How to Play Ten Ball
Would you like to play a more challenging game than 9 Ball? You should try Ten Ball. Ten ball is preferred by the professionals because it is statistically harder to pocket any balls on the break with the larger rack. Odds are higher with 10 balls versus 9 balls. All the shots must be called and you can not instantly win by pocketing the 10 ball like you can in 9 ball. You can pocket the ten ball on the break and win.
An Overview of Ten ball
Ten ball is a better test of a players skill than nine ball. All the shots must be called with the pocket and the ball, you can only call one ball each shot. Random balls that go into the pocket do not count unless they are pocketed simultaneously as your called ball. No slop or lucky shots are allowed in this game. Many professional pool players who can perform multi shots do not like this rule.
"Ten ball is a better test of a players skill than nine ball. All the shots must be called with the pocket and the ball...No slop or lucky shots are allowed in this game."
Ten ball is played mostly like nine ball. You rack the 10 balls in an 8 ball triangle with the 10 ball placed in the middle and the 1 ball at the top. Place the 1 ball over the foot spot and the rest of the balls in the rack do not have to be any certain pattern. You lag to determine who chooses the break and alternate breaking over the set. The cue ball must be behind the head string and a ball must be pocketed or at least four balls need to hit the rail.
A player can play a "push out" if no foul is committed on the break shot by making his intention known to the referee. Whenever a player is trying to pocket a ball, he must call the ball and the pocket. The balls are played from lowest to highest and the lowest numbered ball must make contact with the cue ball in order to be a legal hit. The first player to pocket the ten ball wins the rack. Only one ball may be called per shot.
You can call a safety where you hit the called ball but do not pocket it. If you accidentally pocket your called ball, your opponent has the option to play or hand it back to you. If the wrong ball is pocketed then you can play the shot as is or hand it back to your opponent. The ten ball is the only ball that can be spotted if mistakenly pocketed. If a foul is committed then it is ball in hand for your opponent anywhere on the table.
World Pool-Billiard Association courtesy of a Billiard Congress of America