A carpetball table is a 10 feet (3.0 m) long tray approximately 2.5 feet (0.76 m) and 3 feet (0.91 m) off the ground. These dimensions do not have to be exact. It is covered with fabric or indoor/outdoor carpet (hence the name) and has a shallow pocket running the entire width of either end. The end pockets are deep enough for a standard pool ball and should be broad enough that most balls will drop in, but not so broad that a ball moving with great force goes in.
- Balls may be arranged in any position within arm's reach of a player's end.
- Win by knocking all of the opponent's balls into their tray.
- When all of a player's balls are knocked in, the player gets a last roll ("mercy shot").
- If a ball goes into the tray and then bounces out, it is still in play.
- Any ball that crosses the halfway mark is considered a dead ball, and is put in the player's pocket.
- The opponent has the first shot.
- In the event of a tie, players start over with only one ball. Add a ball with each tie, and eventually continue the rotation.
Player rotation variations
- The winner stays on the table while challengers queue at the other end. If the former winner loses, the new winner switches ends. The loser goes to the back of the line.
- Alternatively challengers wait in two lines at either end of the table. The challenger replaces the loser who goes to the back of the line.
Rules on how to deal with run-away balls have significant regional variations. These rules are important for safety reasons to discourage wild throws. Knocking a ball out of the table can forfeit the game, allow the opponent to replace the ball anywhere, force the player to sacrifice one of their own balls. Knocking a player's ball into the opponent's tray can forfeit the game, put the ball out of play.
The initial ball placement is the primary decision in carpetball. The most common setups are: 1) half of the balls on each side of the player's end, 2) all balls in a row pointing at the opponent and 3) one ball on each side of the table with the rest in a row.
Better players carefully choose which of the opponent's balls to target first.
- "Has anyone besides me heard of carpet ball?" Yahoo Answers