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Bumper Pool Rules – Playing Guide

Bumper Pool Rules

Although a bumper pool game is no longer as popular as it once was, it is still an excellent casual game for playing at home or in a bar. But, in order to play the game, you need to know the bumper pool rules. Whether you play as an individual or in a group, the rules are the same.

This article will explain what bumper pool is and how it differs from traditional billiard pools. You’ll also learn what you need to play the game, what rules and tips to follow, how to improve your game and what mistakes to watch out for.

How To Play Bumper Pool

Although the game is simple, there are some rules that you need to follow. Furthermore, the rules of the bumper pool may be difficult to remember the first time you play.


You can play the game with two or four players in teams of two. Each side has either five red or five white balls. One of these five balls has a dot on both sides to signify that it is the marked cue ball.

Racking The Balls

Racking The Balls

There is no break shot in this game because there is no racking. The game begins with both players firing their shots at the same time. The marked ball should be shot first and should land in the pocket at the opposite end.

Objective Of The Game

The goal of the game is for a player to deposit all their balls into the pocket at the opposite end of the table. The winner is the first player or team to sink all five balls into the hole at the opposite end.

You need to sink the marked ball first before all the other balls.

Equipment You Need To Play Bumper Pool

Equipment You Need To Play Bumper Pool

Before you start, make sure you have all the necessary equipment for the game. If you want to find the best table for bumper pool, click here.

Bumper Pool Table

Bumper pool tables are roughly 3 – 4 feet (0.9 – 1.2 m) in length. At the opposing ends, they each have two scoring lanes. Each pocket has two bumpers on either side of the edges, with the remaining eight bumpers forming a cross in the middle, preventing more than one ball from passing through.

If you want to play regular pool, check some of the best tables on the market here.


You’ll need 10 balls for the bumper pool game: four white, four red and two marked balls, one white with a red dot and one red with a white dot.

Cue Stick

Bumper pool cue sticks are 42 to 48 inches (1 – 1.2 m) long. An excellent cue stick is made of high-quality wood, has a strong steel tip and is lightweight.

Starting The Game

You and your opponent shoot your cue balls at the same time, hoping to hit the side cushion first and bank your balls close to or into your pocket. If you place your ball closest to the cup or put the ball in, you shoot again. If both marked cue balls are made on the initial stroke, both players place one of their remaining balls in front of their cup. Then you both shoot these balls at the same time again until someone gets closer.



You should always pocket the cue balls first. The person who scores or places the ball closer to their pocket will start the next round of shooting turns.

A player gets another shot when they sink their balls into their same colored pocket and can continue shooting until they do not have a ball in their pocket. 

Tips And Strategies For Winning The Game

Strategies For Winning The Game

Winning the game can be easy if you utilize the right strategies.

1. Defensive Playing

Use your shot to throw your opponent off balance or deflect it. Don’t just focus on making a goal with every shot.

2. Know Your Banks

Good bumper pool players can easily sink long shots or serve by knowing exactly where to bank on the table with an angle that ends directly in the opponent’s scoring hole.

3. Set It Up

Sinking the ball can be challenging. Additionally, it isn’t always an option because of the extra balls on the table that prevent sinking.

Aim to set up your shot with two banks – one on each side and one at the table’s end – to give you a direct shot on the next turn.

4. Play The Bumpers

Another possibility is to utilize the bumpers as a bank to steer your shot toward the pocket. If you don’t have the angle to sink the ball directly, consider banking off the bumper into the trunk or even playing a back rail bank into a bumper and then into the hole.

Technicalities And Penalties

Technicalities And Penalties

Bumper pool is an easy game, but you should be aware of technicalities and penalties.

  • The player must first score his marked ball before attempting to shoot other balls.
  • If you score with an unmarked ball, all balls that were disturbed must be put back in their original position.
  • If both players successfully hit their marked balls on the first shot, they take another shot while aiming to the left of the scoring hole.
  • If you knock your own ball off the table and put it in the middle, your opponent will shoot next.
  • If you accidentally knock your opponent’s balls off the table, replace them with your own balls in the center of the table.
  • If a player scores on an opponent’s balls, it counts against him.
  • A player can drop any two balls in their scoring hole if the player scores in the opponent’s pocket.
  • If a player scores any other ball before the marked ball, the opponent can drop any of their two balls into a scoring hole.
  • A player loses the round if their final ball goes into the opponent’s scoring hole.

How To Play Teams In Bumper Pool

How To Play Teams In Bumper Pool

If you play in a team, you and your partner will switch roles whenever it is your team’s turn to shoot. If you’re a beginner, joining a team of more experienced players is a great way to learn the rules and strategies. Begin the game by having each player shoot their spotted cue ball to the right. The goal is to get your marked cue ball into the opposite side of the board’s scoring hole.

Mistakes To Avoid

The majority of the best players take a defensive approach focused on the bumper pool rules. These are some of the most common mistakes players make when playing bumper pool and what to do to avoid them:

  • Because knocking your ball off the pool table is never a good thing, there is a penalty. Place your ball in the center of the table, right in the middle of all the bumpers.
  • Stay away from illegal jump shots. A jump shot is when you hit your cue ball in such a way that it jumps over another ball or obstacle. You might be tempted to take a jump shot when you’re in a tight spot, but this game doesn’t allow it.
  • Try not to hit your ball into your opponent’s scoring cup. Remember to place your balls in the scoring hole on the opposite side of the table.

Frequently Asked Questions

You play bumper pool by hitting the ball to the right off the rail, attempting to land it in its “home” pocket off the bank. If both players make their lead ball shots, they will make a subsequent shot simultaneously. When a player scores all five consecutive balls, the game is over.

Yes, you can hit the opponent’s ball in bumper pool. After that, put the ball back in its original spot and place one of your balls in the middle of the table’s bumpers. But be careful; if you score on an opponent’s ball, it will count against you. Prior to shooting other balls, you must first score the spotted ball.

The objective of bumper pool is to be the first player to sink all five of your balls into the opponent’s pocket. There is no cue ball, so players hit their own balls with their cues. Additionally, there are 12 bumpers, with eight bumpers placed around the center and two bumpers placed at each end of the table.


Hopefully, you now know all the bumper pool rules to begin playing this enjoyable and straightforward game. You can place the table in almost any room and play it with another person or in a team of two. Either way, it is a wonderful, short game that people of all ages find enjoyable.

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