Games to rate your pool playing skills – Part III

Here’s an interesting game that was introduced to me by Mike Fieldhammer.  The game is called FARGO, and was developed by Mike Page, founder of the super popular Fargo Billiards & Gastropub.  Try this one and see if you enjoy it as much as I do…


Rack all 15 balls and break from anywhere in the kitchen.  All balls pocketed on the break are spotted and you start with ball in hand anywhere on the table.   There’s no penalty for scratching on the break.  This is a call shot game; i.e. call the ball and the pocket.  All balls pocketed count as one point.  The objective is to play 10 racks (innings) and add up the total number of points made.

But here’s the fun part…

Each inning consists of two parts:  (1) a random phase, and (2) a rotation phase.  At the beginning of each inning, you place a coin (or other marker) on the table with the heads up, indicating that you are in the “random phase” of shooting.  In the “random phase”, each ball pocketed counts as one point, and you can shoot the balls in any order you choose.  At any time, you can flip the coin over, indicating that you are entering the “rotation phase”.  In the rotation phase, each ball pocketed counts as two points, but you must contact the lowest numbered ball on the table first.  Add up the total number of points scored in ten innings and then compare your performance with the ranking chart below.

Rating Scores
> 220           Pro
160-220     AA
130-160     A
100-130     B
60-100       C
< 60             D


5 responses to “Games to rate your pool playing skills – Part III

  1. i came up with one called fartaround. basically, it’s 8-ball with snooker elements. after you break, spot all the balls made on the break. (easy version: you spot balls made on the break in front of any pocket(s) you choose. regular version: spot balls made on break regularly.) take ball in hand anywhere and alternate pocketing solids and stripes; so after you make a solid, you have to make a stripe, and vice versa. (you pick which one to start with.) you can only shoot the 8 ball after you clear all the solids and stripes. call shot only; accidentally made balls are spotted. when you miss, it counts as one inning. each scratch has a +1 inning penalty. (e.g., if you run out in two innings but scratched once during the process, the score is three innings.) standard 8-ball rules apply. goal is to clear the rack in as few innings as possible.

    i’ve no idea how you’d rank yourself since i just came up with this practice; i’m guessing if you can clear a rack in two or less innings you’re doing pretty good. something different to break up the monotony of drills. 😛

  2. A few years ago … long before I knew anything about anything, I didn’t like 9-ball but was sick of 8-ball and didn’t know any other games; I devised some weird 8-ball mutant. It’s a lot like poolriah’s game, but in my version you had to shoot exactly 2 of each suit before you could switch. If you chose solids, you *had* to shoot (and make) 2 solids, then you *had* to switch to stripes, and shoot 2, etc.

  3. Pingback: nineriah & fartaround « p00lriah.

  4. Pingback: nineriah & fartaround « p00lriah.

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