Game help & information
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Pool games are played on a table with 6 pockets, balls and a cue to move the balls around. Pool games are great to play by yourself or to play against others. There is a nice selection of different pool games for you to choose from.
If you are a registered user of Playforia and have logged in with your nickname, you can start playing right away.
If you don't have your own Playforia nickname yet, you will be assigned a random visitor nickname starting with 'anonym' and a number to inform other players that you are a guest. This way you won't be confused with regular players.
If you want to create your own nickname (it's free!), click here.
Choosing a game
After logging in, you will see a menu to select a game lobby of your choice. You can select the following games; Eight Ball, Nine Ball, Straight Pool, Rotation and Snooker. Some of these games have several lobbies with different settings to choose from.
Click 'switch' at the top of the screen for the single player games menu. Here you can select; Free training in Pool or Snooker, Straight Pool, Rotation, Straight Pool 99 and Continuous.
Click 'switch' again to switch back to the multiplayer game menu.
What you can do in the lobby:
In the lobby you may chat with other players. Enter your text into the field provided for it and press 'Enter' or the "-> Speak" button. The messages written by other people (game messages and announcements) will be shown in the big chat window in the middle of the screen.
On the left side of the lobby is a list of the players that are in the lobby, but are not playing at the moment. You may select a player from the list and challenge him/her for a game: click on the username and then on the button of the game you want to play, at the top of the screen. (If, at the start, you selected a lobby that concentrates on one game only, then there will be just one game button at the top of the screen.) If someone else challenges you for a game, you will see it at the top of the screen and may choose to accept or reject the challenge. The game begins when the challenged player accepts the challenge. (The instructions for the various two-player games can be found at "Rules for two-player games").
Under the game buttons, there are also some menus to select settings for the game to be started. (Note that game settings must be selected for the game before the challenge.)
Time limit for strokes: If you want, you may select a time limit for strokes. If a player does not strike the cue ball within this time limit, he is considered to have lost.
The point limit of Straight Pool: You can select how many points are needed to win a Straight Pool game. This setting has no bearing if you are not about to challenge a player to play Straight Pool.
If you don't want to play yourself, you may watch other players' games. At the right side of the lounge, there's a list of active games. Some of the games on the list are shown in gray and cannot be watched. Select a game written in black from the list and click on the 'Watch Game' button under the list. Then you'll end up watching the selected game. (Further information about viewing a game can be found at "Viewing games").
There are also some special choices in the lobby that you can select/unselect by clicking on the corresponding checkboxes. These are:
The messages you write will be sent privately to the username that you have selected from the list on the left.
Select a person from the list and then click on this option. You will not receive any messages written by this user, nor can he challenge you to a game. (A useful feature in case of so-called "troublemaker" users.)
- No join/part messages:
When this option is active, information about who joined/left the lobby isn't displayed in the lobby.
- No game messages:
When this option is active, information about who is playing games isn't displayed in the lobby.
- Play for coins:
When this option is active, you can only be challenged by other users who want to play for coins (as a bet).
- No challenges:
Nobody can challenge you to a game when you select this option. The challengers will just get a message that you are not accepting challenges at the moment. This is practical if you just want to concentrate on having a chat with others in the lobby for a while; or if you leave your computer for a certain period, but want to stay connected to the game room.
- Beep on challenge:
If your computer sound is on and this option is selected, you'll hear a beeping sound when you get a challenge. Practical, for instance, when there aren't many players in the playroom and you want to surf another browser window while waiting for new players and challenges in the lobby.
- Back to room select:
Click this button at the top right to go back to the main menu and select the pool game and lobby of your choice.
Rules for two-player games
If there is no cue ball (white ball) on the table, it must be placed on the table at the beginning of the game. Depending on the situation, you may place the ball anywhere on the table or behind the head string (shown as a dark red dash-line on the screen). In every type of game, the break shot must hit the ball on the foot spot (the ball nearest to the head string). If this does not happen, the balls will be placed back in their starting positions and the turn is given to the opposing player.
Shooting is done like this: select direction of the shot with the mouse, then press down the left mouse-button. The cue tip visible on the screen will start to draw away from the cue ball. The shot will be fired when you release the mouse button. The longer you hold down the mouse-button, the harder and faster the shot will be.
If you wish, you may strike spinning shots by selecting the point on the cue ball at which you aim the cue. Selecting the aiming point is done by mouse-clicking the point you want to hit on the white ball in the upper-right corner of the screen. Note that making your shot spin powerfully (by hitting the cue ball on the edge) will weaken the power of the shot to some extent.
