US20060172809A1 - Single pocket billiard tables and methods of playing billiard games thereon - Google Patents

Single pocket billiard tables and methods of playing billiard games thereon Download PDF

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US20060172809A1
US20060172809A1 US11048282 US4828205A US2006172809A1 US 20060172809 A1 US20060172809 A1 US 20060172809A1 US 11048282 US11048282 US 11048282 US 4828205 A US4828205 A US 4828205A US 2006172809 A1 US2006172809 A1 US 2006172809A1
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object
ball
pocket
player
balls
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James Woods
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Woods James Sr
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    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63DBOWLING-ALLEYS; BOWLING GAMES; BOCCIA; BOWLS; BAGATELLE; BILLIARDS
    • A63D15/00Billiards, e.g. carom billiards; Billiard tables; Pocket billiards, i.e. pool
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63DBOWLING-ALLEYS; BOWLING GAMES; BOCCIA; BOWLS; BAGATELLE; BILLIARDS
    • A63D15/00Billiards, e.g. carom billiards; Billiard tables; Pocket billiards, i.e. pool
    • A63D15/003Pockets for pocket billiard tables

Abstract

Disclosed are different shaped pocket billiard tables each of which includes only one pocket, which is located at the approximate center of the playing surface of the tables. The different shaped playing surfaces may be rectangular, square, round, triangular, octagonal, or diamond shaped, to help players learn the angles of playing billiards. Also disclosed are different billiard games which may be played on any of the single pocket billiard tables which are both fun to play and enhance a player's ability to play the angles of playing billiards on virtually any billiard table.

Description

    FIELD OF THE INVENTION
  • This invention relates to billiard tables having only one pocket, which is located at the approximate center of the playing surface, and to different billiard games that may be played thereon.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • A standard pocket billiard table is generally rectangular with a playing surface that is twice as long as it is wide, and has six pockets, one at each corner, and one at the mid point of each of the long rails. Other known pocket billiard tables have as few as three pockets and as many as ten pockets. Numerous pocket billiard games are also generally known. Two of the most popular pocket billiard games are Nine-Ball and Eight-Ball.
  • Because of the number and location of the pockets on known billiard tables and the way known pocket billiard games are typically played thereon, it generally takes most players a long time to learn how to play the angles well. Billiards is a game of angles, and the better a player learns how to play the angles, the better a player is able to pocket object balls on virtually any billiard table.
  • There is thus a need for a different type of pocket billiard table and different pocket billiard games that may be played thereon that are not only fun to play, but require a lot more angle shots to pocket the object balls, so the players better learn how to play the angles.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • The billiard tables of the present invention have only one pocket, which is located at the approximate center of the playing surface. This greatly increases the number of bank shots and/or kick shots the players may have to shoot to pocket the object balls in the center pocket. Also the single pocket billiard tables of the present invention may have different shaped playing surfaces to help players learn the angles. For example, the playing surfaces may be in the shape of a rectangle, square, circle, triangle, octagon, or diamond. Each different shaped playing surface has its own unique set of angles, to provide players with more opportunities of honing their skills in making bank shots and/or kick shots at different angles. A bank shot is a shot in which the cue ball is used to drive the object ball to one or more cushions before the object ball is pocketed, whereas a kick shot is a shot in which the cue ball is banked off a cushion prior to making contact with an object ball or scoring.
  • The present invention also relates to different pocket billiard games that may be played on any of the single pocket billiard tables of the present invention which are both fun to play and enhance a player's ability to play the angles.
  • These and other objects, advantages, features and aspects of the present invention will become apparent as the following description proceeds.
