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The objective of Monkey Pool™ is slightly different than that of other pool games that you may be familiar with. One of the main differences is that it is the Cue Balls that score, that win or lose, and the Players are somewhat incidental to the process. The game requires, if not mastery, then at least a working knowledge of all the skills of barroom pool, billiards, snooker, bumper pool, geometry, algebra, high-energy physics, transpersonal psychology and xenozoology.

Monkey Pool™ is best played by at least three people, and up to six have participated to good effect, but four or five is ideal. Hats are essential for keeping track of which Player belongs to which Cue Ball at any given point. If more than three Players are involved, the extras are Judges, rotating in as Scratches dictate.

The score begins at 10 points for each of the Positive Scoring Cue Balls. Each Player (except the Judge(s)) begins with a Cue Ball and all break simultaneously, followed by the Player who won the coin toss. Play proceeds to the next eldest Player (including Judge(s)). Points are scored for pocketing Scoring Balls (4's, 7's (both of which are known as "4-Balls"), 6's, 10's, 11's), knocking Monkeys into pockets, causing Elephants to achieve various formal permutations, forming the Purple Cross on the head spot, and Untabling Purple Balls while the Purple Cross is intact. Two of the Cue Balls maintain a score and the third subtracts from whichever of the two Scoring Cue Balls the Player wishes. From time to time a Doubling Round will occur, where all scores are doubled.

Upon Scratching, the Scratched Cue Ball is placed in the scratching Player's Hat and given to the next Player; all Hats rotate at this point, including the Judge(s), though occasionally a permanent Judgeship will be bestowed due to exhaustion. Reverse Scratches occasionally occur, causing Hats to be passed in reverse order.

Play ends when five 4-Balls have reformed the Purple Cross on the headspot and the remaining three 4-Balls have been Untabled and placed on the three head rail spots. The Player controlling the Cue Ball with the high score at this point is declared the Winner.

Equipment Required For Play:

  • 3 Cue Balls, preferably of varying hues, or otherwise recognizable from each other.
  • Thirty to forty pool balls, including eight total combined 4 and 7-Balls (purple balls), three 6-Balls, three 11-Balls, three 10-Balls.
  • Four Purple Monkeys.
  • Three Elephants.
  • One Hippo.
  • One large Snowman Candle, equipped with Bumping Apparatus.
  • One small (larger than Monkey size) Snowman. [Optional]
  • Various Hats, including one or two judging visors.
  • Magic 4-Ball.
  • A selection of Mini Balls.
  • Muggins Ape equipped with cue.
  • "Mojo Jojo." Roughly Purple Monkey sized.
  • One Small Micro Henry, vested with purple vest. [Optional]
  • 4-Ball and Chain. Used in conjunction with Micro Henry. [Optional]
  • Other normal pool equipment, i.e. cues, chalk, chalking truck, pool table, etc.

Setup and Break

The balls are racked with the five 4-Balls of the Purple Cross centered on the head spot, the other balls arranged more or less symmetrically behind them, with the Scoring Balls grouped pleasingly with triangles and 45 degree angles dominating.

One Purple Monkey is placed in front of each of the corner pockets and an Elephant in front of each side pocket. The Elephants should be able to be recognized one from the other, as it is at times necessary to replace them in front of their pocket of origin. Likewise, the Purple Monkeys should also be recognized for the individuals they are. The Snowman Bumper is held off the table until after the break. If the smaller Snowman is used, it is, of course, also held off the table.

Each Positive Scoring Cue Ball begins the game with 10 points.

Order of play is determined by a series of coin tosses between sucessive pairs of as many Players as wish to participate, the winner of each toss challenging the next Player until an ultimate winner is selected. This Player (the Coin Toss Winner) selects one of the three Cue Balls (or the Judgeship if more than three are playing) and a Hat which is linked to that particular Cue Ball for the duration of the game. The picking order follows the hierarchy of Coin Toss Winners until each Player is allied with a Hat and Cue Ball or Judgeship. In games of four Players there will be a Judge, accoutered with Official Judging Visor. In games of more than four Players, there will be a Senior Judge and a Junior Judge and so on.