In eight ball, you can start by trying to pocket any ball other than the black 8-ball. When one of the players pockets either one of the solids (balls 1 to 7) or one of the stripes (balls 9 to 15), the choice of solids or stripes is determined by the pocketed ball. From then on, the player must try to pocket balls of the same set. The balls of the other set belong to the opponent.
If a player pockets a ball of his own object set (and none of the opponent's balls or the cue ball are pocketed), the player can continue his turn. If the cue ball is pocketed, the opponent gets a free ball in hand; that is, the opponent can place the cue ball anywhere on the table.
When a player has pocketed all of his own object balls (solids or stripes), he may start trying to pocket the black 8-ball. Before trying to pocket the 8-ball, the player must designate the pocket by clicking on it. A red spot will appear over the pocket. The opponent can see the spot, too. If the black number eight goes into the designated pocket, the player wins.
A player loses the game if:
- he pockets the 8-ball-before he has pocketed all of his object balls
- he pockets the 8-ball in a pocket other than that which he designated
- the white cue ball is pocketed at the same time as the 8-ball.
In 9-ball, on each shot, the cue ball must first touch the lowest-numbered ball on the table. Prior to the shot, the object ball is marked with a green circle. The winner is the player that first pockets the ball number 9.
If a player pockets the cue ball, or if the first object ball contacted by the cue ball is not the lowest-numbered ball on the table, the opponent gets ball in hand. If the 9-ball is pocketed with a shot in which the ball first contacted by the cue ball was not the lowest-numbered ball on the table, then the player loses the game.
In Straight pool the object of the game is to pocket all the balls except the cue ball and every pocketed ball earns a point. If a player pockets the cue ball, he loses a point and the opponent gets ball in hand. When there is just one ball left on the table (in addition to the cue ball), all the pocketed balls are put back on the table and the game continues as usual.
The winner is the player that first reaches the point limit chosen before the game.
In Rotation, the cue ball must first hit the lowest-numbered ball on the table on every shot. Any ball may be pocketed and each pocketed ball gives the player as many points as is the number on the ball (1-15). If the first object ball contacted by the cue ball is not the lowest-numbered ball on the table, and balls get pocketed, all the points gained with the shot are given to the opponent.
The game ends when either player gets more than 60 points, as the winner has already been decided. (All balls together total 120 points.)
In snooker all the balls are shared and only the red balls can be removed. The coloured balls will reappear to the game after the hits. Only after hitting a red ball you're allowed to hit a coloured ball, which gives you more points. The winner of the game is the one with most points at the end of the game.
If you are viewing a game others are playing, it looks the same as when you play the game yourself. Only the possibility to send messages straight to the opponent and the functions to select spin are not available. Obviously, you cannot take part in playing the game, but you can use the in-game chat at the bottom of the screen.
Players can remove troublemaking spectators from their own games with the 'Remove user' button. Once removed, the user can not enter this same game to view again.
Rules for single-player games
Playing single-user games is pretty much like playing two-user games. You may start a new game by clicking the 'New game' button at the lower right corner of the screen. (Note that the button is visible only after the first stroke has been completed. It also becomes temporarily invisible when the balls are moving.)
The balls you have already pocketed, and how many strokes you have taken, are shown at the top of the screen.
If you play any game other than Free Training, you will see four different Top 5 lists below the table: "Best Registered", "Best of All Time", "Best of The Month" and "Today's Best".
Free Training is, as the name says, completely free. There are no rules; even the break stroke does not have to hit the ball on the foot spot, as in all the other pool games.
The object of this game is to pocket every ball on the table, with the exception of the cue ball, using as few strokes as possible. The order of pocketing is free. If the cue ball is pocketed, ball in hand is given and, as a penalty, one of the previously pocketed balls is placed back on the table.
This game is quite similar to Pocketing, except that the cue ball must first hit the lowest-numbered ball on the table on every shot. If the cue ball hits one of the other balls first, all the balls pocketed with the shot will be put back on the table. If the cue ball is pocketed, ball in hand is given and, as a penalty, one of the previously pocketed balls is placed back on the table.
Straight Pool 99:
Straight pool 99 is like straight pool, except you have to pocket 99 balls. When there is only one ball (or none) left on the table, all balls are returned onto the table so you always have balls to pocket. The goal is still to pocket these 99 balls with as few strokes as possible.
Continuous is single player game where the game lasts as long as you shoot at least one ball (not the cue ball of course) in a pocket. Just like in Straight pool 99, balls are returned onto the table when you run out, so there is no limit on how long the game can last. The game ends when you fail to pocket any ball. Your score is the amount of strokes you've made. (Note: your score is not the amount of balls you've pocketed. So no matter how many balls you pocket, only one point is given per stroke.)