Any ball on the table can be selected and the game is call ball-and-pocket. PLAYERS Two individuals, or two teams. BALLS USED Object balls numbered 1-15, plus the cue ball. THE RACK Standard triangle rack. Balls can be in any order.
1. The Game
The game shall be known as 8 Ball Pool and referred to in these rules as 'the game'. It is intended that the players and teams should play 8 Ball Pool in the true spirit of the game and in a sportsmanlike manner. It should be clearly understood that the referee is the sole judge of what is fair and unfair play. The referee will take whatever action is necessary to ensure that these rules are observed.
2. Requirements of the Game
The game is played on a rectangular 6-pocket table with 15 balls, plus a cue ball. Balls comprise two groups, represented by two different coloured balls plus the 8 ball, which is black. Alternatively, numerical balls may be used numbered 1-7, which are plain coloured balls, and 9-15, which are striped coloured balls. Balls in the two groups are known as object balls.
3. Object of the Game
The player or team pocketing their group of object balls first in any order and then legally pocketing the 8 ball (black) in a nominated pocket wins the game.
4. Commencement of the Game
a) The balls are racked with the colours alternating around the triangle, with the 8 ball (black) on the 8 ball spot which is set at the intersection of the centre and corner pockets.
b) Order of play is determined by the flip of a coin. The winner of the flip has the option of breaking or requesting his/her opponent to do so.
c) The opening player plays at the triangle of object balls by striking the cue ball from any position on or within the 'D'. He/she must pocket a ball or cause at least two object balls to hit a cushion. Failure to do so is a foul break and will result in the balls being re-racked. The opposing player re-starts the game with one break shot followed by one visit.
d) On the break, if a player legally pockets an object ball, then that denotes his/her group. If he/she pockets balls from each group, he/she must nominate his/her choice before continuing to play.
8 Ball Plus Rules Game Pigeon Forge
e) If no ball is pocketed from a legal break, then the incoming player can play for any colour. This continues until a colour is potted.
f) If a foul is committed on the break, any balls pocketed determine each player’s colour.
g) If the black is pocketed from the break, the player who took the shot has won the rack, as long as no other ball goes down.
h) If a ball or balls are legally pocketed, this entitles the player to one additional shot and this continues until the player either:
- fails to pocket one of his/her set of allocated balls, or
- commits a foul, at any time.
i) Combination shots are allowed provided the player hits one of his group of balls first (unless rule 6b) applies).
a) In off (cue ball pocketed).
b) Hitting opponent’s balls before his/her own balls, except when rule 6 b) applies.
c) Failing to hit any ball with the cue ball.
d) Jump shots – defined as when the cue ball jumps over any part of any ball before making any contact with any object ball.
e) If a player hits the 8 ball (black) with the cue ball on the first impact before all his/her own balls have been potted, except when rule 6 b) applies.
f) Potting any opponent’s balls except when rule 6 b) applies.
g) Ball off the table - If the cue ball goes off the table, the ball is to be played from any position on or within the 'D'. A ball shall be deemed to be 'Off the table' if it comes to rest other than on the bed of the table.
h) If a player's clothing or body should touch any ball.
i) Player not having at least one foot on the floor.
j) Touching with the cue any other ball other than the cue ball.
k) Playing out of turn.
1) Playing before balls have come to rest.
m) Striking the cue ball with any part of the cue other than the tip.
n) Striking the cue ball with the cue more than once.
o) Potting the black without clearly nominating the pocket.
p) Foul break (see 4 c)).
q) Push stroke (see 8 a)).
r) Moving an object ball or the 8 ball (black) when playing away from a touching ball.
6. Penalty following any foul
a) Following any foul described under rule 5, the incoming player may play the cue ball from where it lies or from the 'D' (as in rule 8 b) and proceed as rule 6 b). Moving the cue ball does not constitute a shot or visit.
b) Following a foul, the incoming player is entitled to one free shot with which he/she may without nomination play the cue ball directly onto any ball, including opponents object balls and the 8 ball (black). However, he/she may not pocket the 8 ball (black), which would mean loss of the game, unless the player has already pocketed all of his/her group of object balls and only needs to pocket the 8 ball (black) to win the game. The free shot carries forward until a second ball fails to be potted.
c) Failure to nominate the pocket in which the black is to be potted is a foul.
d) If a player is on the black and his opponent is not and fouls, the player on the black has two shots on the black.
e) If both players are on the black, any foul ends the game.
