If 14.1 continuous billiards is the billiards answer to basketball’s HORSE, then one pocket billiards is the billiards answer to soccer. In one pocket billiards the table is cut from six possible pockets for shots to two open pockets, requiring the shooter to specialize in specific types of shots. So in one pocket billiards you must call the desired pocket for your shot, but you do not have to call what ball will go into that pocket.
The similarity for one pocket billiards to soccer is that the desired pocket on every shot is the opponent’s target goal. In other words, each player is essentially defending a target pocket, requiring somewhat of a defensive strategy in addition to the usual offensive strategies of billiards. If a player does not make a ball into the opponent’s target pocket and instead shoots a ball into one of the other four pockets then the shot is declared an “illegally pocketed ball.”
If a shooter should happen to pocket a ball in their own goal pocket that would give the opponent a winning point total then they do indeed lose the game. The object is to get to eight balls pocketed in the target, or opponent’s goal pocket, meaning that the shooter would have pocketed over half of the total billiards balls into the opponent’s pocket. So, if the shooter has six pocketed balls and his/her opponent has seven total and the shooter accidentally pockets a ball in his/her own goal then the shooter loses.
Prior to the start of the game the two shooters should choose which pocket on either end of the table they wish to use as a target pocket. The balls are then set up in the racking triangle at random and the breaking shooter is required to make at least one ball into the targeted pocket, or make a contacted ball hit a cushion, to continue his/her turn as the shooter. If the target pocket is scored on eight or more times the game is over.