Otto Quindici Anyone (take two)

L.S. Dennis

Active member
(This is a something that I did years ago for an old pool news letter called ‘Head Spot’ a John Morell publication)

Back in the early eighties in a quest to learn the language of my forefathers I begin studying Italian. In time, I learned not only the language, but OTTO QUINDICI (that’s pronounced owe-toe KWEEN dee chee) and Italian pool game similar to 8-ball that requires good banking skills, speed control, and a healthy sense of guerilla warfare. Because of the strategic possibilities i this game, I think it’s definitely more interesting than 8-ball.

Wanting more exposure to the spoken word, than my weekly language class could provide, I began to spend Friday and Saturday nights at Caffe Italia, a small, authentic bar/caffe in the North Beach area of San Francisco. The caffe had the best espresso this side of the Italian peninsula and a clientele made of almost entirely of first or second genelation Italian men.

The customers at Caffe Italia worked as waiters (with loads of tip money burning a hole in their pockets) tailors, scavengers, and bricks layers But they all shared a common love for gambling and pool. The game they played was OTTO QUINDICI, or Eight Fifteen.

OTTO QUINDICI the is very similar to what I’ve head called ‘Alabama 8-ball’ the or 1-15 eight ball the precursor to our present 8-ball with a few slight differences. The balls are racked as in with the one ball racked where the eight ball would normally be and the 8 and fifteen directly behind it. All the other balls are racked at random.

Depending on your color group (stripes or solids), you must pocket the eight or the fifteen into one of the two side pockets. An important strategic objective in the game is to be the first to do so.l Once this is done, your opponent is obligated to pocket his/her eight or fifteen in the opposite side pocket. (If at any time the eight or fifteen the eight or fifteen is pocketed in other than an appropriate side pocket it’s spotted with loss of turn.)

This can be done anything during the game, but it’s best to fo it as early as possible. Depending on the layout of the table you may want to legally knock your opponent‘s eight or fifteen away from his/her designated side pocket! Like in eight ball, in this game the one ball is the last and must be called. All other tournament 8-ball rules apply.

If you’re ever in San Francisco and intend on dropping into Caffe Italia for a little OTTO QUINDICI, be sure upon entering that your wallet isn’t empty, as most probably it won’t be full when you leave!

GOOD LUCK!
 

Johnny Rosato

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
(This is a something that I did years ago for an old pool news letter called ‘Head Spot’ a John Morell publication)

Back in the early eighties in a quest to learn the language of my forefathers I begin studying Italian. In time, I learned not only the language, but OTTO QUINDICI (that’s pronounced owe-toe KWEEN dee chee) and Italian pool game similar to 8-ball that requires good banking skills, speed control, and a healthy sense of guerilla warfare. Because of the strategic possibilities i this game, I think it’s definitely more interesting than 8-ball.

Wanting more exposure to the spoken word, than my weekly language class could provide, I began to spend Friday and Saturday nights at Caffe Italia, a small, authentic bar/caffe in the North Beach area of San Francisco. The caffe had the best espresso this side of the Italian peninsula and a clientele made of almost entirely of first or second genelation Italian men.

The customers at Caffe Italia worked as waiters (with loads of tip money burning a hole in their pockets) tailors, scavengers, and bricks layers But they all shared a common love for gambling and pool. The game they played was OTTO QUINDICI, or Eight Fifteen.

OTTO QUINDICI the is very similar to what I’ve head called ‘Alabama 8-ball’ the or 1-15 eight ball the precursor to our present 8-ball with a few slight differences. The balls are racked as in with the one ball racked where the eight ball would normally be and the 8 and fifteen directly behind it. All the other balls are racked at random.

Depending on your color group (stripes or solids), you must pocket the eight or the fifteen into one of the two side pockets. An important strategic objective in the game is to be the first to do so.l Once this is done, your opponent is obligated to pocket his/her eight or fifteen in the opposite side pocket. (If at any time the eight or fifteen the eight or fifteen is pocketed in other than an appropriate side pocket it’s spotted with loss of turn.)

This can be done anything during the game, but it’s best to fo it as early as possible. Depending on the layout of the table you may want to legally knock your opponent‘s eight or fifteen away from his/her designated side pocket! Like in eight ball, in this game the one ball is the last and must be called. All other tournament 8-ball rules apply.

If you’re ever in San Francisco and intend on dropping into Caffe Italia for a little OTTO QUINDICI, be sure upon entering that your wallet isn’t empty, as most probably it won’t be full when you leave!

GOOD LUCK!
I'm from Birmingham and played pool 50+ years. That game, close to what you describe, is something we did often here.
I'm also 2nd generation Italian with all 4 grandparents speaking the Sicilian dialect and very broken English.
I understood enough to communicate but that's about it. We have a pretty close-knit Italian community here
and our on version of a "Little Italy" where I grew up with a couple Italian guys owning pool rooms but I have never
heard that word, "Otto Quindici", in my life.
Is it a West Coast thing or have you heard of anyone on the east coast mentioning that?
Johnny Rosato ~ B'ham Alabama ~ Roll Tide
 

L.S. Dennis

Active member
Not sure, that’s what all those old Italian guys called it at Caffe Italia, otto Quindici simply translate to eight fifteen in English so I guess just made the translation from that. I too am of Italian heritage (in fact I have more relatives in Italy than I do here. In some of the old BCA rules books you’ll see 1-15 eight ball listed which is more or less the same game.
 

Johnny Rosato

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
We played 1-15 in opposite side pockets and racked behind the 1st ball, 8 behind those. Every now and then somebody would want to add 8 follow last ball, bank 8, or some other shit, usually when their losing.
 
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