1. Requirements of the Game
Rotation billiard rules may be occasionally referred to as "Sixty-One Billiard rules", "Chicago Pool Rules", or as "Boston Pool Rules" in Chicago. Rotation is a pocket billiards (pool) game, requiring a standard pool table, cue ball and triangular rack of fifteen pool balls, in which the lowest-numbered object ball on the table must be always struck by the cue ball first; to attempt to pocket (pot) numbered balls for points. Rotation is similar in many ways to nine-ball, but its scoring system is not unlike that of snooker and fifteen-ball.
As with nine-ball and other similar-format games, some attractions of rotation include performing unconventional or difficult shots to reach the correct ball, and quite often making risky attempts to score higher amounts of points by performing advanced shots such as combination shots (plants), bank shots (doubles) and swerves.
2. Object of the Game
The object of the game is to score the most points, by pocketing higher-scoring balls than the opponent. Since the sum of all balls, one through fifteen, is 120 points, the game automatically ends when one player reaches 61 points.
3. Set up
At the beginning of each frame, the balls are racked in a triangle as in eight-ball and other games using fifteen object balls, but in particular with the 1 ball at the front (apex) of the rack, on the foot spot, the 2 ball on the right rear corner, the 3 ball at the left rear corner and the 15 ball – the one with the highest value – in the center; all other balls are placed randomly, and all balls must be touching.
4. Opening Break
The starting player must make an open break (drive at least four numbered balls to the rail), or legally pocket an object ball. If he fails to do so, player must repeat the opening break.
Special rule: five failed re-breaks is a loss of game.
Points are scored by pocketing the object balls on the table; the number of points awarded is equal to the number printed on the ball pocketed; for example, pocketing the 4 ball scores the player 4 points.
6. Rules of Play
The primary rule of the game is that the lowest numbered object ball on the table at any time is the "ball-on" and must be struck first (including on the break shot – a side break is a foul), regardless of the player's intentions of which ball to actually pocket. Players may use the lowest numbered ball to pocket other (e.g. higher value) balls. Consequently, fifteen-ball not being a call-shot game, points are also counted if a ball is unintentionally but legally pocketed (a "fluke" or "slop shot"). A player's turn at the table continues until a shot fails to legally pocket a ball, a foul is committed, or the game concludes.
A legal shot requires that the cue ball's first contact with a ball is with the lowest-numbered ball on the table. A player must then pocket a numbered ball, or cause the cue ball or any object ball to contact a cushion. Failure is a foul.
A legally pocketed ball entitles a shooter to remain at the table until he fails to pocket a ball on a legal shot. Illegally pocketed balls are spotted. When a player legally pockets a ball, he must shoot again.
Combination shots are allowed, so long as the lowest numbered ball remaining on the table is contacted first during the shot. Players do not need to call combinations or any other aspects of their shot, including the pocket at which they are aiming.
All fouls result in ball in hand for the opposing player. There is no point penalty for fouls. Three consecutive fouls (i.e. on three consecutive turns at the table) by the same player is a loss of game.
- Failure to hit the lowest-numbered object ball first (or at all).
- Pocketing the cue ball.
- Failure to make an open break on the break shot.
- Failure to either legally pocket an object ball, or drive any ball to a cushion.