Bumper Pool Tables


Bumper Pool is an alternative form of pocket billiards. Bumper pool is played on a smaller sized table than standard pool or billiards with a different pocket configuration and table design. It is a fun and interesting game that can be a great addition to any game room or an excellent substitute for a pool table in a room that may be too small to accommodate a larger pool table.

Table Design

A traditional rectangle bumper pool table is approximately 2 ½ x 4 ½ feet in shape. There are also octagonal shaped tables that are multi functional bumper pool, poker, and dining table combos. The rules are exactly the same on either table configuration but have different angles and shot variations.

On both short ends of the table there is a single hole for the pocket drop. Each pocket hole is surrounded by two bumpers and in the center of the play field there are usually 8 to 12 bumpers positioned in a cross shaped design. There is only enough room in the middle of the bumper cross configuration for one ball to barely pass through diagonally or for one ball to just fit inside the center area.

Rules of Play

In bumper pool there is one pocket drop with a white liner, and one pocket drop with a red liner. One player has five white balls and the other has five red balls. The object is to shoot all five of your designated balls into the correlating pocket drop before your opponent accomplishes the same task.

Each player lines all five balls up at his/her end of the table. One ball of each color group has a spot on it. (The white ball has a red spot and the red ball has a white spot.) The spotted ball goes in the center of the ball set up line in front of the pocket hole.

The players count to three and simultaneously shoot their spotted ball toward the opposite pocket drop. The player that comes closest to the hole or makes it in will shoot next. NOTE: Players have to make the spotted ball in first before they are allowed to shoot any other ball on the table. Once the spotted ball has been legally pocketed, they can shoot any ball of their color designation that they desire.


The bumpers around the pocket holes make it more challenging for a player to pocket their ball. They also offer interesting bank shot opportunities both offensively and defensively.

The bumper configuration in the center of the table serves a few different purposes. The first is simply to have an obstruction in the center of the table that prevents the player from being able to shoot the shot straight across the table. This makes it more challenging for the shooter and opens up opportunities to utilize the bumpers for bank shots. Secondly, they serve as an obstruction to “hide” your ball or knock your opponent’s ball behind, leaving them in a difficult position to make their next shot. Another purpose is for placing a ball that gets knocked off of the table, it then goes into the center of the bumper area, making it very challenging to pocket it from there.

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