Rules of 8 Ball Pool – Everything Explained

Do you want to make the most of your weekends with friends, playing this exciting pool game?Well, for that you first need to know the rules of 8 ball pool.

But don’t worry we have got you covered. Keep reading this and you will certainly become the pro in 8-ball pool game in a short time.

The Official Rules of 8 Ball Pool

The aim of the game if you check the pool ball table then you will come across 15 balls (numbering from 1 to 15). The balls are assembled in the table in a manner resembling the shape of a triangle with the 8-ball residing in the center.

The balls are categorized into solid colors from (1 to 7) and stripes (from 9 to 15). One player has to pocket balls of either the stripes or the solid color variants, while the other one has to choose the opposite variant obviously! If you can pocket all the balls of a variant then pocket the 8-ball then you will be declared as the official winner of the game! But trust me, only this rule would not help to master the game, which is being played in international levels as well.

The one who wins the toss starts first – as you know tossing a coin to indicate who will start first occurs in most of the modern games. Well, this is also not an exception! Winner of the coin flip will get the first chance to pocket the balls! So if you win the toss, you will lead the chance to break first!

Call Shot or break shot- you don’t have to specify the variant of the ball or the number of pockets if you are starting the game-so quite easy if you are the initiator! Your opponent may ask you about which ball you are targeting and then you might have to inform them. The combination as well as bank shots are not mandatory but it should be a part of your responsibility to call the targeted ball and the desired pocket. When you are striking the ball to make it a successful shot, you don’t have to inform specific details for example-the number of kisses and cushions.

If you or your opponent pockets the opposite player’s targeted ball then the ball remains pocketed-and it would be considered as a foul. If you think that the opening shot is called as a break or called shot-then you have a wrong conception, my dear! If you get the chance to perform the opening shot and you could not pocket any balls on the first go, then you may have a chance to shoot until you have successfully pocketed your object ball on the break.

If you can successfully pocket all the balls of your group then all you have to do is to pocket the 8-ball to draw the conclusion to the game and make yourself the actual winner. Before striking the 8-ball with the cue ball you have to physically specify the targeted pocket with the aid of a pocket marker. You need to place the marker between the first 2 diamonds on each side of the pocket. You cannot relocate the position of the marker if it is already at your desired pocket.

Helpful! Watch it.

Open Table

The scenario when the choices of either group have not been confirmed then the table is referred to as being open. According to the rules, you should hit a solid ball at first-but it is not mandatory! After the breaking shot occurs, the table opens instantly. It is legal to strike any solid ball or stripe ball and then the 8-ball, with the 8-ball pocketed when all the object balls have been pocketed.

Even in a break shot, the choice of the ball of a particular group is not indicated. So when is the choice of the ball determined? After the break shot, when you or the other player successfully hit any ball landing it into the pocket-then only official recognition of the group is done. Remember this simple fact- all balls pocketed in an open table remains pocketed throughout the tenure of the game.

Legal Break Shots-Explained

If you are the winner of toss and you have earned the chance to execute a legal break-then you have to consider the following rules.
With the cue ball, you must pocket a ball of any type. Or, you have to shoot a minimum number of 4 balls to the rail. If you fail to abide by the 2 conditions, then your opponent will have a chance to enact a legal break. But he/she will have two options to choose prior performing the legal shot.

• Play from there from where you left.
• Break again.
• Or he/she can also ask you to re-break.

No Scratching

When the cue ball gets pocketed then that phenomenon is known as scratching-not the literal scratching you see! So if you or your opponent scratches a ball then the following incidents happen.

• Except for the 8-ball, all the other balls remain pocketed.
• The table remains open.
• It is considered to be a foul.

Apart from the above points, another fact which you should jot down in your mind is. Any pool player with the cue ball and standing behind the head string should not strike an object ball which is also located behind the head string. However, the only exception, in this case, is that previously he/she shoots the cue ball which causes the cue ball behind the head string thereby shooting the object ball.

Jumping Balls

Now, here is an interesting part of the rules of 8 ball pool.

If you chance to hit at an object ball which causes it to jump off the table on the break shot-then it will be termed as a foul. In this case, your opponent will have the opportunity to accept the table in the current form and then shoot.

Safety Shots-Explained

For obvious reason, you may choose to the desired object ball. Or, you can also proclaim your ‘safety’ by discontinuing your valid turns. Safety shot is not something outside of the world so don’t fret! A legal shot is sometimes referred to as a safety shot. Before shooting, you fail or forgot to declare your safety to your incoming player and the object ball drives into the pocket-you may be asked to shoot once again! During the safety shot, any balls pocketed at the instance remain as it is. Here is another important suggestion especially for you to follow.

If you dip the cue ball off the rail before touching the object ball then it is permissible and thus not declared as a foul! If you tend to touch an object ball, then after that the cue ball or an object ball must get in touch with the rail or the most unfortunate thing happens, that is, foul.

How to Play Safety Shot!

Some More Foul Scenarios

If during a shot a cue ball comes in direct touch with an object ball that is cushioned in the rail, then it should satisfy some reasons to be in the safe side, which is not to come under the foul category!

