There exist rules that allow moving the white ball in a pool game. However, moving the Cue Ball on a pool table will depend on the situation and the rules followed by players during the game.
Unless the game is part of an official tournament, players are allowed to come up with whatever house rules they are comfortable with, provided all parties agree with the terms. Some cue ball rules will be covered in this article, though variations can exist depending on where the game is played.
So, can a player move the Cue Ball away from the wall? Yes, but that will depend if the Cue Ball needs to be repositioned. While playing a pool game in the following circumstances, a player can move the Cue Ball from the wall to any position they want.
- During the break: When players break the balls at the start of the game, they are allowed to move the white ball and place it anywhere behind the serving line before taking a shot.
- When the opponent player fouls or scratches: Suppose the opponent player sinks an illegal object ball with the cue ball, pockets an illegal object ball, kicks the cue ball off the table, or pocket the cue ball during the turn. In that case, the player earns a ball in hand, and they can get the ball and place it anywhere around the table to take their shot.
- Courtesy to the opponent player: If the white ball gets pinned against the cushion, a courtesy can be extended to beginner players that allows them to take a two finger space away from the wall to improve the angle for their Cue Stick to hit the Cue Ball. Again, this is a courtesy for beginner players, and not a mandatory ruling.
Moving the white ball away from the wall is allowed under specific circumstances, but don’t think moving cue ball is guaranteed in all situations.
When can you move the cue ball?
It will depend on the type of billiards game being played. Usually, the most important occasions when a player can move the white ball are during the scratch, foul or when the white ball gets pocketed.
Of course, rules vary, and there are situations where a white ball can move on the table during the gameplay.
According to official rules, there are three basic situations: a player can move a white ball on a pool table. These are:
- A white ball is moved at the start of the game before the break. Players typically shift the Cue ball’s position before the break to position themselves in a strategic position to make a perfect break.
However, unlike other situations the player is limited to where they can place the Cue ball behind the serving line.
- When an opponent player commits a foul. This includes missing a shot to the legal object ball, when no ball has hit the cushion during the shot, or when the opponent player hit the player’s ball before theirs. Technically, the foul is regarded as a scratch, and the player earns a ball in hand placed wherever they want.
- When a player accidentally pockets the Cue Ball. Whenever a player sinks a white ball, that’s a scratch foul regardless of the rules applied during the play. The opponent player is free to move the Cue Ball to a convenient place to take a shot.
Can you place the cue ball anywhere?
Yes, a player can place the cue ball anywhere when a ball in hand rule is active in the play. However, it depends on when the scratch foul was committed because the Cue Ball spot is treated differently if it occurred on a break as opposed to other times of the match.
Occasionally, when a scratch foul is made, the other player can move the cue ball anywhere they want as long as they haven’t taken their shot. However, if the player commits a scratch on the break, the opponent player can only move the Cue Ball behind the service line.
Again, the rule applies when the black ball is still in play. If both the cue and black ball sunk on the break, the result is an automatic loss.
Technically, the cue ball can be moved only when a foul has been committed or on the break shot. A player cannot move the cue ball anywhere on a standard shot, and it must remain in the place it settled after the shot.
How do you move a cue ball?
The Cue Ball can move anywhere around the pool table if it happens during play, or behind the service line when the scratch happens on the break.
After the scratch, ball in hand is awarded to the opponent. The player can move the Cue Ball anywhere on the table, or the shot can be awarded in the kitchen behind the baulk line.
Moving Cue Ball Away From Wall: Conclusion
A player can only move the cue ball if the previous player has committed a scratch foul of any kind. As a result, the cue ball can be moved around the pool table.
Players can place the Cue ball anywhere around the table once the foul is given. If the foul is committed on the break, a player cannot move the white ball past the break line in the kitchen.
Only under certain circumstances allowed by the rules can a player move the Cue Ball. In addition, how the Cue ball is moved depends on house rules for where the game is played.
Under certain circumstances, advanced players may allow a beginner a slight two finger spacing to separate the white ball from the wall. However, this is a courtesy and is no part of formal gameplay rules.