Slop Pool: Your Simple Guide to Non-Called Shots in Billiards
In billiards, sometimes you have to call shots and sometimes you don’t. It really depends on what game you’re playing. It’s common to play call-shot games when you’re playing with more skilled players. On the other hand, casual players who would rather play for fun often don’t require shots to be called.
There is a name for not having to call your shots in pool. It’s called slop! In this article, we’ll explain “slop” in more detail, go over some situations where slop is allowed, and talk about some pros and cons of playing slop in pool.
What is Slop in Pool?
When playing pool, “slop” simply means not having to call your shot (or the pocket) when hitting an object ball.
Slop gets a bad rap sometimes, but it can be warranted. When playing slop, luck and poor play can be rewarded more often than playing “no slop”. This is because a player can hit an object ball into an unintended pocket, and still get to continue their turn.
If a player states “no slop” before starting a game, they are implying that they require called shots during the game. As long as the players agree on this, then shots should be called, and slop will not be legal.
Slop is sometimes legal, and sometimes illegal depending on the game you’re playing. For those playing in official tournaments, leagues, or against serious players, slop is illegal in 8 ball and legal in 9 ball.
Slop in 8 ball
8 ball is a call-shot game, and you must make your object ball in the intended pocket. Therefore, no slop is allowed.
That being said, if you are playing a casual game of 8 ball and aren’t taking it too seriously, it can be fun to allow slop, especially if you are facing a better player. Playing slop helps even the playing field since you can get lucky more often.
Slop in 9 ball
9 ball is not a call-shot game, therefore, it allows slop. But, you can also agree to play no slop with your opponent if you’re playing outside of a league or playing just for fun.
In most cases, as long as you hit your intended object ball first (the next numbered ball in order), then you’ve hit a legal shot. If any object ball then goes in any pocket, you get to continue your turn!
Slop is a very simple concept, and we hope you better understand this term after checking out this article. For new players, it can be confusing, but doesn’t take long to grasp.
If you are a new player, we recommend allowing slop. You’ll likely have more fun. As you improve and can command your shots better, playing no slop more often will help you stay more disciplined and improve your game.