• Should result in an object fall diving into a pocket.
• The cue ball touching a cushion.
• Or another object ball caused to touch the cushion with which it was not in touch with.
Failing any of these conditions will be considered as a foul move!
But if you accidentally touch or move any object ball, then it will not be considered as a foul provided unless these unfortunate things happen in your favor!
• The ball you moved is the cue ball- Suppose you accidentally caused an object ball to be in motion with your cue ball will not be termed as a mistake. As there is no place for mistakes in an international game!
• You moved a ball which turns out to be the cue ball-many players do this intentionally to ease their game! Which is not recommended unless you want to take more fouls?
• Suppose, The object ball after setting in motion jumped off the table or gets into a pocket and also causes any other ball(s) to jump off the table or land in the pocket!
• You cannot just pick up or decide to strike the cue ball when any other balls are in active motion during the game.
• Double hits, as well as push shots, are one of the most popular foul incidents –so be careful not to fall for it!
• If you are holding the cue ball in hand you just can’t touch any other object ball with the aid of the cue ball or, the reverse is also applicable in such case!
• Even when the rule of slow playing comes into play, you should not take more than a minute to execute your shots.
• If your opponent is engaged in afoul and you do not inform this to the referee before touching the cue ball then you, my friend, is also involved in the foul!
• You just can strike a force so strong with your cue ball that one or multiple balls illegally begin to jump.

There must be some specific penalties for foul-playing, right?

• If your opponent declares you as a foul-maker you should instantly stop playing! Let the referee decide –don’t get it into an argument!
• As already discussed, engaging into a foul mostly benefits your opponent as now he will have the chance to place the cue ball anywhere in the pool table!

Foul is very important things to know. A Foul can reduce your winning percentages. That’s why we also mention about Foul of 9 Ball pool.

Need To Know

What Happens if You Pocket the 8-Ball During the Break Shot?

If that happens then you may choose to either re-rack or spot the 8-ball and then continue playing. But if you scratch the cue ball as well then the scenario will turn out to be different. Then your opponent will grab the chance to shoot with the cue ball in hand behind the head string. Or he may also opt for a re-racking procedure to be followed before beginning to shoot.

Enjoy this!

What is The Idea Behind Executing a Perfect Score?

If you are unable to pocket any balls of your specified group then you are allowed to strike and continue unless you have pocketed all the balls of your group. After you have successfully garnered to land all the balls into the pocket, then you can legally target the 8-ball to pocket it at a particular pocket.

What Are the Incidents Which Cause Foul?-One of the Most Important Rules of 8 Ball Pool!

If you want to master the skills of this game and don’t wish to get disqualified then learn these rules by heart! Go old school and really learn it! One foul of yours will render your opponent with the cue ball-you obviously would not want it, right? Wait! There is more to it! Your competitor will grab the golden opportunity of placing the cue ball anywhere in the open table –in this case, the rule where a player cannot hit a ball behind the head string standing also behind the head string is not followed! This rule is followed to make sure no one makes intentional fouls-because that would imply to be his/her won-loss.

Know what your opponent can do if you engage in the foul-play! The other player may opt for stationing the cue ball with either the hand or the cue tip. During positioning the ball, any forward stroking motion directly touching the cue ball will be again declared as a foul-then and there!

Apart from the above, all these incidents can also make you a foul-player!

• Not being able to execute a legal shot as explained above.
• Driving the cue ball and leading it into any of the pockets or off the pool table.
• If you are not shooting in such a position with both feet off the ground then it is termed to be a foul! Minimum 1 foot should touch the ground.
• If you unintentionally scratch the cue ball or avert the cue ball, forget about it being a legal shot. It will be proclaimed as a foul-intentional or unintentional!

Losing – How to Avoid it?

You will instantly be declared as an official loser if you accidentally commit these grave mistakes:
• During the pocketing of the 8-ball, you commit another foul.
• Makes the 8-ball jump out of the table during any instant of the game.
• Pocketing the 8 ball before pocketing all the object balls.
• Or, pocketing the 8-ball in any other pocket apart from the specified one.
• Or, during the pocketing of the last ball, pocket the 8-ball. In simpler words, pocketing both the 8-ball and an object ball together!
• You just can’t pocket the cue ball and an object ball together during the break shot.
• Incorrect marking of the specified pocket to strike your 8-ball will make you lose the game!

What are Illegally Pocketed Balls?

If you succeed at pocketing any ball during a shot, in which a foul is committed that ball will be considered as an illegally pocketed ball. These balls remain pocketed and added to score of the striker controlling that variant, stripes or solid colors. The only con is a loss of turn of the player pocketing it!

Coaching – Allowed or Not?

You can request for the expert suggestion of your coach during the whole tenure of the game. No questions will be asked thankfully! But you can only consult the coach belonging to your team and not the opponent’s team.

We have more knowledge about pool. If you want to know more about pool, You can read these articles:

Rules of Pool.

Leveling of Pool Table.

Pool Table standard Dimension.


Final Words

Apply these rules of 8 ball pool into your next practice sessions to gain command over the game. Also try to remember this fact – if you notice your opponent committing a foul, make sure to address it before taking your turn at the game. Noticing a foul and not raising your voice against it can also make you an offender of the game.

So here’s wishing you a great time ahead!

final bye photo
Show Buttons
Hide Buttons