Eight Ball Rules

Eight Ball Rules – How to Play

Eight Ball Rules are easy to follow. Eight Ball is played with a Cue ball and fifteen Pool balls numbered from 1 to 15.

The numbered balls are racked at the pyramid spot with the eight ball in the center of the triangle. The cue ball on the opening stroke is played from hand.

One player or side must pocket the balls numbered 1-7, in any order. The other side must pocket the balls numbered 9-15 in any order.

Eight Ball Rules stipulate that the player side pocketing their numerical group first and then legally potting the eight-ball group first must then fire to legally pot the eight-ball to win the game.

The Break

1. The player to break the balls will be decided by the toss of a coin.

2. Eight Ball Rules stipulate if a player fails to break the Pool balls on his opening shot it is a foul, forfeits one additional shot to his opponent. The incoming player accepts white’s position.

3. A “Break” occurs when the white ball touches any of the coloured balls.

Commencement of Game

1. Play commences when the cue ball is struck for the first time, combinations are decided when a player pots any numbered ball. Once a ball is potted (either stars or stripes, low or high, odds or evens) he remains on that combination.

2. If a player pots more than one ball of different combinations he plays the ball which fell first, and continues potting until his “break” is complete. In the event of dispute, the player potting shall have the choice.


1. If a player goes “in-off” with the white ball on the break, his opponent receives one additional shot.

2. If the play goes “in-off” with the white ball on any other shot during play, his opponent receives one additional shot.

3. If a player hits an opponent’s ball with the white before hitting his own, his opponent receives one additional shot.

4. If a player misses, his opponent receives one additional shot.

5. If a player hits the black ball with the white on the first impact before all his own balls have been potted, his opponent receives one additional shot.

6. If a player goes “in-off” the black ball, his opponent received one additional shot.

7. Ball off the table. If black or coloured ball off the table, to be spotted. If white ball off the table to be played from “D”.

Ø Penalty: One additional shot. If the spot is occupied then the ball to be spotted is placed as near as possible to the spot in a direct line between spot and top cushion. Spotting on pink spot or Racking spot.

8. Player’s clothing or body touching the ball while making shot.

Ø Penalty: One additional shot. If the white ball is potted, the opponent can shoot in either direction on table.

9. A player must have at least one foot on the floor when playing a shot. Where a foul is called, the player completes his shot and the opponent receives a penalty of one additional shot.

10. By playing out of turn.

Ø Penalty: One additional shot to the opponent.

11. By playing with other than the cue ball.

Ø Penalty: One additional shot to the opponent

12. Playing before the balls have come to rest or before they have been spotted.

Ø Penalty: One additional shot to the opponent.

13. By causing the cue ball to jump over an object ball when snookered.

Ø Penalty: One additional shot to the opponent.

Deliberate Foul Shot

If a player deliberately cues a ball other than a white ball the umpire replaces the balls at his discretion as near as possible to their original positions. If a player repeats the same procedure Eight Ball Rules stipulate he may be disqualified in that game, and so loses the game.

Loss of Game

1. If a player pots the black ball before he has potted his coloured balls, Eight Ball Rules stipulate he loses the game

2. If a player is going for the black ball and goes “in-of’ after potting the black, or pots an opponents ball in addition to the black, or pots the black on a foul shot, he loses the game.


When a player is legally snookered and fouls on his stroke see “Eight Ball Rules – Rules for fouls” (2,3,5 & 6)

Foul Snookers

When a player is snookered after a foul stroke, i.e he cannot play more than 50% of the ball on, he may nominate any of his opponents balls, or the eight ball as being one of his group for his first shot only. He may play that ball without penalty. If he pots the nominated ball, he is deemed to have potted a legal ball and continues with his break, with the exception that he may not pot the eight ball.

Foul Snooker on Black Ball

If the Black ball is foul snookered by an opponents ball he MAY play the nominated ball onto the Black ball and pot either or both balls without penalty.

Ball Touching

If the cue ball is touching an object ball a player may not play the cue ball on to the object ball. Eight Ball Rules note that he must play away from it.

Drawn Game

If an impossible shot occurs, i.e one star and one stripe and black ball only of the table, position black ball over the pocket and both star and stripe touching the black ball. Both players give a miss without a legal shot being played, int he Eight Ball Rules the umpire shall declare a drawn game. The three balls are spotted in a triangle with the black ball on the spot. Players toss for the break.

Player in Control

A player is said to be in control of the game from the time that he addresses the table prior to his shot through his break and up until his opponent addresses the table prior to his shot. Any balls that fall within this period he is said to have potted and he is liable for any penalties or benefits normally awarded to him for the potting of that ball or balls as are accorded to him in the Eight Ball Rules of this game.

There you have it, all the Eight Ball Rules your need to play the game.