  • To the accomplishment of the foregoing and related ends, the invention, then, comprises the features hereinafter more fully described and particularly pointed out in the claims, the following description and the annexed drawings setting forth in detail certain illustrative embodiments of the invention, these being indicative, however, of but several of the various ways in which the principles of the invention may be employed.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • In the annexed drawings:
  • FIG. 1 is a schematic top plan view of one form of single pocket billiard table of the present invention which has a rectangular shaped playing surface;
  • FIG. 2 is an end elevation view of the table of FIG. 1 as seen from the right end thereof;
  • FIG. 3 is a front side elevation view of the table of FIG. 1;
  • FIG. 4 is a top plan view of another form of single pocket billiard table of the present invention which is generally the same as the table shown in FIG. 1 except that it has a square shaped playing surface;
  • FIG. 5 is a side elevation view of the table of FIG. 4 as seen from the right side hereof;
  • FIG. 6 is a side elevation view of the table of FIG. 4 as seen from the front;
  • FIG. 7 is a top plan view of another form of single pocket billiard table of the present invention which has an octagonal shaped playing surface;
  • FIG. 8 is a side elevation view of the table of FIG. 7 as seen from the right side thereof;
  • FIG. 9 is a side elevation view of the table of FIG. 7 as seen from the front;
  • FIG. 10 is a top plan view of another form of single pocket billiard table of the present invention which has a round shaped playing surface;
  • FIG. 11 is a side elevation view of the table of FIG. 10 as seen from the right side thereof;
  • FIG. 12 is a side elevation view of the table of FIG. 10 as seen from the front;
  • FIG. 13 is a top plan view of another form of single pocket billiard table of the present invention which has a triangular shaped playing surface;
  • FIG. 14 is an elevation view of the table of FIG. 13 as seen from the front;
  • FIG. 15 is a top plan view of another form of single pocket billiard table of the present invention which has a diamond shaped playing surface;
  • FIG. 16 is an elevation view of the table of FIG. 15 as seen from the right end of FIG. 15;
  • FIG. 17 is an elevation view of the table of FIG. 15 as seen from the front;
  • FIG. 18 is an enlarged top plan view of a collection of object balls used to play one type of billiard game on any of the single pocket billiard games of the present invention;
  • FIG. 19 is an enlarged top plan view of another collection of object balls used to play another type or types of billiard games on any of the single pocket billiard games of the present invention;
  • FIG. 20 is a top plan view of one of the single pocket billiard tables of the present invention showing the positioning of another collection of object balls at the start of another type of billiard game of the present invention; and
  • FIG. 21 is a top plan view of one of the single pocket billiard tables of the present invention showing the positioning of another collection of object balls at the start of another type of billiard game of the present invention.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
  • Referring now in detail to the drawings, in which like reference numerals are used to designate like parts, and initially to FIGS. 1-3, there is shown one form of pocket billiard table 1 in accordance with this invention including a table bed 2 having a flat playing surface 3 with only one pocket 4, such pocket being located at the approximate center of the playing surface. The playing surface 3 has a cloth covering, typically made of felt, and is bordered by cloth-covered rubber-like cushions 5 which protrude inwardly from the table rails 6.
  • Table bed 2 may be supported at the desired height, typically 36 inches to the top of the table, by a table base 7, which may have adjustable legs 8 for leveling the playing surface. A ball return chute 9 may extend from the center pocket 4 to a ball return access 10 at a side (or end) of the table.
  • In the embodiment shown in FIGS. 1-3, table 1 has a rectangular shaped playing surface 3, which may be twice as long as it is wide, for example, approximately 8 feet long by 4 feet wide. However, a family of tables of the present invention may have other shaped playing surfaces. For example, FIGS. 4-6 show a table 1 having a square playing surface 15, which may for example be approximately 6 feet square. FIGS. 7-9 show a table 1 having an octagon playing surface 16, which may, for example, be approximately 67 inches between opposite sides. FIGS. 10-12 show a table 1 having a round playing surface 17, which may, for example, have a diameter of approximately 67 inches. FIGS. 13 and 14 show a table 1 having a triangular shape playing surface 18, which may, for example, have a length along each side of approximately 94½ inches. Finally, FIGS. 15-17 show a table 1 having a diamond shape playing surface 19 which may, for example, have a maximum length of approximately 8 feet and a maximum width of approximately 6 feet. In each of these billiard table embodiments of the present invention, as in the embodiment shown in FIGS. 1-3, only one pocket 4 is provided, which is located at the approximate center of the respective playing surfaces. Also each table is shown provided with a ball return chute 9 from the center pocket 4 to a ball return access 10 at an end or side of the table.