7. Loss of Game
a) If the player pockets the 8 ball (black) before he/she pockets all balls in his/her own group, he/she loses the game, unless he does it on the break.
b) A player going in off the 8 ball (black) when the 8 ball (black) is potted loses the game.
c) If a player seeks to gain advantage by deliberately touching a moving ball or retrieving a ball dropping into the pocket, he/she shall lose the game.
d) If the black and another ball are potted on the break.
a) Push stroke - Defined as when the tip of the cue remains in contact with the cue ball once it has commenced its forward motion.
b) Cue ball in hand - When a player has the cue ball in hand he/she plays from any position on or within the 'D' and in any direction.
c) Player in control - A player is said to be in control of the table from the time that his/her body, cue or clothing touches the table prior to his/her shot, through his/her visit and up until his/her opponent does likewise prior to his/her visit. Any balls which fall into the pockets during this period (including the black) he/she is said to have potted and he/she is liable to any penalties or benefits normally awarded to him/her for the potting of that ball or balls.
d) The game is completed when the 8 ball (black) is potted in any pocket and all the remaining balls including the cue ball have come to rest.
e) Touching ball - A player must play away from a touching ball which must not move (see rule 5 r)). If the touching ball is one of the players own group, he/she is deemed to have played that ball. If the touching ball is not one of his/her own group, the cue ball must strike one of his/her own group. When 6 b) applies, a player must play away from a touching ball and is deemed to have played that ball.
f) A player may change his nominated pocket repeatedly when he/she is on the black.
Should any situation arise whereby a legal shot cannot be played, then the game shall be resumed by the same player whether this situation is arrived at by accident or design. If, in the opinion of the referee neither player is allowing the game to progress or a stalemate situation has arisen, the game shall be re-started by the same player.
Coaching is deemed to be unsportsmanlike behaviour (see rule 1). In pairs pool advice may be given away from the table but not while the opponent is in control of the table.
A referee may, if requested advise on the rules of the game.
Eight-ball (also spelled 8-ball or eightball, and sometimes called solids and stripes, spots and stripes or highs and lows) is a pool billiards played on a billiard table with six pockets, cue sticks, and sixteen billiard balls: a cue ball and fifteen object balls. The object balls include seven solid-colored balls numbered 1 through 7, seven striped balls numbered 9 through 15, and the black 8 ball. After the balls are scattered with a break shot, a player is assigned either the group of solid or striped balls once they have legally pocketed a ball from that group. The object of the game is to legally pocket the 8 ball in a 'called' pocket, which can only be done after all of the balls from a player's assigned group have been cleared from the table.
The game is the most frequently played discipline of pool, and is often thought of as synonymous with 'pool'. The game has numerous variations, mostly regional. It is the second most played professional pool game, after nine-ball, and for the last several decades ahead of straight pool.
The game of eight-ball arose around 1900 in the United States as a development of pyramid pool, which allows any eight of the fifteen object balls to be pocketed to win. The game arose from two changes made, namely that the 8 ball must be pocketed last to win, and that each player may only pocket half of the other object balls. By 1925 the game was popular enough for the Brunswick-Balke-Collender Company to introduce purpose-made ball sets with seven red, seven yellow, one black ball, and the cue ball, which allowed spectators to more easily see which suit each ball belonged to. (Such colors became standard in the later British-originating variant, blackball). The rules, as officially codified in the Billiard Congress of America's rule book, were periodically revised in the years following.:24, 89–90
Standardized rules of play
American-style eight-ball rules are played around the world by professionals, and in many amateur leagues. Nevertheless, the rules for eight-ball may be the most inconsistent of any billiard game as there are several competing sets of 'official' rules.
The non-profit World Pool-Billiard Association (WPA), which has continental and national affiliates around the world (some of which long pre-date the WPA, such as the Billiard Congress of America) promulgates standardized rules as Pool Billiards – The Rules of Play. These are used for amateur and professional play.
Meanwhile, many amateur leagues – such as the American Poolplayers Association (APA) and its affiliate the Canadian Poolplayers Association (CPA), the Valley National Eight-ball Association (VNEA) and the BCA Pool League (BCAPL) – use their own rulesets which have slight differences from WPA rules and from each other. Millions of individuals play informally, using informal 'house rules' which vary not only from area to area but even from venue to venue.
