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8 Ball Pool Rules

 

8 ball is played with fifteen numbered object balls and the cue ball. The shooter’s group of seven balls (one through seven or nine through fifteen) must all be off the table before he attempts to pocket the 8 ball to win.

 

1. Determining First Break

Determined by random selection.

 

2. 8 Ball Rack

Automatic; the triangular rack is placed automatically by the system at the start of the game.

 

3. Break Shot

The following rules apply to the break shot:

  • The cue ball begins in hand behind the head string.
  • No ball/pocket is called, and the cue ball is not required to hit any particular object ball first.
  • If the breaker pockets a ball and does not foul, he continues at the table, and the table remains open.
  • If no object ball is pocketed, play goes to the next player.
  • Pocketing the 8 ball on a legal break shot is not a foul. The 8 ball is respotted, balls are accepted in position and the next player has ball in hand.
  • If the breaker pockets the 8 ball and scratches it's a loss.
  • If the breaker fouls in any manner not listed above, the following player has ball in hand.

 

4. Open Table/Choosing Groups

Before ball groups are determined, the table is said to be “open,” and before each shot, the shooter must call his intended ball. If the shooter legally pockets his called ball, the corresponding group becomes his, and his opponent is assigned the other group. If he fails to legally pocket his called ball, the table remains open and play passes to the other player. When the table is “open”, any object ball may be struck first except the 8 ball.

 

5. Continuing Play

The shooter remains at the table as long as he continues to legally pocket called balls, or he wins the rack by pocketing the 8 ball.

 

6. Shots Required to Be Called

On each shot except the break, pockets only must be called as explained in 1.6 Standard Call Shot. The 8 ball pocket may be called only after all other balls in the shooter’s group have been cleared from the table.

 

7. Spotting Balls

Only the 8-ball is spotted automatically if it's pocketed on the break.

 

8. Losing the Rack

The shooter loses if he

  • fouls when pocketing the 8 ball;
  • pockets the 8 ball before his group is cleared; or
  • pockets the 8 ball in an uncalled pocket;
  • These do not apply to the break shot.

 

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