How to Play Pool by Yourself – Blatt Billiards

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How to Play Pool by Yourself

by David Roeder |

The game of pool is a popular sport many people enjoy because it requires you to strategize, plan ahead, think about how the pool balls will interact with each other, and what shots you need to make to win the game.

While pool is typically played with two players, you can still enjoy pool as a solo player whenever you want.

What Equipment Is Needed?

Blatt Platinum Playing Equipment Package.

You need the same equipment as you would when challenging an opponent, including:

  • Pool Table
  • Pool Balls
  • Cue Sticks
  • Racking Triangles
  • Pool Chalk

While it might seem fun to make up your own pool games, you should first understand the rules of different games of pool you can play, such as 8-ball, 3-ball, etc.

How to Play Solo Pool

Handsome man playing pool in pub

Playing solo depends on what type of pool game you want to play. For example, if you want to play 8-ball, you use a pool rack to arrange the balls just like you would when playing against someone else. However, you also get to break the balls since you are playing solo.

Play progresses based on whatever ball you pocket first. So, if you pocket a solid ball first, you play solids and vice versa. Your objective is to pocket all of the solids first, then all of the stripes, and finally the 8-ball. If you pocket both solids and stripes when you break the balls, you decide which balls you want to play first.

Other Solo Pool Games You Can Play

man hand holding snooker stick playing pool or billiards

8-ball pool is just one type of solo pool game you can enjoy. Other games you can play include:

Fifteen in a Row

Billiard cue and pool balls.

This game helps you hone your skills because you have to sink all fifteen balls without missing a single one. First, you set up the game and rack the balls just like 8-ball pool. Then, after you break the balls, you have to pocket one ball per turn in any order you want. If you miss pocketing a ball, the game is over.

Rotation Practice

pool or billiards balls on light blue table , focus on number 1

This solo version of the traditional rotation game focuses on pocketing balls in numerical order. Begin with balls 1 through 9 (or up to 15 balls), attempting to sink them in sequence with the fewest shots. Successfully pocketed balls during the break count towards your progress.

Three-Ball (3-Ball)

Billiards cue ready for shooting

Choose any three billiard balls, put them in to a triangle where you normally rack the balls, and use the cue ball to break. Your goal is to hit your object balls in the fewest number of shots possible and lowest score. Each shot should count as one, and you add two to your score for every scratch or foul. 


numbers one, two and three pool balls in a row

You set up the table like in three-ball, except you only have three shots to sink all three balls. If you want more of a challenge, you can count your break shot as one of the three shots.

Speed Pool

pool break

Speed pool requires you to move quickly while maintaining accuracy and control over your shots. The rules are simple:

  1. Rack the balls like in 8-ball pool.
  2. Set a timer for a certain amount of minutes.
  3. Start the timer.
  4. Break the balls.
  5. Continue to play until the timer goes off.

Your objective is to pocket as many balls as possible within the time limit. You can sink the balls in any order you want. If you want to make it more challenging, you can sink them in numerical order or use solo 8-ball rules.


Plastic rack with billiard balls on green table, top view

Bowlliards is a solo game that is based on bowling. Rack ten balls instead of all fifteen. You have a total of ten shots to sink as many balls as you can. Your break shot is counted as one of the ten shots. Your objective is to get a “strike” and sink all ten balls in the fewest number of shots.

One Pocket

Referee hand adjust pool or billiards balls on light blue table.

You can play one pocket pool using any pool game you want. The only rule variation and objective of one pocket pool is to help you hone your skills by requiring you to select the pocket you intend to sink the ball in before you take your shot.

Chinese Pool

Billiard table with balls. Close-up.

Chinese pool is also known as backward pool. The purpose of Chinese pool is to help you better understand ball trajectories and angles to improve your shots.

You start by racking the balls as you would for 8-ball pool. Then you break the balls as usual. Now, here is where it gets challenging. Instead of using the cue ball to hit and pocket the balls, you have to shoot the balls into the cue ball and bounce them off it to pocket them.

Target Pool

Close-up of billiard ball number one yellow color on billiard table.

The objective of this game of pool is to help you improve your skills at taking more complex shots. Instead of racking the balls, set them up in such a way that you find it difficult. You do not have to use all fifteen pool balls for target pool. You can use as few or as many as you want.

For example, you could place the 8-ball in front of a pocket and place other balls randomly on the table. Next, you can practice how to play pool by yourself by knocking the 8-ball out of the way and still sink whatever ball you use.

Enhancing Your Skills Through Solo Billiard Games

Pretty woman playing billards

Playing billiards solo offers a variety of benefits, primarily focused on enhancing your abilities and becoming a more proficient pool player. When you practice playing billiards by yourself, you gain a deeper understanding of trajectories and angles, which are crucial for mastering the game.

Additionally, playing solo helps improve your concentration and focus, skills that are essential not only in pool but in various aspects of life. It also sharpens your strategic thinking, enabling you to plan and execute more effective game strategies.

Moreover, regular solo practice makes it easier to handle difficult shots during actual gameplay. Beyond these skill improvements, playing pool alone can also be a thoroughly enjoyable way to spend your time, allowing you to both have fun and enhance your pool skills simultaneously.

Pool Set Play Packages From Blatt Billiards

Blatt Billiards Blatt Platinum Playing Equipment Package.

Make sure you have everything you need to play solo pool with quality pool set play packages from Blatt Billiards and information about billiards games to play by yourself. We also offer handcrafted pool tables and custom-built tables.

Browse our set play packages online or contact us at 212-674-8855 today!