Pool Games for Three People


When many people think of playing pool, they think of a game using two people where the goal is to sink the eight ball, the black one. Most pool games are designed for an even number of people. However, there are some multiplayer pool games such as Peas, Cutthroat and Rotation that are played with three or more players.

Starting the Game

To decide who starts a pool game, whatever the number of players you are using, each player picks a ball. Line up the pool balls at one end of the table. Gather up a pool stick for each player. Hit the ball with your pool stick so that it bounces back from the opposite rail. Whoever's ball travels back closest to the first rail without hitting it gets to start the game.


The pool game Cutthroat, also known as Three Man and Elimination, is played by three players. The pool balls get grouped into three sets: one through five, six through 10 and 11 through 15. The first player to sink a shot that he has called -- that is, told the other players which ball he wanted to play -- gets to choose which set of balls to use while he plays. You win Cutthroat by making sure all the other opponents' balls are sunk. The goal for this game is to keep as many of your balls on the table as you can.


The pool game Rotation, or Rainbow, is a game where players gain points. The player who scores the highest amount of points at the end of the game wins. If your total points reach 61 points, you automatically win. To start a game of Rotation, the cue ball, the white one, must first hit the lowest numbered ball on the table. After the lowest ball is touched, sink your called shot. If you don't touch the lowest number first, or at all, the next player can place the cue ball wherever she wishes. This process is called "ball in hand." She must then touch the lowest-numbered ball and continue the game. The number of points you gained is determined by which ball you sink. For example, if you hit the colored ball with the number five on it, you score 5 points.

Kelly Pool

Kelly pool, also named Pill or Peas, is played with anywhere from two to 15 players. Additional equipment called peas get used in combination with the regular pool accessories. Players can purchase peas at stores that sell billiards equipment. The pea pieces represent the 15 pool balls. Players start Kelly by drawing three peas. The peas you choose remain a secret from anyone else who is playing. Starting a game requires you to hit the cue ball with the goal of putting it in contact with either the lowest numbered ball or the highest on the table. After the high or low number gets hit, you sink the ball that matches the number on your pea. You win after you have sunk a ball that matches the number on your pea; or, you pocket the ball of the last remaining player.