Bumper pool is a great game that can bring hours of daily entertainment to players. A bumper pool table differs from a standard pool table in that it table only has two pockets (holes) whereas the standard pool table has six pockets. Furthermore, the table contains 12 bumpers, two each that sit beside the hole at the far end of each side of the table, while the remaining 8 bumpers are situated around the middle of the table. These bumpers are used by players trying to bank their ball into the opposition's hole. While the standard pool game has 15 balls in solid and stripe form, in bumper pool each player has five balls — red versus white. The tables come in a variety of sizes but the regulation size is roughly 54 inches (1.37 meters) by 30 inches (0.76 meters). These tables typically have a green felt fabric covering a slate or wood base.
To begin play in bumper pool, each player lines up their five balls at opposite ends of the table. Each player will have one ball with a dot on it. This ball will be placed just in front of the pocket and must be shot, using a cue stick, into the opponent's pocket before a player can shoot at any of the other balls. The goal of bumper pool is to be the first player to shoot his five balls into the opponent's hole. This game is usually played one on one or by teams of two. At the start of the game, both players will shoot the dotted ball at the same time, banking it off the side rail toward the opponent's hole. The player who sinks the ball continues to shoot. If no ball falls into the hole off the first shot, the player with a ball closest to the opponent's hole shoots again.
In bumper pool, a good defense is just as important as a good offense. If an opposing player has a ball close to a hole, the other player can use his shot to knock that player's ball away from the hole, sending the ball to the other end of the table if possible. The best bumper pool players are masters with the cue stick. They can bank balls softly off the side rail or bumper when needed to drop a ball into the pocket, and they can also knock their opponent's ball away from the hole when it appears their opponent has an upcoming easy score.