  • Providing each of the tables of the present invention with only one pocket, which is located at the approximate center of the table playing surface, greatly increases the number of bank shot and kick shot opportunities that the players have to pocket the object balls. This is a tremendous help to players in learning the angles of playing billiards. Playing on tables with these different shaped playing surfaces also provides players with the opportunity of honing their skills in making both bank shots and kick shots off different angled cushions, which further helps players learn the angles of playing billiards.
  • Different billiard games of the present invention can be played on any of the single pocket billiard tables of the present invention using regulation size cue sticks (not shown), a cue ball 28 and object balls 30. One game of the present invention, commonly referred to herein as Eleven-Ball, is played using a collection of eleven object balls 30. The object balls comprise two sets 31 and 32 of five object balls each. The five balls in one set 31 may have a first distinguishing indicia or set of indicia. For example, the balls 30 in set 31 may be striped and/or bear successive low numerals, for example, 1-5 inclusive (see FIG. 18). The other set 32 of five balls may have a second distinguishing indicia or set of indicia, for example, the balls in the other set 32 may be a solid color and/or bear higher numerals than the first set, for example, 6-10, inclusive. The eleventh ball may have a third distinguishing indicia, for example, a different solid color or stripe than the other balls and/or bearing a different numeral, for example, the numeral 11. The eleventh ball is the game-winning ball.
  • The game of Eleven-Ball is designed to be played by two players. The order of play may be determined as by lagging the cue ball 28 or by lot, for example, by the flip of a coin. In subsequent games, the players may agree to alternate on the break shot or that the winner (or loser) of the previous game is to break on the next game, and so on.
  • The object balls 30 may be racked in a diamond-shaped rack 35 with the 11 ball at the approximate center and the other object balls randomly placed around the 11 ball as schematically shown, for example, in FIG. 18. The object balls may be arranged in one or more designated racking areas 36 on the respective playing surfaces adjacent one or more ends, sides or corners of any of the tables of the present invention in spaced relation from the center pocket 4 and adjacent cushions 5 as shown for example in FIGS. 1, 4, 7, 10, 13 and 15. To commence the game, the opening player may position the cue ball 28 at any position adjacent the end, side or corner of the respective tables opposite the racked balls and then execute an open break. During the opening break, the opening player can either break the balls from the front by shooting the cue ball directly into the rack of balls or from the back by shooting the cue ball into one of the cushions 5 behind the rack of balls and causing the cue ball to come back and hit the rack of balls.
  • Before breaking the balls, the players can determine whether they want to pocket the object balls in each set in rotation, i.e., 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, or out of rotation, i.e., in any order.
  • If during the break, an object ball of either set goes into the pocket, that will determine which set of balls the opening player has to make to win the game. The other player has to make the balls in the other set to win the game. If during the break the opening player pockets one or more object balls from both sets, the opening player has the option of choosing which set of object balls to make.
  • If the 11 ball is pocketed off the break, the opening player automatically wins the game as long as a scratch or pocketing of the cue ball does not occur. If no object ball is pocketed on the break, the players alternate turns until one of the players pockets at least one of the object balls in one of the sets. This determines which set of object balls the players have to make to win the game. Anytime a player fails to pocket one of the object balls in that player's designated set or pockets the cue ball, the turn passes to the other player and vice versa. If a player pockets any of the object balls of the other player's set without also pocketing one of the object balls of his or her own set, the player loses his or her turn. However, the pocketed object ball of the other player's set remains kept off the table. If the players are playing rotation, and a player pockets one of the balls of his or her set out of rotation, the pocketed ball is returned to a predetermined spot or location on the table and the player loses his or her turn.
