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[Comments] (3) Cue Ball Wild Pool: As promised. This is a pool variant that you play when your pool table has two cue balls but no eight ball (as did the pool table at the retreat). It's just like regular pool, except you can make a shot using either of the two cue balls. This is faster and more fun than regular pool.

Niggly sub-rules: when you choose a cue ball, the other cue ball is the eight ball for the duration of that shot (so if you sink one cue ball using the other, you lose unless it's the endgame and you were trying to sink the eight ball). If the other player sinks the cue ball they used, you have to put it somewhere appropriate on the table as in regular pool, but you don't have to use it on your next shot.

Rules for the horrible pool variants Andy and I used to play (with rules for cue ball bowling, bonuses for making a ball jump off the table and hit the potted fern, etc.) not forthcoming.

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Posted by Susie at Thu Mar 04 2004 04:20

We have a pool table at work, but I'm terrible, despite all those times of practicing at Aunt Margarets. The boys (at work) have managed to break several pool sticks (cues?) despite the screw running through them.

Posted by Leonard at Thu Mar 04 2004 08:32

When I am super rich and have a big house, I will have a pool table like Aunt Margaret.

Posted by Jarno Virtanen at Fri Mar 05 2004 03:59

Sounds kinda neat that pool variant of yours. I especially dig the accuracy of the rule "put it [the scratched cue ball] somewhere appropriate on the table as in regular pool". ;-)

Actually, we have this own billiards variant here in Finland, in which both of the players have their own cue balls and you're allowed to sink the other player's cue ball too. It's called "Kaisa", which is a girl's name in Finland. I think it originated from Russia or Sweden, but nowadays it's played mostly only in Finland, although I think swedes have marginal popularity for their own similar variant.

Unfortunately, Kaisa is not played on a regular pool table. Rather, normal Kaisa table is almost the size of a snooker table, but the pockets are infernally small. Kaisa balls are also somewhat bigger than pool balls, so the margin of error in Kaisa is something like few millimetres or so. Also, you get extra points by sinking with a bank shot, which requires something of a supernatural skill, in my humble opinion.

What is the most amazing thing about Kaisa is that because nowadays pool is much more popular amongst younger people in Finland, and therefore Kaisa is mostly played by old people, you get to see how guys aged of, say, 70 years, with their shaking hands and barely standing on their own feet, make absolutely astonishing shots in those tiny pockets. And a guy like me, with decent pool pocketing skills, can go an hour _without pocketing a single ball_ in Kaisa. That makes a man humble.

(I am exaggerating only a bit.)

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