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8 Ball Pool

8-ball is probably one of the world's most popular pool games. It is said that 8-ball is the number game choice of pool players across the United States and is one of the favorite past times of Americans.

Among all billiards games, 8-ball pool is also one the easiest to learn and quickest to play. And like other pool games it also highlights the combination of skill, strategy, style and knowledge.

8-Ball Pool Equipment

8-ball is played on a standardized pool table with 6 pockets; cue stick; cue ball and 15 billiard balls. The solid balls numbered 1-8 and the striped balls numbered 9-15. Before the game begins, the balls are racked in a triangular with the apex ball placed on the foot spot and the 8-ball is located in the middle.

Object of 8-Ball Pool Game

The object of the game is to pocket legally the 8-ball after pocketing legally one group of object balls (either the striped or the solid balls). However, since 8-ball is a call shot game, the 8-ball has to be pocketed only into a certain called pocket in order to gain its shooter with a victory.


The first shot in the game, the ones that breaks the rack, is called the break shot or the open breaking shot. Then, the player who executes it is called the breaker, and his or her opponent is called the incoming player. According to the official 8-ball rules, in a legal break shot the breaker must either pocket a ball or cause to a minimum four balls to contact the rail.

When an illegal break shot occurs, the incoming player continues shooting instead of the breaker. In this situation, the incoming player can decide between continuing playing from the current position of the table and restarting the game from the beginning.

If the breaker scratches on the break, it is a foul and all the pocketed balls remain pocketed.

If the breaker pockets the 8-ball on the break, the breaker can choose between re-racking and restarting the game or spotting the 8-ball and continue playing.

Choice of Object Balls

The first shooting after the break will determine which of the group of balls, the striped or the solid, will become each one of the players group of object balls. For example, if the player pockets the 9 ball after the break, then from now on pocketing any solid balls is a foul. Of course, it goes the other way around too.

Changing Turns

During the 8-ball pool game, each player's turn continues until he or she executes an illegal shot, i.e. a foul. Each time a player fouls, his or hers turn ends and moved to the opponent.

Legal Shots in 8 Ball Pool

The official 8-ball pool rules defines a legal shot as one that features one of these circumstances:

  1. the shooter has to hit one of the object balls and then pocket a ball;
  2. the shooter has to cause the cue ball to contact any ball or a rail.

Note the definition of a legal shot is not identical to the definition of a legal break shot.

Fouls in 8 Ball Pool

A foul is a shot that does not feature any of the circumstances mentioned above. A foul is also a shot that ends with the pocketing of the cue ball. In addition, pocketing the opponent's object ball and pocketing the 8-ball before pocketing the object balls are defined as fouls as well.

Pocketing the 8-Ball

After the entire group of object balls has been pocketed, the player may pocket the 8-ball. Before aiming towards the 8-ball, the player must call a specific pocket. Only if the player pockets the 8-ball into that certain pocket (and only after pocketing the object balls), he or she wins the game.