  • The player who first pockets all of the object balls in his or her set and then legally pockets the 11 ball is the winner of the game. If the 11 ball is pocketed by either player after the break but before that player has pocketed all of the object balls in his or her set, the 11 ball is returned to a predetermined spot or location on the table. To legally pocket the 11 ball, the player must pocket the 11 ball the way the player calls it. If while shooting the 11 ball, the 11 ball is used in a combination shot or kisses off another object ball and goes into the pocket, the player loses the game. Also if when shooting the 11 ball, the player scratches, the player loses the game.
  • Another game of the present invention, commonly referred to herein as Seven-Ball, may be played substantially the same way as Eleven-Ball except that only seven object balls 30 are used. The object balls comprise two sets 40, 41 of three balls each (see FIG. 19). One set of balls 40 may have a first distinguishing indicia or set of indicia, for example, striped balls bearing low numerals, for example, 1-3, inclusive. The other set 41 of three balls may have a second distinguishing indicia or set of indicia, for example, solid colored balls bearing higher numerals, for example, numerals 4-6, inclusive. The seventh ball may have a third distinguishing indicia, for example, a different colored ball bearing a different numeral, for example, the numeral 7. The seventh ball is the game-winning ball.
  • The object balls may be racked in a hex shaped rack 43 with the 7 ball at the approximate center and the other object balls randomly placed around the 7 ball as schematically shown, for example, in FIG. 19. The racked balls may be arranged in one or more designated racking areas adjacent one or more ends, sides or corners of any of the tables similar to the racking for playing Eleven-Ball shown in FIGS. 1, 4, 7, 10, 13 and 15. The first player who legally pockets all of the object balls in his or her set and then legally pockets the 7 ball the way the player calls it is the winner.
  • Another way to play Seven-Ball is to have both players shoot the object balls off the table in numerical order (i.e., 1 through 7, inclusive) from low to high. If a player pockets an object ball out of rotation, the player loses his or her turn and the pocketed object ball is returned to an agreed upon spot or location on the table. Likewise, if a player scratches the cue ball, the player loses his or her turn.
  • The players must keep track of the object balls they legally pocket, since for each object ball legally pocketed, the players are awarded points corresponding to the numbers on the legally pocketed object balls. If the object balls are numbered 1 through 7, inclusive, there is a total of 28 points that are available. As soon as a player accumulates 15 or more points, that player wins the game.
  • If the game ends in a tie with each player having for example 14 points each, the winner may be determined by a sudden death playoff. In sudden death, an object ball is placed on a predetermined spot, and the first player who legally pockets the object ball the way the player calls it is the winner. If either player scratches during sudden death, the other player is the winner. The first player to shoot in sudden death may be determined by lag or lot.
  • Still another way to play Seven-Ball would be the same way as rotation except the players may agree ahead of time that the only way the object balls may be legally pocketed is to bank the object balls in the pocket, or alternatively to kick the object balls in the pocket.
  • Another game of the present invention, commonly referred to herein as Four-Ball, can be played by two players on any of the single pocket billiard tables of the present invention using four object balls 30. Each object ball may have the same indicia, for example, the same solid color (e.g., red). The four object balls 30 may be placed on four spots 45 uniformly spaced a predetermined distance away from the center pocket 4 as schematically shown in FIG. 20, for example, 4 inches and away from each other (e.g., north, south, east and west). The order of play may be determined by lag or lot (e.g., the flip of a coin). The first player to kick (or, if agreed on ahead of time, bank) in three of the four object balls is the winner. In the event of a tie, the winner may be determined by a sudden death playoff. In sudden death, an object ball is placed on one of the four spots 45. The first player to legally kick (or alternatively bank) the object ball in the pocket is the winner. If either player scratches during the sudden death playoff, the other player is the winner. This game is more of an exercise game that was created to enhance a player's ability to kick (or alternatively bank) the object balls in the pocket.
