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Seven ball is a billiards-type game similar to nine ball except that:
1. There are seven object balls instead of nine (surprise!)
2. Each player has his own side of the table in which he must sink the 7-ball to win.
3. Fouling on the 7-ball results in a loss.
The Rack

The balls are racked in a hexagon, with the 1-ball at the head, on the foot spot, and the 7-ball in the middle, like so:

( 1 )
( 6 )         ( 2 )
( 7 )
( 5 )         ( 3 )
( 4 )

The other balls (2-6) need not be in any particular order.

The Break

Determine who breaks by lagging, flipping a coin, or whatever method you want (if you've already played a game, loser breaks.) The breaker places the cue ball behind the head string and blasts it with everything he's got at the 1-ball. The break is only legal if the cue ball hits the 1-ball first, and at least four object balls touch rails or at least one object ball is sunk. If you foul on the break, your opponent has the option of either requesting a re-rack (which he gets to break) or playing the table as it is. If you sink the 7-ball on the break (extremely unlikely, but possible) without fouling, you win. If you sink the 7-ball but foul somehow (e.g., scratch), it gets spotted and play continues.

Immediately after the break, the non-breaker must choose on which side of the table, head or foot, he intends to sink the 7-ball. The breaker is assigned the other side. Thereafter, in order for either player to win, he must sink the 7-ball on his designated side.

The shot immediately following the break (whether by the breaker or his opponent) can be called a push off if the shooter so desires.

Playing the Game

Every shot must hit the lowest-numbered ball on the table first; anything else is a foul. It's also a foul if no ball strikes a rail or is sunk. It's also a foul if you scratch. Any of these fouls gives the opponent ball in hand, and he can place the cue ball anywhere on the table as long as it is not touching another ball. If you sink a ball without fouling, even if it wasn't the ball you hit first, you get to keep shooting. If an object ball is sunk on an illegal shot, it remains in the pocket, unless it was the 7-ball, in which case it is spotted. You don't have to call your shots.

Winning and Losing

If at any point you sink the 7-ball without fouling, and it's on your designated side of the table, you win the game. If you sink the 7-ball on the wrong side of the table, it is spotted. If you foul three times in a row, or foul when the 7-ball is the only ball left, you lose.

Visit the billiards metanode for related information.

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