What Is Billiards Without Pockets? Other Pool Table Games

person playing pool at table

If you have been in the billiards world, you may learn that there are other types of pool table games. Some of these games include billiards without pockets. So what is it?

Billiards without pockets is often called “Pocketless Pool” or Carom billiards. It differs from regular pool and has a different set of rules.

There are many other types of pool table games that include Carom billiards. Here is how you can play pocketless pool and these other games.

What Is Billiards Without Pockets?

Billiards without pockets is nicknamed “pocketless pool” or Carom billiards. It is sometimes even called French Billiards. It doesn’t have the same setup as regular pool.

Ironically, it is not really considered a pool table game since it does not have pockets, but it can still improve your skill since it has similar concepts to regular pool.

Rules Of Carom Billiards

Carom Billiards, yes, doesn’t have pockets, so how do you play this game? The table has three marks: one at the head, foot, and center.

This game doesn’t have as many balls, either. Instead of a large number of balls for regular pool, there is a cue ball, a white ball with a black dot, and a red ball. 

From here, this is how the game should be completed:

  • The red ball must be set at the foot.
  • The white ball with the black dot at the head spot.
  • The cue ball is six inches away from the white ball.
  • The cue ball must come into contact with the red ball on the first shot.
  • The object of the game is to try and hit one object ball into the second object ball for points.
  • The one with the highest points wins.

The game can seem a little complicated at first, but as you continue playing, it becomes easier and easier. 

Other Pool Table Games

Some popular alternative games you can play are the following:

  • Cut Throat Pool
  • Baseball Billiards
  • 10 Ball Pool
  • Bank Pool
  • One Pocket
  • Straight Pool

There are many other pool table games you can play, especially on a regular pool table. You don’t have to stick with the traditional rules. It is always good to spice things up.

Cut Throat Pool

Cut Throat Pool is wonderful when you have groups. It is when one group of players selects which group of balls and the other group does the same. 

The object of the game is to get as many of the other group’s balls into the pockets before your balls get hit into the pockets. Whoever finishes off their opponent’s balls wins!

Baseball Billiards

Baseball Billiards is similar to the rules of baseball. It requires 21 balls, and you must get an oversized rack to rack the balls up.

Each player is given nine innings to sink in as many balls as possible into the pockets. You have to call your shots in this game, which makes this game more of a challenge!

10 Ball Pool

If you have ever played 9 ball, 10 ball is very similar to that. You rack the balls 1 through 10 in a triangle formation. 

This one is challenging because the cue ball should always come in contact with the lowest number. To make it more difficult, you can make the game where you have to call your shot.

Bank Pool

Bank Pool comes from the term “Bank Shot.” You use the traditional 15 balls for this game, and you must call your shots. It doesn’t count if you do not score based on what you called.

Each ball must be pocketed through a bank shot. If there is no bank shot involved, you don’t get the point. The player with the most object balls legally pocketed wins.

One Pocket

One pocket comes from the fact that you can only score in one pocket at the foot of the table. You cannot score in any other pocket, which makes for quite a unique and fun game.

The goal is to get 8 balls into your pocket before someone else does. None of the balls that go into a different pocket count.

Straight Pool

This pool game is very popular as it was played in the movie The Hustler. You will need the traditional 15-object balls. 

In this game, you play with a score of 100 points. You can change the point amount if you need a shorter game. 

You gain points by pocketing object balls and lose points if you do a foul. If you foul three times in a row, then you take away 15 points. 

This game doesn’t end when you pocket all the balls, though. You continue playing (straight through) until you’ve reached the agreed-upon points.


There are so many variations of games you can play on a pool table. And so many games similar to pool that you can play. You don’t have to be limited to the traditional game of pool!


Benny is the owner of Supreme Billiards and has been shooting pool and teaching people how to shoot pool for a few years now. He enjoys showing new players techniques and drills to improve their pool game.

Recent Posts