How to Play Pea Pool


Pea pool, also commonly known as Kelly pool, is a billiards game played on a standard pool table. The game is played with a group of people and a certain number of balls each player must sink before they win the game. Sinking balls are hit with the same rules, and a normal 16-ball set is used for gameplay, but play is over as soon as one player sinks all of the balls assigned to him.

  • Gather two or more players together for a game and rack the balls as you would in a normal pool game, with all 15 balls racked together on one side of the table in a triangle.

  • Place the 1-ball in the front of the rack, the 2-ball on the racker's right corner and the 3-ball on the racker's left corner.

  • Fill a bottle with 15 "peas," or small numbered objects, numbered one thru 15. Shake the bottle and remove the peas one by one and give each player in the game one pea, to be kept private.

  • Allow one player to break the rack with a shot. If a ball is made, the next player shoots at the lowest numbered ball on the table. The ball does not have to be made, but it must be the first ball that is contacted with the cue ball. The player shooting may make any ball as long as the lowest ball is the first hit. Once the player fails to pocket a ball, it is the next player's turn, in succession back to the first person, keeping the same order every time around.

  • Take the ball in hand and play the cue ball anywhere on the table after the person prior to your shot scratches. If your ball has already been pocketed, keep shooting at the lowest numbered balls on the table and be sure to announce that your ball was pocketed before you shoot your next turn. The game is over once a player sinks the ball that corresponds to their private number. If no player sinks their own number, the game is over once all private balls are pocketed.

  • Play the next game in a determined number of games after the first game has ended. Determine a winner by calculating the number of points from each game. The points awarded are as follows:

    Two points from each other player for a player who pockets their own ball
    One point for legally pocketing another player's ball
    One point lost if your ball is pocketed by another player

    Double the points for the second game and allow the player who pocketed the last private number ball to start the next game.

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