The break is simultaneously made by the three Cue Ball controlling Players, with the Cue Balls placed on the foot string spots, the Coin Toss Winner's Cue Ball in the center and the others to the right or left as they will, and generally on a count of "three." No points are scored on the break.

After the break, the Snowman Bumper is placed at the center of the table, displacing any Objects needed. The Coin Toss Winner's inning then begins, with play passing to the next eldest Player from this point on.


Rules For Play:


  • A new rule must be created or an old rule modified or clarified, or some fantastic innovation brought to the table for each game played.
  • A Player's inning continues as long as any points are scored. A Non-scoring ball may be pocketed alone without penalty if a 4-Ball was pocketed on the previous shot.
  • Both Positive Cue Balls start with 10 points.
  • Points are scored for balls as follows:
    Pocketing a Scoring Ball (6, 10, 11) 3 Points
    Pocketing a 4-Ball 4 Points
    Completing Purple Cross 5 Points
    Untabling a 4-Ball 6 Points
  • The Negative Cue Ball subtracts the same amount of points a Positive Cue Ball would add, with the points subtracted from either side at the discretion of the Negative Cue Ball's controlling Player.
  • All points scored in a single shot are racked.
  • A Scratch results in a Hat Pass wherein the scratched Cue Ball is placed in the scratching player's Hat and passed to the next eldest player. All Hats rotate, and the Cue Ball is placed on one of the six spots on or behind the foot spot corresponding with the rail dot things and shot by the new controlling Player.
  • A Scoring Object Ball (including 4-Balls) off the table is a Reverse Scratch. The ball is retabled at the Snowman. Points are awarded.
  • A Non-scoring Object Ball off the table is retabled at the Snowman with no points awarded and the end of the Player's inning. There is no Scratch.
  • After pocketing a Non-Scoring Ball, the Player consults the Magic 4-Ball to determine the allowability of drawing from the Santa Hat a Mini-Ball. These Mini-Balls are retained until the end of the game, at which point the Players controlling the Positive Scoring Cue Balls add the total face value of their Mini-Balls. If there is no Judge, the Negative Cue Ball, after consultation with the Magic 4-Ball, subtracts the total face value of its Mini-Balls from the appropriate Player. If there is a Judge(s), the total Mini-Ball points possessed by the Negative Cue Ball is subtracted from the total points possessed by the Judge(s) and, if a positive number, awarded (after consultation with the Magic 4-Ball) by the Judge(s), and, if negative, by the Player controlling the Negative Cue Ball.
  • Five points are awarded for the sinking of the Chalk Truck.
  • Games may end in a tie.
  • As disagreements concerning issues of fact arise, or novel situations present themselves which seem to lie outside the purview of these rules, all Players should resolve the situation through dialogue and discussion, though the final arbiter will be the Judge(s).

Purple Monkeys

  • A Monkey may not be the first object struck by a Cue Ball. If a Monkey is struck first a Muggins is called, i.e. the offending Player's inning is over, no points are scored for that shot, and a Doubling Round is declared for all other Players. The Mugginsing Player must carry the Muggins Ape, if it is being used, in hand until his or her next shot, which must be made with the Ape.
  • If a Monkey is in contact with a Player's Cue Ball, that Player may elect to strike the Monkey directly with the back end of the Cue Stick. In this case, the Monkey can, of course, be the first object to meet with the Cue Ball. The Player may also hit the Cue Ball through the Monkey with no penalty.
  • A Monkey hurled from the table is a Reverse Scratch. A Reverse Hat Pass occurs, negative points are scored, and the Monkey is retabled in front of his original pocket (unless Henry is playing).
  • A Monkey thrown upon the rail is a Negative Doubling Round for all Players, with the third Elephant replacing the Monkey on the rail and the Monkey replaced in front of his original pocket.
  • If a Monkey traps a ball in a pocket, there is no score. The ball and the Monkey are retabled in positions dependant upon the type of ball trapped as per the following table. A trapped Cue Ball is no Scratch. Whether other points made on the ball-trapping shot are scored is indeterminate.
    Ball trapped Ball retabled at: Monkey retabled at:
    4-Ball Head spot Head spot with ball
    Scoring Ball Snowman Snowman with ball
    Cue Ball Snowman Snowman with ball
    Non-scoring Ball Snowman In front of original pocket
  • When a Monkey is forced into a pocket, points are scored according to the following table, and the Monkey is retabled in front of the pocket it was forced into, unless it trapped a ball (see above):
    Monkey Points
    Spelunking. 7 Points
    Head first. 6 Points
    Sitting, facing out. "Cute" or "peering out" position. 5 Points
    Sitting, any other position. 4 Points
    "Vampire Coffin," lying in pocket face down. 3 Points
    "Coffin," lying in pocket. 2 Points


