Bumper Pool Tables: Play Instructions

Bumper pool table is an exciting game table that combines the skill and strategy of traditional billiards with distinct obstacles and challenging new game play. Normally bumper pool table is found in game room along with shuffleboard table and pool table. It is played with two or four player, in two teams. Each team has five balls, one side red and one side white. One ball from each set is marked as the “starting ball.” The bumper pool tables are generally octagonal in shape, though sometimes it is rectangular, and features eight rubber “bumpers” arranged in a cross pattern in the middle of the table. Additionally, there is one hole or “pocket” at either end of the table, flanked by two rubber bumpers. The goal of the game is to be the first to navigate your balls across the table and sink them in the hole.


The balls are situated in a line in front of either player’s respective
pocket, two to the left and two to the right of either bumper. The
marked ball is set in the center, in front of the pocket. To begin
the game, both players shoot their marked balls simultaneously,
banking off each player’s right side cushion. It is important to
note that there is no “cue” ball in bumper pool; each
ball is shot directly into the pocket.

If both players pocket their marked balls, the simultaneous shot
is repeated with the next ball. If neither player pockets, the player
who is closest to the goal pocket goes first. Once a ball is pocketed,
the player keeps shooting until he misses. The marked ball must
be pocketed before you can shoot any other ball.


If you cause a ball to leave the table, your opponent can position
the ball anywhere he likes, and he can remove two of his own balls
from the table.

If a player sinks his opponent’s ball into the opponent’s cup, there
is no real penalty, but the shot counts as a pocket for the opponent.

If a player shoots his own ball into the opponent’s cup, or if he
shoots his opponent’s ball, his opponent may remove two balls (the
opponent’s own) from the table.

If a player “jumps” any shot over another ball, or over
the bumpers, there is usually no penalty. But this depends on house
rules of bumper pool table rules: sometimes this shot results in the removal of one opponent’s

Looking for a fun and exciting game to play in your own home, but
don’t have the floor space for a full size pool table?

Bumper pool tables are half the size of traditional pool tables, but the game play is
founded on the same basic principles. Bumper pool, however, provides
a truly unique and interesting challenge that will delight pool
sharks and pool hall novices alike.

A standard is octagonal bumper pool table is in shape, though some tables are rectangular. The most apparent
difference between this and classic billiards are the bumpers themselves:
each table features 8 rubber bumpers, configured in a cross pattern
in the center of the table. Additionally, there is one goal or pocket
at either end of the table, with a rubber bumper on each side of
each hole. These bumpers make bumper pool such a challenging and
unique game: over the course of a match, each player attempts to
shoot his balls into the pocket, while navigating through or around
the bumpers.

Another noticeable departure from standard billiards is bumper pool’s
lack of a “cue” ball. Instead, all balls are shot directly
toward the pockets. Because the bumpers are set up to deter straight
shots, to be an effective bumper pool player one must master the
“bank shot,” using angles and side cushions to sink
balls with calculated precision.

This format presents a number of interesting strategies, as well.
A player is not allowed to shoot his opponent’s balls, but
a clever shot may knock an opponent’s ball out of position,
or position your own ball as a defensive obstacle. The defensive
aspect really sets bumper pool game tables apart from billiards. If an opponent’s
ball is dangerously close to the pocket, use one of your balls to
knock it to the other side of the table. As games really get going,
the match turns into some hybrid of pool and shuffleboard, as you
try and sink your own balls while playing a cunning defensive game
to prevent your opponent from sinking any shots. Because of this
defensive aspect, it is always a good idea to keep at least one
ball on your side of the table, as a defense measure against your
opponent’s shots.