The New Rules of Barroom Pool

Pretty much every bar with a pool table has a set of rules posted, a loose scrawl of law on a page mottled with sweat, smoke and broken dreams. No gambling, no fighting, et al. If only the game of pool were that simple. And so we present the new rulebook for barroom pool.

When it’s not your shot, try not to just stand around chalking your cue. You’re probably unaware of just how homoerotic that looks.

Pool Rules

When it is your shot, don’t make a show of finding your angles and the perfect alignment. Admit that you are powerless and just take your fucking shot.

How To Shoot Pool

In games of mixed doubles, avoid assisting your female partner by standing behind her and helping guide her shot. You look like some douche out of Cinemax After Dark.

Pool Playing Tips

There’s a reason most of the waiting lists for a pool table are written in chalk—so you can erase the names of anyone ahead of you.

Unless there’s a substantial sum of money riding on your game, there is never any reason to use the bridge.

Woman Shooting Pool

When playing with people significantly better than you, you’re permitted to blame your lack of skill on alcohol (once), the strange pills you took (twice), and/or an old war injury (indefinitely).

 You know those guys who go to a bar only to play pool? Those mumbly dudes who circle the table like sharks? Yeah, those are pool sharks. Avoid them.
Vintage Pool Playing Picture

Don’t rest your drink on the railing. Don’t snort lines off the felt.

Bartenders love nothing more than getting you quarters for the table. Never bring your own.


In the event of a barroom brawl, don’t swing a cue stick at your opponent. Break it over your knee first—thusly one weapon becomes two.

Steven Segal Pool Stick

While these rules can’t guarantee victory at the table, heed them well and you’ll always walk away a winner.