One day while at University some friends and I came up with this interesting variation of the game Kelly Pool. It requires a lot more strategy and politics then its father game, and is played by 3 (or mulitples of 3) players. For this reason this game is helpful during those awkward social situations where 3 people are in a group and must somehow play pool, and no one wants to be the odd man out. Bastard can be used as an inoffensive method of determining which two play next, or as an enjoyable game in its own right.

The game is played with your regular set of coloured pool balls (bigs and smalls, numbered 1-15). In a game of 3 players, each player has 5 balls - grouped into 1-5,6-10 and 11-15 (Similar for other multiples - just divide the number of balls by the number of players). The objective is to be the last player with balls on the table, and this is achieved by sinking the others' balls (hence the name bastard pool).

The order of play is established by a breaking contest, where the cue ball is hit up the table (avoiding the nicely constructed triangle) and back down by each player. The one closest to the line of the D goes first, and the rest follow accordingly.

The game starts with a normal break and the rules are as follows:

  • Once a ball is sunk, that player can nominate which of the other 2 players that number range belongs to. This happens for the next number set as well, and then the remaining player is assigned the unclaimed range.
  • Sinking another player's ball gives you another shot.
  • Hitting one of your own balls (directly of the cue ball) incurs the penalty of forfeiting your next shot, however...
  • ...sinking one of your balls is penalty enough.
  • Regular fouls from Kelly pool still apply, however the next player doesn't receive 2 shots, instead you lose your next turn.
  • Once all a person's balls are sunk, they can no longer win but can remain playing in order to pot (i.e. screw up) the other two player's balls as they so wish.
  • The winner is the last man standing.

This system means that the most skillful player doesn't necessarily always win. Diplomacy and politics also play a large part in the outcome. 2 people could gang up on the other one, if they so desire, or the person who loses first could swear vengeance on the person who eliminated them, and ruin their chances of winning. This means a healthy mix of skill and diplomacy is required to ensure success. The name derives from the first game we played, where there was much shouting of "BASTARD!" at each other.

So next time you are near a pool table, give it a whirl. If you find it a good game or require more information give me a /msg.

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