A local pool hall features weekly 8-ball and 9-ball double-elimination tournaments, and the different tournaments are described as:

  • Race to 4
  • Race to 4/3
  • Race to 2

What do these terms mean?

1 Answer 1


According to Wikipedia, the term race in billiards means:

A predetermined, fixed number of games players must win to win a match; "a race to seven" means whomever wins seven games first wins the match.

Here is a file with some more examples:

First competitor to win 3 matches (race to 3)
First competitor to win 4 matches (race to 4)
First competitor to win 5 matches (race to 5)
First competitor to win 6 matches (race to 6)

As for your "race to 4/3" example, I believe that is specific to double-elimination tournaments in which you play a different number of games depending on whether you are in the winner's bracket or the loser's bracket. So "race to 4/3" means it's a "race to 4" in the winner's bracket and a "race to 3" in the loser's bracket. Here's a page where it mentions a different "race" for the winner's and loser's brackets in one tournament:

Race to 3 winner’s side. Race to 2 on the loser’s side.

If a double-elimination tournament has the same number of games for both the winner's and loser's brackets, then you could call it a "race to N/N". An example of that can be found here:

race to 3/3 double elimination

But instead of calling it a "race to 3/3", you could just call it a "race to 3". An example of that can be found here:

Double Elimination – Race to 3

  • That's a very complicated way of saying "Win x racks to win the match".
    – timseal
    Aug 9, 2017 at 20:00
  • The usual sporting idiom is "first to X" as a shortening of "first to get score X wins the match". The change to using "race to X" instead is not complicated at all.
    – Nij
    Dec 19, 2018 at 20:43

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.