The regulation size of the table's playing surface is 9 by 4.5 ft (2.7 by 1.4 m), though exact dimensions may vary slightly by manufacturer. Some leagues and tournaments using the World Standardized Rules may allow smaller sizes, down to 7 by 3.5 ft (2.1 by 1.1 m). Early 20th-century 10 by 5 ft (3.0 by 1.5 m) models are occasionally also still used. WPA professional competition generally employs regulation tables, while the amateur league championships of various leagues, including ACS, BCAPL, VNEA, and APA, use the seven-foot tables in order to fit more of them into the hosting venue.
There are seven solid-colored balls numbered 1 through 7, seven striped balls numbered 9 through 15, an 8 ball, and a cue ball. The balls are usually colored as follows:
- 1 and 9: yellow
- 2 and 10: blue
- 3 and 11: red
- 4 and 12: purple
- 5 and 13: orange
- 6 and 14: green
- 7 and 15: maroon
- 8: black
- Cue: white
Special sets designed to be more easily discernible on television substitute pink for the dark purple of the 4 and 12 and light tan for the darker maroon of the 7 and 15 balls, and these alternative-color sets are now also available to consumers.
To start the game, the object balls are placed in a triangular rack. The base of the rack is parallel to the end rail (the short end of the pool table) and positioned so the apex ball of the rack is located on the foot spot. The balls in the rack are ideally placed so that they are all in contact with one another; this is accomplished by pressing the balls together toward the apex ball. The order of the balls should be random, with the exceptions of the 8 ball, which must be placed in the center of the rack (i.e., the middle of the third row), and the two back corner balls, one of which must be a stripe and the other a solid. The cue ball is placed anywhere the breaker desires behind the head string.
One person is chosen by some predetermined method (e.g., coin toss, lag, or win or loss of previous game or match) to shoot first, using the cue ball to break the object-ball rack apart. In most leagues it is the breaker's opponent who racks the balls, but in some, players break their own racks. If the breaker fails to make a successful break—usually defined as at least four balls hitting cushions or an object ball being pocketed—then the opponent can opt either to play from the current position or to call for a re-rack and either re-break or have the original breaker repeat the break.
If the 8 ball is pocketed on the break, then the breaker can choose either to re-spot the 8 ball and play from the current position or to re-rack and re-break; but if the cue ball is also pocketed on the break then the opponent is the one who has the choice: either to re-spot the 8 ball and shoot with ball-in-hand behind the head string, accepting the current position, or to re-break or have the breaker re-break.
A player (or team) continues to shoot until committing a foul or failing to legally pocket an object ball (whether intentionally or not); thereupon it is the turn of the opposing players. Play alternates in this manner for the remainder of the game. Following a foul, the incoming player has ball-in-hand anywhere on the table, unless the foul occurred on the break shot, as noted previously.
Selection of the target group
The table is 'open' at the start of the game, meaning that either player may shoot at any ball. It remains open until one player legally pockets one or more object balls (excluding the 8) after the break. That player is assigned the group, or suit, of the pocketed ball – 1–7 (solids), or 9–15 (stripes) – and the other suit is assigned to the opponent. Balls pocketed on the break, or as the result of a foul while the table is still open, are not used to assign the suits. If a player pockets balls from both suits on an open table, they may claim either suit as their own.
Once the suits are assigned, they remain fixed throughout the game. If any balls from a player's suit are on the table, the player must hit one of them first on every shot; otherwise a foul is called and the turn ends. After all balls from the suit have been pocketed, the player's target becomes the 8 for the remainder of the game.
Pocketing the 8 ball
Once all of a player's (or team's) group of object balls are pocketed, the player attempts to sink the 8 ball. In order to win the game the player first designates which pocket the 8 ball will be pocketed into and then successfully pockets the 8 ball into that pocket. If the player knocks the 8 ball off the table then the player loses the game. If the player pockets the 8 ball and commits a foul or pockets it into another pocket than the one designated, then the player loses the game. Otherwise (i.e., if the 8 ball is neither pocketed nor knocked off the table) the shooter's turn is simply over, even if a foul occurs. In short, a world-standardized rules game of eight-ball, like a game of nine-ball, is not over until the 'money ball' is no longer on the table. The rule has been increasingly adopted by amateur leagues.
