Eight Ball 101: An Overview of 8-Ball Pool Rules

This is a call shot game which is played on a flat pool table which is normally covered with a cloth and is secured by rubber cushions. It is a game which is played with a cue ball and fifteen object balls which are usually numbered from number one to fifteen.

One of the players pockets the balls of the group from number one to number seven. The other player on the other hand, has number nine to number fifteen. A cue stick is used by the player to strike a cue ball which then strikes the object balls. The objective here is to drive the object balls into the six pockets which are based at the cushion boundary.

In the 8-pool ball game, it is the role of the player to see to it that they are well conversant with the rules and regulations that apply in the competition. It is not mandatory for pockets and obvious balls to be indicated in call shot. In case the opponent is not sure about the shot, he or she has the right to enquire on which ball and pocket. Neither the combination shots nor the bank shots are taken as obvious and calling both the object ball and the intended pocket should be taken with caution.

Balls pocketed on a foul should remain pocketed despite the fact that they belong to the shooter or opponent. The opening break is not regarded as a shot. As long as a player had pocketed an object ball in a legal manner during the break, he is allowed to continue making his next shot.

When it comes to racking the balls, they are racked in a triangle on the pool table the 8- ball being in the centre of the triangle while ball one is on the foot spot and the stripe ball located in one of the corners of the rack and a solid ball should be in the other corner.

When it comes to the alternating break, the player who wins the lag is given the option to break but when it comes to individual games, either player can break on each following games. In case a match does not have a referee to preside over it, cue ball fouls only happens to be the rule governing the game. However, it should be known to the player that it will be taken as a cue ball foul in case when attempting to jump, curve or masse the cue ball over or around an impeding ball moves irrespective of whether the hand, cue stick follow through or bridge moved it.

A legal break is executed when the breaker with the cue ball at the back of the head string either pockets a ball or when he drives not less than four numbered balls to the rail. However, it will be considered a foul in case he does not make a legal break.

In such an instance, the next player has the option to either accept the table in its position and go ahead and shoot or have the balls racked again then go ahead and take the opening break shoot or letting his opponent execute the legal break shot.

In case a player happens to scratch on a legal break shot, all the balls that had already been pocketed remain pocketed except the 8 ball. It is considered as a foul when a player jumps an object ball out of the table during the break shot therefore the next player has the option to either accept the table in its current position and then go ahead to shoot or take cue ball in hand behind the head string and shoot.

The breaker may request for the balls to be racked again incase the 8-ball has been pocketed on the break or he or she can have the 8-ball spotted and continue shooting. In case the breaker scratches when pocketing the 8-ball on the break, the next player can request the balls to be re-racked or once the 8-ball has been spotted he or she can shoot with ball in hand at the back of the head string.

When it has not been determined the choice of groups stripes or solids, the table is considered open. As long as the table is open, the player is allowed to hit a solid first so as to make a stripe or the other way round. It is important to note that the table is always considered open soon after the break shot.

Hitting the 8-ball first in the process of pocketing the called stripe is allowed as long as the table is open. Neither the stripe nor solid can be a score in favour of the player as long as the 8-ball happens to be first ball to be hit when the table is open. The player ends up loosing his turn and all the pocketed balls remain as so and the next player considers the balls while the table is still open.

Another rule in the 8-ball game is the fact that it is at the point when a player pockets a called object ball after the break shot that a choice of groups is determined. It is considered a legal shot when the shooting player hits one of the balls in his group first and pockets a ball that is numbered or when he or she makes the cue ball or any other ball that is numbered to come into contact with the rail.

See Also: Tips for playing a defensive shot in a pool

It is considered a safety shot when a player chooses to pocket an obvious object ball and discontinues his chance to play at the table and thereafter declares safety in advance. However, in case a player doesn’t declare safety and any of his objected balls are pocketed, he will be required to make another shot. A player is allowed to continue shooting up to when he hasn’t managed to attract to pocket any of the balls in his group. Combination shots are legal as long as the 8-ball is not used first apart from when the table is open.

A player is considered to have lost the game in case of a foul in the process of pocketing the 8-ball, if he pockets the 8- ball on a stroke similar to the last of his group of balls, in case he jumps the 8 ball from the table at any time, pockets the 8 ball in a pocket that has not been designated and finally if he pockets the 8 ball when it is not legally the object ball.