How To Play Bumper Pool

How To Play Bumper Pool: 4 Rules And 5 Tips To Get You Started

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Introduction (50w)

Bumper Pool is a fun and quick game. It resembles a traditional pool game but with smaller tables and shorter cues. To be the winner, you need to sink all your balls into your scoring pocket first.

So, how do you play bumper pool? What do you need to prepare? Here are some valuable tips!

What Is A Bumper Pool? (50-80w)

Bumper Pool is a fun billiard game played on an octagonal or rectangular table with two pockets. It is often much smaller than a standard pool table and has bumpers on its surface.

What Is A Bumper Pool

Bumper pool tables are significantly smaller than regular pool tables.

Image source: 3DExport.

The goal of the bumper pool game is simple. To be the winner, you simply need to sink all your balls into your scoring pocket first.

How Do You Prepare For Your Game? (200w)

1. Bumper Pool Players

Bumper Pool games are commonly played by two or a group of 4. You can play against a single opponent or on teams of 2.

If you are a beginner, you should play on a team with a more experienced partner. This way, you can familiarize yourself with bumper pool rules and tips. You and your partner will shift whenever it's your team's shooting turn.

2. Bumper Pool Table

The standard bumper pool table has two holes or “scoring pockets” for each player's side and a set of bumpers in the center. Your scoring pocket is on your opponent's side, and the opponent's scoring pocket is on your side.

Bumper Pool Table

A rectangular bumper pool table. Image source: Canada Billiard.

You can choose a rectangular or octagonal table depending on your playing preferences. A rectangular table is always the best choice for practice and relaxation.

3. Bumper Pool Cues

Bumper pool cues are usually 42-48 inches long, shorter than regular ones. Choose a pool cue based on height and arm length, such as a 36", 42", or 48" cue. For example, a 48-inch bumper pool cue is the perfect option for most adult players.

We have many different pool cue designs for your bumper pool game. Discover now!

4. Bumper Pool Balls

There is no cue ball in bumper pool. Instead, each player has five balls, usually Red or White. A Red Ball is dotted with White, while a White Ball is dotted with Red.

Bumper Pool Balls

A White Ball is dotted with Red. Image source: Canada Billiard.

Firstly, place two red balls to the left of the white bumper and the other two red balls to the right of the other white bumper. Finally, place the dotted red ball directly in front of the pocket—and vice versa for the player with the white balls.

4 Rules On How To Play Bumper Pool (400w)

Rule #1: Who Starts The Game?

Start your game by having each player shoot the dotted ball to the right simultaneously. The objective is to sink your dotted ball into your scoring pocket. Since there is a bumper set in the center, you must bank your marked ball off the right side of the table. It will rebound at an angle and get as close to the hole as possible.

If your ball is into or closer to the scoring hole, you will go first. If both players’ dotted balls fall into the holes, you must shoot again using the remaining ball in the starting lineup. It is just as you did with dotted balls.

Rule #2: How To Take Your Turns?

The first player can shoot any of their balls on the table. However, some rules state that the player must score with the marked ball before shooting with any other ball.

You can use your ball to hit the opponent's ball for defense or use bumpers to bank your ball into the scoring pocket.

Your turn is over if you do not sink a ball after taking a shot. The game goes in and out between players whenever someone misses a shot.

How To Take Your Turns

A man is playing bumper pool at home. Image source: Pinterest.

Rule #3: How To Win At Bumper Pool?

This rule is one of the most important for a bumper pool. You must sink all your balls in your scoring pocket as soon as possible to win.

You lose if you accidentally sink your last ball into your opponent's scoring hole. Be careful!

Rule #4: Fouls To Avoid

Some common fouls in bumper pools that you should be aware of:

  • Sinking one of your balls into your opponent's scoring hole.
  • Shooting any ball off the table.
  • Sinking one of your opponent's balls into the wrong holes. There is no penalty, but the ball is considered a score.
  • Hitting your ball over balls or bumpers. A jump shot is not allowed in bumper pool.

Keep scrolling down to grasp the penalties for these fouls.

5 Tips To Win Your Game (300w)

Tips #1: Play Offensively

You can choose an offensive or defensive playing style. The most basic offense is that you need to focus on shooting your ball to the opposite side. Try to sink your balls into your scoring hole. Also, you should sink your dotted ball as soon as possible to gain the initiative in the game.

Tip #2: Play Defensively

Another tip on how to play bumper pool is to focus on your defensive moves. For example, you can use your ball to knock your opponent's ball further away from their hole.

Another funky defensive trick is to shoot your balls in front of your opponent's scoring hole. This trick requires your opponent to shoot your ball out of the way before they can sink it in the hole. Otherwise, they will be penalized if they sink your ball with their own.

Play Defensively

Keep practicing to improve your defensive skills. Image source: Your Game Cave.

Tip #3: Use The Center Hole To Keep Your Opponent From Scoring

The hole between all the bumpers in the center is big enough for one ball to fit inside. If you hit your opponent's ball into it, this will negate any previous shots they made with that ball. You'll have some extra time to make some more valuable shots. This tip is helpful in cases where your opponent is ahead.

Tip #4: Use The Bumpers

Don't be afraid of obstacles on the table. You can angle your shots and get your balls into the pocket faster using bumpers.

For example, if your ball is next to a bumper near your pocket, you can shoot it toward the center bumpers to bounce it back.

Tip #5: Keep Practicing Your Grip

Many beginner players often grip the bumper pool cue so tightly. Instead, practicing using a light and loose grip would be best.

If you hold the cue too firmly, it can lift the butt of the cue when you shoot. It is more challenging for you to shoot a straight and accurate shot. Consider using a carbon fiber shaft radial to control the cue ball with additional spin while maintaining accuracy.

5 Penalties That Can Cause You To Lose The Game (200w)

  • Illegal Jump Shot
  • If you hit a jump shot, your opponent can place your ball anywhere, usually in the center space surrounded by bumpers. They may also drop two of their balls into their scoring pocket.

  • Sinking Your Ball In Wrong Pockets
  • If you sink one of your balls in the wrong pockets, the opponent can drop two of their balls into that pocket.

  • Hitting Your Balls Off The Table
  • If you hit your ball off the table, leave it in the center space. Then, your opponent goes next.

  • Knocking Your Opponent's Balls Off The Table
  • If you knock your opponent’s ball off the table, return it to its original position. Then, you must put one of your balls into the center space of the table.

  • Shooting A Solid-Colored Ball Before Scoring Your Dotted Ball
  • If you shoot a solid-colored ball before scoring your dotted ball, it becomes unqualified for further use. If the solid-colored ball contacts another ball, you must return it to its original position. Your opponent will take their turn.

    Conclusion (50w)

    Unlike traditional billiards, bumper pool games tend to go quicker, so everyone has a chance to play. This game can be an ideal choice for all family game rooms. Apply those tips on how to play bumper pool right away and have fun yourself. Remember to read more of the pool game rules we have shared.

    Frequently Asked Questions (100w)

    What is the difference between bumper and regular pools?

    The difference between the bumper and regular pools is the pool table size. A bumper pool table is smaller than a regulation pool table and played with shorter cues.

    What are the rules of the bumper pool?

    You need no cue ball, and hit your balls directly with your cue. The player sinking all 5 of their balls into their scoring pocket first will be the winner.

    What is the object of the bumper pool?

    The game's object is to sink all five balls into your scoring pocket before your opponent does.

    Is a bumper pool as fun as a regular pool?

    Bumper Pool is a fun game that people of all ages can play.

    Can I make a jump shot in the bumper pool?

    No. The bumper pool does not allow any jump shots.