When thinking of the many different billiard games that are out there, the list of games for an odd number of players is much shorter. Unfortunately, most pool games require an even number of players, leaving the odd man sitting on the bar stools in the corner. This is where the game of Cutthroat proves useful.
In Cutthroat, all 15 billiard balls are used, and each player is designated an equal amount of balls. Therefore, three or five players in this game are ideal. The object of Cutthroat is quite simple. In order to win, be the last person playing to have balls on the table. If all of your balls have been sunk by other players, then you are out.
The rules of Cutthroat are relatively easy to comprehend, with a few twists and variations to make the game more intriguing. As stated, players start with a full rack. You do not choose which set of balls you are until you have made a shot. For example, if the first player breaks and sinks the 9 and 14 balls, then that player would choose his set of billiard balls. For three players use low, middle, and high groups, or #s 1-5, 6-10, and 11-15. For five players use #s 1-3, 4-6, 7-9, 10-12, and 13-15. In the case above, the most logical choice for player 1 would be the low numbered balls, or 1-5, since one of each of the other two groups is already off of the table. Remember, you want to be the last one with balls on the table, so pick the group of balls with the most still on the table, regardless of whether you shoot first, second, or third. And since you must sink a ball before you choose, it is possible for a player to be eliminated without getting a turn.
It is also possible, however, once a player is kicked out, for him or her to reenter the game. If one of the remaining shooters fouls or scratches, every other player is allowed to place one of their own sunken billiard balls back on the table at the head spot, even players that have been eliminated.
Also, you may sink one of your own balls to make another shot and continue your turn. You can even sink your last ball and still win if you are able to clear the entire table without missing a shot. Obviously, you do not want to shoot at your own billiard balls unless no other shot is available.
Next time you are looking for a relatively fast, fun billiard game for an odd number of people, consider Cutthroat over other games. Do not sit on the bar stools in the corner waiting for your next turn. Give Cutthroat a “shot,” and never worry about leaving the odd man out in your billiard room again.