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Three Handed Billiards

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  • Three Handed Billiards

    This is probably not a new idea, but recently my mates and I developed a way of playing billiards with three strikers.

    A third cue was selected (we used green), and lag for break and order of play. The lag winner could choose to break or pass to the next striker, but the order of play was set with the lag. Red on the spot to start.

    You could score winners or loosers off either of the opponents cue, but winners stayed down. After the break ended, if the up coming striker did not have the odd cue on the table, it was spotted on the pyramid. This discouraged potting both of the opponents cue balls as it left an easy opening hazard for the up coming striker.

    A foul was 2 points to both opponents, and if after a foul the striker wanted to spot the balls and play from in hand, the cue ball of the next striker in order would be placed on pyramid.

    Cannons only counted if the red was involved.

    Hazards involving the red counted three points.

    Balk area was restricted from in hand and led to the possibility of a "triple balk".

    Highest possible score from a single shot is increased from 10 pts to 12 pts.

    Strangely enough, I found the table a bit crowded with the extra cue, and a bit more confusing, however there were more shot options.
    It don't take the place of proper billiards, but was an interesting experiment, and an option when an extra lad is about.

  • #2
    A follow up, for anyone interested. After using this method for three handed play for some time, I realized there was a better way to skin this particular cat. Instead of using a third cue, we tried it with just the normal three ball setup, but the difference being that as a striker approached the table for his shot, he would always address the cue that the previous striker had not. So, in other words, each time you started your break, you would play the alternate cue from your previous shot. That way all the proper procedures of play could be maintained, with only a few differences:

    Each striker would play alternating cue balls.

    Three ball lag to determine order of play, with the winner choosing to break off or pass to the next striker in the order.

    Foul points are awarded to both opponents, but only the upcoming striker has the choice of playing the balls as they are, or re-spotting.

    The striker, on completion of his break, will remind the up coming striker of the correct cue to address, that way all players are responsible for maintaining the proper switch off between cues.

    So far this has worked perfectly, and as I seem to always have two other lads around, this way, one doesn't have to sit and wait for the next game.


    • #3
      Three Handed Billiards

      when you say "cue" you mean "cue ball" yes?
      interesting post
      Up the TSF!


      • #4
        Yes, cue ball. Sorry, it made sense in my head.


        • #5
          Three Handed Billiards

          I was think that the player was unlikely leaving his cue on the table and "you have to play from here and in this direction"
          Up the TSF!