(FAQ) Game Rules - Kelly Pool

(About the Author)

These series of "Game Rules' provide rules of many different games for the pool table. The rules here have been simplified from the official versions - to make them a little easier to understand.

There are other games that have been invented, copyrighted and generally available to the playing public. Web searches will turn these up and the rules printed out for use.

Kelly (Pea) Pool

This is another one of the "old geezer" games that were very popular up through the 1980s. The version presented here is the gambling version.

Object

Balls are played in rotation, lowest to highest.

Highest score wins the pot. In case of a scoring tie, the pot is split.

Opponents

Two to 15 players (three to six is best).

Balls

Regular set of balls.

A shake bottle with 15 numbered beads.

Racking

Standard random rack, 1 on the head spot, 2 on the right corner and 3 on the left corner (viewing from foot rail).

Before the break, every player gets a bead (their secret number) from the shake bottle. If 2 to 5 players, each player gets three beads. If 6 to 7, two beads, more players get one.

Every player puts up the predetermined ante amount (i.e., quarter or $1)

Breaking

Breaker determined by local rules (coin, lag, card draw, etc.)

Legal break is cue ball to the one ball with four balls to the rail or a ball pocketed.

If not legal, incoming player can accept the table and shoot from the kitchen, or re-rack the balls and break himself.

Scratch on the break - incoming player can shoot from the kitchen or force a re-rack and break.

Regular play

Balls are pocketed in rotation, and each pocketed ball is one point.

Call ball and pocket.

If shooter pockets his secret numbered ball, he gets one point and every player pays him the amount of the ante.

If shooter pockets the secret number of another player, he gets one point, and the owner of the number pays him the amount of the ante.

If no player pocketed his secret numbered ball and all balls are pocketed, the pot is paid out. The next game doubles all values and antes.

If shooting cue ball out of the kitchen and lowest ball in the kitchen, spot it.

Incidental pocketed balls on a successful called shot count.

Fouls

If a player does not announce his secret numbered ball when pocketed, all points are lost, pays double to the shooter who made it plus pays two antes to the pot.

Normal penalties are loss of turn, and an ante to the pot. Any balls pocketed in that shot are spotted.

  • No legal ball contact
  • Ball off the table (spotted)
  • Scratch (shoot from the kitchen)
  • Illegal ball touching (optional – moved balls can be replaced with opponent's approval and play continues with no penalty)

On a foul, incoming player can accept the table as is or force the offending player to keep shooting.

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