  • Another game of the present invention which was also created more as an exercise game to enhance the player's ability to kick (or alternatively bank) the object balls in the pocket, is commonly referred to herein as Three-Ball. This game is played using three object balls 30, all of which may have the same indicia, for example, each ball may be of the same solid color (e.g., red). The object balls may be racked in the configuration shown in FIG. 21 at one or more designated racking areas adjacent one or more ends, sides or corners of the table in spaced relation from the center pocket 4 and from the adjacent cushions 5, similar to that of the Eleven-Ball rack shown in FIGS. 1, 4, 7, 10, 13 and 15. The order of play may be determined by lag or lot. The first player to legally kick in two object balls the way he or she calls them is the winner. If during the break one of the object balls is pocketed, the pocketed object ball must be returned to the playing surface and placed on a predetermined spot or location. However, in that event the opening player would continue his or her turn until he or she scratches or fails to kick an object ball in the pocket the way he or she calls it. This game can also be played as a bank game using the same basic rules as the kicking game.
  • All of the games of the present invention may be played on any of the six table designs of the present invention. Also all six table designs of the present invention may be used to play Eleven-Ball and/or Seven-Ball competition play in which the participants/players are awarded a predetermined number of points for each win, for example, ten points. The player who has the most points at the end of the competition would be the winner.
  • Winners of different competitions could also be matched up in different championship series playoffs to determine a grand competition champion, with the possibility of cash prizes and/or trophies awarded at different levels of the competition.
  • All six table designs may also be used to play Eleven-Ball and Seven-Ball in championship series play by providing two lanes each having all six table designs in each lane, with two players playing at each table. The players in one of the lanes would play Eleven-Ball and the players in the other lane would play Seven-Ball. Each player would play a predetermined length of time on each table, for example, twelve minutes. The players with the most wins in both lanes would then play against each other to determine the overall champion.
  • The various single pocket billiard tables and games of the present invention may also be embodied in software and played on computers and/or on the Internet using computers as a graphical user interface displayed on a display device such as a computer screen, CRT, LCD or the like.
  • Although the invention has been shown and described with respect to certain embodiments, it is obvious that equivalent alterations and modifications will occur to others skilled in the art upon the reading and understanding of the specification. In particular, with regard to the various functions performed by the above described components, the term (including any reference to a “means”) used to describe such components are intended to correspond, unless otherwise indicated, to any component which performs the specified function of the described component (e.g., that is functionally equivalent), even though not structurally equivalent to the disclosed component which performs the functions in the herein exemplary embodiments of the invention. In addition, while a particular feature of the invention may have been disclosed with respect to only one embodiment, such feature may be combined with one or more other features of other embodiments as may be desired or advantageous for any given or particular application.

Claims (20)

  1. 1. A billiard table comprising a playing surface bordered by cushioned rails, said playing surface having only one pocket, said pocket being located at an approximate center of the playing surface.
  2. 2. The table of claim 1 further comprising a ball return chute extending from the pocket to a ball return access at one side, end or corner of the table.
  3. 3. The table of claim 1 wherein the playing surface has a rectangular shape.
  4. 4. The table of claim 1 wherein the playing surface has a square shape.
  5. 5. The table of claim 1 wherein the playing surface has an octagon shape.
  6. 6. The table of claim 1 wherein the playing surface has a round shape.
  7. 7. The table of claim 1 wherein the playing surface has a triangular shape.
  8. 8. The table of claim 1 wherein the playing surface has a diamond shape.
  9. 9. A method of playing a pocket billiard game on a pocket billiard table having a playing surface with only one pocket, the pocket being located at the approximate center of the playing surface, comprising:
    (a) providing a collection of object balls having two sets each of the same number of object balls, and one other object ball that is not part of either set, the object balls in each set and the one other object ball having different indicia to distinguish the object balls in each set and the one other object ball from each other;
    (b) designating on the playing surface one or more racking areas for arranging the object balls when starting play;
    (c) determining a rotational order of play by at least two players;
    (d) using the movement of a cue ball to strike the arrangement of object balls to break the arrangement;
    (e) using the movement of the cue ball during alternating play until one of the players legally pockets at least one of the object balls in the two sets to determine each player's designated set of object balls;
    (f) continuing to use the movement of the cue ball to strike the object balls in the player's designated set until the player fails to legally pocket at least one of the object balls in the player's designated set;
    (g) alternating play until at least one of the players has legally pocketed all of the object balls in that player's designated set;
    (h) thereafter using the movement of the cue ball during that player's turn to strike the one other object ball to try to legally pocket the one other object ball; and
    (i) declaring the winner the player that first legally pockets all of the object balls in that player's designated set and is the first to legally pocket the one other object ball.
