Did you know that 8 Ball pool is not the only Pool game? 8 Ball Pool game happens to be the most played and popular pool game in the world. Such is the popularity of the sport that people mistake a pool game to be 8 ball instead of 8 ball being just one variant of all the pool games. Similar to most pool games, there are multi colored balls that need to be hit by a stick called a cue, into 6 pockets on the table. But the differentiating factor here is the target of the sport- the Black 8 Ball which gives it the signature name of the game. It is also famously called as Stripes & Solids and in some place even Highs & Lows.
To know the game, one must familiarize with the items used to play it. A pool table with green felt is used to play the game on which there are 6 pockets available to pocket the balls, arranged on the corners of the table and one each on the long rail (longer sides). The balls are arranged in a particular position on the table using a triangular piece, called the ‘rack’. As mentioned earlier, cue sticks is used to strike the colored balls. There are in total 15 colored balls and one white ball on the table. The white ball is the common ball used to hit the colored balls. The colored balls are either Solidly colored or Stripe colored on a white ball and are numbered 1 to 7 on solid colored balls and 9 to 15 on the stripe balls. The 8 ball is completely black in color with the number 8 on it.
The game is played between two players who either choose Solids or Stripes. The Player who chooses solids has to strike only the Solid color balls which are numbered 1 to 7 and vice versa. One player starts the game based on a toss and they make the first strike onto the balls arranged using the white ball placed on the head spot on the table opposite the rack. This initial hit is termed as a ‘Break’ and is sometimes crucial in deciding the winner, since with this one strike the player can distribute the balls all around the table to their advantage. But to make a legal Break shot, the player must pocket at least one ball or hit at least four balls on the rails or sides of the table. If not, the break becomes illegal and the turn shifts to the other player who can rearrange the balls into the rack and break it again or continue playing.
A player’s turn only changes on making a foul, illegal shot or no balls are pocketed. Thus a good player can continue pocketing their balls until all their respective 7 numbered balls are in the pocket. The 8 ball can be directly pocketed by striking it using the white ball, only after a player has pocketed all their 7 balls, either solids or stripes. The player who pockets the 8 ball wins the game. The off-chance that a player pockets the 8 ball in directly, and it is a legal shot, then the player becomes the winner. Thus, theoretically, a player can pocket the 8 ball while he is ‘break-ing’ the rack and win the game in a single shot.
The legality of a shot is determined by the habit of calling a shot before it is made. The player announces beforehand which ball he is aiming for and into which pocket it will land in. Thus, a player will call the shot as ‘2 Ball, corner pocket’ and indicate the pocket that the player is intending to hit the 2 ball. In some games, the calling is not done, but still the act of aiming at a ball makes it obvious to opponent. But the player’s turn is skipped, if they do not pocket the ball they indicated or called for.
The main goal of the game is to pocket all of your balls and then finally, the 8-ball before your opponent pockets all of their balls and the 8-ball. By understanding the proper game logics, the players can then make use of various strategies and tricks to win the game. Though the rules and fouls are endless, a good 8 Ball pool game player always gets the 8 Ball into the Pocket.
Good luck with your attempt at pocketing the elusive, 8 Ball.
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