A player wins the game if that player legally pockets the 8 ball into a designated pocket after all of their object balls have been pocketed. They may also win if the opposing player illegally pockets the 8 ball or knocks the 8 ball off the table. Because of this, it is possible for a game to end with only one of the players having shot, which is known as 'running the table'.
Fouls in eight-ball are:
- The shooter fails to strike one of their own object balls (or the 8 ball when it is the legal ball) with the cue ball, before other balls are contacted by the cue ball. This excludes 'split' shots, where the cue ball strikes one of the shooter's and one of the opponent's object balls simultaneously.
- No ball comes into contact with a cushion or is pocketed, after a legal cue ball contact with the (first) object ball.
- If an attempt is made to pocket a ball, and the ball hits the pocket, bounces out and lands on the ground, the ball is placed in the pocket and the game continues.
- The shooter does not have at least one foot on the floor (this requirement may be waived if the shooter has a relevant disability, or the venue has not provided a mechanical bridge).
- The cue ball is pocketed.
- The cue ball is shot before all balls have come to a complete stop from the previous shot.
- The cue ball does not strike any ball.
- The cue ball is struck more than once during a shot
- The cue ball is jumped with an illegal jump shot that scoops under the cue ball.
- The cue ball is clearly pushed, with the cue tip remaining in contact with it more than momentarily.
- The shooter touches the cue ball with something other than the tip of the cue.
- The shooter touches any ball with their body, clothing, or equipment, other than as necessary to move the cue ball when the player has ball-in-hand.
- The shooter knocks a ball off the table.
- The shooter shoots out-of-turn.
- The shooter shoots the black 8 ball without designating the pocket to opposite team members or the match referee in advance.
- The shooter deliberately pockets the opponent's balls while shooting the 8 ball.
- On the break shot, no balls are pocketed and fewer than four balls reach the cushions, in which case the incoming player can demand a re-rack and take the break or force the original breaker to re-break, or may take ball-in-hand behind the head string and shoot the balls as they lie.
Derivative games and variants
The British version of eight-ball, known internationally as blackball, has evolved into a separate game, retaining significant elements of earlier pub versions of the game, with additional influences from English billiards and snooker. It is popular in amateur competition in Britain, Ireland, Australia, and some other countries.
The game uses unnumbered, solid-colored object balls, typically red and yellow, with one black 8 ball. They are usually 2 inches (51 mm) or 21⁄16 inches (52 mm) in diameter, the latter being the same size as the balls used in snooker and English billiards. Tables for blackball pool are 6-to-7-foot (1.8 to 2.1 m) long, and feature pockets with rounded cushion openings, like snooker tables.
The rules of blackball differ from standard eight-ball in numerous ways, including the handling of fouls, which may give the opponent two shots, racking (the 8 ball, not the apex ball, goes on the spot), selection of which group of balls will be shot by which player, handling of frozen balls and snookers, and many other details.
Internationally, the World Pool-Billiard Association and the World Eightball Pool Federation both publish rules and promote events. The two rule sets differ in some details regarding the penalties for fouls.
The hybrid game eight-ball rotation is a combination of eight-ball and rotation, in which the players must pocket their balls (other than the 8, which remains last) in numerical order. Specifically, the solids player starts by pocketing the 1 ball and ascends to the 7 ball, and the stripes player starts by pocketing the 15 ball and descends to the 9 ball.
- ^'Scottish Pool Association'. Archived from the original on 13 April 2014.
- ^Shamos, Mike (1999). The New Illustrated Encyclopedia of Billiards. New York: Lyons Press. ISBN1-55821-797-5.
- ^Jewett, Bob (February 2002). '8-Ball Rules: The Many Different Versions of One of Today's Most Common Games'. Billiards Digest: 22–23.
- ^Hickok, Ralph (2001). 'Sports History: Pocket Billiards'. Archived from the original on 5 December 2006. Retrieved 13 December 2006.
- ^Shamos, Mike (1995–2005). 'A Brief History of the Noble Game of Billiards'. Billiard Congress America. Archived from the original on 27 January 2007. Retrieved 13 December 2006.
- ^ abPool Billiards – The Rules of Play(PDF). World Pool-Billiard Association. 1 January 2008. Archived from the original(PDF) on 19 November 2011. Retrieved 21 March 2012.