Behind the 8 Ball

5 Apr


Finally a game of Pool that fits in your pocket and won’t damage your rec room walls … If you play it right …

Ages: 8+ (knowledge of simple math needed)

Players: 2 or 3

Interesting Features: Rebounds, Trick shots, Scratches, and Tanking a shot on purpose to leave your opponent with a terrible follow-up … this game’s got it all … and MATH!

Extras Needed: a deck of playing cards, one 20-sided die and 15 pennies or similar markers … or a pencil and paper.

DOWNLOAD: Behind the 8 Ball

Printing Suggestions: Everything prints onto a standard Letter size piece of paper.  You may want to print a second copy of the back side for the game board. Cut it out and mount it on some cardstock or cardboard. But then again, if you are lazy like me, you can just use it like it is … right there on the rules sheet.

Designer’s Notes: This little gem of an idea came from my six year old son. While driving in the car one day he said “Let’s play a game.” “Sure,” I said “What game would you like to play?” “Pool.” he said. “With Cards.”And that’s when I got an idea … but in play testing I discovered that playing cards don’t roll very well … so I went to plan “B” and came up with this instead.  I was pleasantly surprised at how many parts of the actual game of pool I was able to almost simulate just with cards. But I’m afraid that  once my son sees how much math I put in it, he won’t be sharing too many more ideas with me in the future. At least I still have his younger sisters to come up with my new ideas.

–  –  –

A Sample Game Sequence:

At the start of a game Player A (Rob) draws a hand consisting of 7C, 6D, 4S, and the KD. Player B (Tara) draws a hand of 8C, 10H, 5H, and 4H. Rob rolls a 1 and Tara rolls a 4. Tara gets the Break. She has no pairs so she plays the 8and 5 giving Rob a Position Value of 13.

Rob Plays the 6 -4, adds the 13 and comes up with a shot value of 15, sinking the 15. He will now be playing for all the numbers above the 8. Now having only the 7 and the K, he draws getting a QS (still no shot possible) and again for the AS. Now he plays the 7-A +K for a Shot Value of 12. To his Q he now draws the 6C and the 4D. He plays these 6+4 for a Shot value of 10. To his Q he again draws, this time getting the AD and the 2D. Seeing that he must sink one of Tara’s balls regardless, he decides to play all of his cards so next turn he may at least draw back up to four cards. He plays the 2+A -Q and sinks the 1. Play now goes to Tara.

Tara plays her remaining two cards 10-4 and sinks the 6. She draws her hand back up to four cards getting the  KH, 2H, JS, 6S. She plays the 6+2 -J for a Shot Value of 7. Seeing as her hand now consists of a K, she draws. First a 7D, then JH, and finally 9S. She uses the 9-7 +K for a Shot Value of 4. Next she draws a 3D and a 3S. Now the only choices she has left are those that she has already pocketed. She too decides to play all her cards 3+3 +J giving Rob a Position Value of 7 for the start of his next turn.

Rob is already drawing his four new cards.

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3 Responses to “Behind the 8 Ball”

  1. Crow May 4, 2011 at 6:44 am #

    I really enjoy your games. They are very easy to manufacture and do not require much assembly time. And they are FUN!!! I would you like to create some game in the far west, since I’m a fan of the era. Sorry for my English, I’m using an online translator…

  2. kenmaher May 4, 2011 at 1:15 pm #

    Crow,
    Your English is very good, and your kind words are very much appreciated! I am pleased that you like the games, and I hope you continue having fun with them.

    If you are asking about the Wild West / Old West (Cowboys, Gunfighters, Saloons) I too think that would be a great setting for more games. I will start tossing some ideas around soon. It may take a while to come up with something but you will be the first to know. Did you have anything in particular in mind? I would be happy to try and work that into the design.

  3. Crow May 9, 2011 at 11:59 am #

    I thought the players were desperados who learn of buried treasure and go out to look, style roll & move, but in the middle rob banks, fight with some sheriff and togheter, and they can improve their horses, arms and lives … Something like that … I like to see your vision of the Western genre…

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