  • An Elephant may be struck directly with a Cue Ball.
  • When an Elephant is pitched onto the side rail, a Doubling Round is declared, with the Hippo replacing the Elephant, and the Elephant going back to his position in front of his hole.
  • An Elephant hurled off the table is not a Scratch. The Player places the Elephant anywhere on the table deemed appropriate. Any points made on the shot are racked, but the Player's inning is ended.
  • Both Elephants ejected from the table is a Doubling Round for all Players and the third Elephant in placed on the table. The Player's inning is ended.
  • When an Elephant is forced into a pocket, twice the number of Monkey Points are scored.
  • If an Elephant traps either a 4-Ball or a Scoring Ball, the Elephant goes on top of the other Elephant, and the Ball is retabled as per Monkey table above. Points, if any, are scored, but the Player's inning is ended.
  • If an Elephant traps a Non-Scoring Ball, the ball is retabled at the Snowman and the Elephant is replaced at his pocket. Points, if any, are not scored, and the Player's inning is ended.
  • When both Elephants achieve one of the Formal Permutations listed below (not necessarily in the same shot), points are scored as listed. A single Elephant can score on one of the three Single Formal Permutations:

    Elephant Points - Formal Permutations (Both Elephants)

    Opposite Side 1 Point
    Same Side 2 Points
    Backs 4 Points
    Jowler 4 Points
    Sitting 5 Points
    Elephant Points - Single Formal Permutations
    Righting 4 Points
    Sitting 5 Points
    Headstand 8 Points

    Micro Henry

  • First Variation: If Micro Henry is used, he will take the place of a pocketed Monkey, with the Monkey sitting out until another Monkey is pocketed. At that time, the sitting out Monkey will return to his original pocket, Henry will take the place of the newly pocketed Monkey, and the newly pocketed Monkey will sit out until another Monkey is pocketed. When Henry is pocketed in this variation, he is untabled and replaced by the outwaiting Monkey.
  • Second Variation: Henry waits until a Monkey traps a Scoring Ball, then is placed at the pocket vacated by the Monkey as it moves to the Snowman. Henry remains for duration of game. This is the more popular variant.
  • Micro Henry will be encumbered by the 4-Ball and Chain after the sinking of the first 4-Ball. Pocketing Henry with the 4-Ball & Chain scores double Monkey Points +4. Henry and the 4-Ball & Chain go to the Head Spot.
  • The 4-Ball & Chain knocked off Henry is awarded to the Player who knocked it off as a Mini-Ball.
  • If the Snowman is untabled, Henry assumes the duties thereof.
  • Henry on the rail summons a Doubling Round followed by a Negative Doubling Round.
  • There are two varients in the scoring of Micro Henry. Henry scores on being pocketed, and he will either score the total of the face values of all balls pocketed on the Henry sinking shot, or simply double Monkey Points.

    Mojo Jojo

  • If Mojo Jojo is utilized, he takes the place of a pocketed elephant, scores double negative points and is removed from the game when pocketed, replaced by the elephant he replaced.

"Quick" Game Variation

  • Micro Henry replaces Snowman, or no Snowman. 6, 10, 11, 4 & 7 Balls on table only-- eliminate Non-Scoring Balls.