What is Ball in Hand?

Ball in hand is a rule in pool where a player is allowed to place the cue ball anywhere on the table before taking their shot. This situation typically arises after the opposing player commits a foul, providing a significant advantage to the incoming player.

When is Ball in Hand Applied?

Ball in hand is applied in various foul scenarios, such as scratching the cue ball, failing to hit any object ball, or making an illegal shot. The incoming player can then place the cue ball in a position that maximizes their chances of pocketing a ball and continuing their turn.

Strategic Uses of Ball in Hand

Players often use ball in hand to set up an easy shot or break a cluster of balls that are difficult to pocket. This rule can turn the tide in a game, making it a pivotal aspect of competitive pool.


Mastering the use of ball in hand can significantly improve a player’s control over the game, providing opportunities to score and maintain momentum.