Tons of billiard games exist today, but the list for an odd number of participants is quite shorter. Most pool games require an even number of players, unfortunately leaving the extra player waiting around for the next round. This is where Cutthroat comes into play. The object of Cutthroat is quite simple. In order to win, be the last person playing to have balls on the table. If all of your balls have been sunk by other players, then you are out, at least momentarily (I will explain in a second). The rules of Cutthroat are not hard to understand and are pretty straight forward. Players start with a full 15-ball rack. You do not choose which set of balls you are until you have made a shot. For example, if the first player breaks and sinks the 8 and 15 balls, then that player would choose his set of billiard balls. Each player is given an equal amount of balls, and, since all 15 balls are used, three or five players for this game is ideal. For three players use low, middle, and high groups, or ball groups 1-5, 6-10, and 11-15. For five players use groups 1-3, 4-6, 7-9, 10-12, and 13-15. In the situation above, the smartest choice for player 1 would be the low balls, or 1-5, since one of each of the other two groups is already off of the table (the 8- and 15-balls). Keep in mind that you want to be the last one with balls remaining on the table, so choose the group of balls with the most still on the table, no matter if you shoot first, second, or third. And since you must clear a ball before choosing your own, it is possible for a player to become eliminated without ever having a shot. It is also possible, though, once a player is knocked out, for him to reenter the game. If a remaining shooter fouls, each other player, even the eliminated ones, is allowed to spot one of their own sunken balls back on the billiard table on the head spot. You may, if you choose, sink one of your own balls to set up the next shot to continue your turn. You can even sink your last ball remaining and still win if you can clear the entire table without missing. Usually, you will want to stay away from pocketing your own billiard balls unless no other shot is available. Next time you are looking for a relatively quick, fun billiard game, and you have an odd number of people, try Cutthroat. Do not be the one who has to sit on the bar stools in the corner waiting for your next turn, especially in your own billiard room. Suggest Cutthroat next time, and never worry about leaving the odd man out in your billiard room ever again.
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