How does the FargoRate rating and handicapping system work?

The FargoRate rating and handicapping system, which is different from the Fargo rating drill, is a statistics-based system for tracking player abilities. Here’s a video summary of what it is, and here’s an explanation of the math behind the system. Here’s a rough interpretation of the numbering:

800 – top world-class professional
700 – top regional player in the US; a threat to cash in the Master’s Division at the BCA/VNEA Championships; a threat to run six in a row if the break is working
600 – likely to cash in the BCA Open Division but probably won’t make it to the top 32; may get moved to Master’s Division and then flounder; has run three-in-a-row multiple times and maybe four-in-a row a time or two
500 – good local league player; runs out first time at the table in about 10% of the games
400 – runs out first time at the table in about 1% of the games (once or twice a league season)
300 – beginner league player
200 – absolute beginner; may miscue frequently

The table below summarizes how FargoRate ratings compare to other common player rating systems, including Billiard University (BU) Playing-Ability Exam scores:

BU Player Rating Comparison Table

For more information, see “Player Ratings” (BD, December, 2020).

Starting in 2015, CSI started using FargoRate to track player ratings and assign handicaps in all league and tournament events. For more info, see the CSI press release.

The following webpage allows you to look up Fargo Ratings for different players and determine a probability for one player to beat another in given race: fairmatch.fargorate.com.

The Salotto app can be used by anyone to set up matches and enter results into the FargoRate system.

If you don’t have a FargoRating, you can approximate your rating with playing-ability tests like the Runout Drill System (RDS) or the Billiard University (BU) Playing Ability Exams. They assess a wide range of important pool skills in a methodical, thorough, and consistent way. They also provide both numeric and descriptive player-level ratings.


Dr. Dave keeps this site commercial free, with no ads. If you appreciate the free resources, please consider making a one-time or monthly donation to show your support: