# What does "Race to X" mean?

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?

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". Aug 9 '17 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 '18 at 20:43