ball in hand in the kitchen.
The FAQs of Pool & Pocket Billiards


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