  10. 10. The method of claim 9 wherein each of the two sets of object balls comprises a total of five object balls, the object balls in one of the two sets being numbered 1 through 5, inclusive, and the object balls in the other of the two sets being numbered 6 through 10, inclusive, and the one other object ball being numbered 11.
  11. 11. The method of claim 9 wherein each of the two sets of object balls comprises a total of three object balls, the object balls in one of the two sets being numbered 1 through 3, inclusive, the object balls in the other of the two sets being numbered 4 through 6, inclusive, and the one other object ball being numbered 7.
  12. 12. A method of playing a pocket billiard game on a pocket billiard table having a playing surface with only one pocket, the pocket being located at the approximate center of the playing surface, comprising:
    (a) providing a collection of successively numbered object balls;
    (b) designating on the playing surface one or more racking areas for arranging the object balls when starting play;
    (c) determining a rotational order of play by the players;
    (d) using the movement of a cue ball to strike the object balls;
    (e) alternating play every time a player fails to legally pocket an object ball in numerical order from low to high;
    (f) awarding points to each player for each object ball legally pocketed according to the number on the legally pocketed object ball; and
    (g) declaring the winner of the game the player that accumulates the most number of points.
  13. 13. The method of claim 12 wherein if the game ends in a tie, with each player having the same number of points, one additional object ball is placed on the table at a predetermined spot or location, and the first player to legally pocket the one additional object ball is declared the winner.
  14. 14. The method of claim 13 wherein if during shooting of the one additional object ball, a player scratches, that player loses the game.
  15. 15. The method of claim 12 wherein for an object ball to be legally pocketed, the cue ball must be banked off a cushion on the table prior to making contact with and pocketing the next object ball in numerical order.
  16. 16. The method of claim 12 wherein for an object ball to be legally pocketed, the movement of the cue ball must drive the next object ball in numerical order off a cushion on the table before that particular object ball is pocketed.
  17. 17. A method of playing a pocket billiard game on a pocket billiard table having a playing surface with only one pocket, the pocket being located at the approximate center of the playing surface, comprising:
    (a) providing a collection of object balls;
    (b) arranging the object balls in one or more designated areas on the playing surface when starting play;
    (c) determining a rotational order of play by at least two players;
    (d) deciding prior to starting play whether in order to legally pocket an object ball, the movement of a cue ball must be used to either bank or kick the object balls into the pocket;
    (e) alternating play every time a player fails to legally pocket an object ball; and
    (f) declaring the winner of the game the player who legally pockets the most object balls.
  18. 18. The method of claim 17 wherein a total of three object balls are placed at a designated area on the playing surface, and the players must pocket the object balls the way the players call the shot for the object balls to be legally pocketed.
  19. 19. The method of claim 17 wherein a total of four object balls are placed at four predetermined spots or locations on the playing surface each uniformly spaced a predetermined distance away from the pocket and away from each other prior to the start of the game, and the first player to legally pocket three of the object balls is the winner of the game.
  20. 20. The method of claim 19 wherein in the event of a tie, the winner is declared in a sudden death playoff during which one additional object ball is placed at one of the four predetermined spots or locations on the playing surface, the rotational order of the players is again determined, and the first player to legally pocket the additional object ball in the pocket is the winner.
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US9308435B1 (en) 2010-05-07 2016-04-12 Thomas Rohrmeister Stylized billiard rack and a method of playing a moving billiard game using the stylized billard rack

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