Table Of Contents
OBJECT OF THE GAME
Eight Ball is a call shot game played with a cue ball and fifteen object balls, numbered 1 through 15. One player must pocket balls of the group numbered 1 through 7 solid colors, while the other player has 9 through 15 stripes. The player pocketing his group first in THE CORRECT POCKETS (see below) and then legally pocketing the 8 ball in the CORRECT POCKET (see below) ball wins the game.
THE CORRECT POCKETS
Each player has 7 balls in their group as described above. To win the game a player must have 1 ball in each of the six pockets on the table. After the player has a ball in each of the six pockets, he is allowed to pocket the 7th ball in any of the six pockets **(see NOTE below). If he pockets the 7th ball in a corner pocket, he must pocket the 8 ball in the diagonal corner pocket. If he pockets the 7th ball in a side pocket, he must pocket the 8 ball in the opposite side pocket.
**NOTE If you’re shooting the 7th ball in your grouping and your partner has already pocketed his 7th ball you must select a different pocket than he did.
If you pocket the 6th and 7th ball of your group on the same shot the 7th ball is spotted and you continue to shoot.
CHOICE OF GROUP
The choice of stripes or solids is not determined on the break even if balls are made from only one or both groups. THE TABLE IS ALWAYS OPEN IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE BREAK SHOT. The choice of group is determined only when a player legally pockets a called object ball after the break shot.
If a player pockets a ball from his group in a pocket where he already has a ball from his group, that ball is immediately spotted. If he pocketed the ball legally, he continues to shoot. If he pocketed it illegally it is spotted and his opponents shoots next.
POCKETING YOUR OPPONENT’S BALL LEGALLY or ILLEGALLY
If it does not double-up the opponent, the ball stays down. If it doubles up the opponent, the opponent may move that ball to any open pocket or spot it.
In Call Shot, obvious balls and pockets do not have to be indicated. It is the opponent's right to ask which ball and pocket if he is unsure of the shot. Bank shots and combination shots are not considered obvious, and care should be taken in calling both the object ball and the intended pocket. When calling the shot, it is NEVER necessary to indicate details such as the number of cushions, banks, kisses, caroms, etc. Any balls pocketed on a foul remain pocketed, regardless of whether they belong to the shooter or the opponent.
The opening break is not a called shot. Any player performing a break shot in 8 Ball may continue to shoot his next shot so long as he has legally pocketed any object ball on the break.
RACKING THE BALLS
The balls are racked in a triangle at the foot of the table with the 8 ball in the center of the triangle, the first ball of the rack on the foot spot, a stripe ball in one corner of the rack and a solid ball in the other corner.
Players may choose:
1) Alternating break. The winner of the lag or coin flip has the option to break. During individual competition, players will alternate breaking on each subsequent game or
2) Winner breaks
LEGAL BREAK SHOT
Defined. To execute a legal break, the breaker with the cue ball behind the head string, must either
1) pocket a ball, or
2) drive at least four numbered balls to the rail. If he fails to make a legal break, it is a foul, and the incoming player has the option of
a) accepting the table in position and shooting, or
b) having the balls re-racked and having the option of shooting the opening break himself or allowing the offending player to rebreak.
DOUBLING-UP ON THE BREAK
All doubled up balls after the break are left in the pockets until a players group has been determined. The first player to determine a group will remove his doubled-up balls so that each pocket has no more than one ball of his group the rest of his balls will be spotted in sequential order from the spot down.
Then, before the player shoots again, the non-shooting opponent will remove all of his doubled-up balls so that each pocket contains only one of his balls. He can place the other doubled balls in any open pocket.
SCRATCH ON A LEGAL BREAK
If a player scratches on a legal break shot
1) all balls pocketed remain pocketed, with the exception of the 8 ball: see rule 8 BALL POCKETED ON THE BREAK
2) it is a foul
3) the table is open.
PLEASE NOTE, Incoming player has cue ball in hand behind the head string and may not shoot an object ball that is behind the head string, unless he first shoots the cue ball past the head string and causes the cue ball to come back behind the head string and hit the object ball.
8 BALL POCKETED ON THE BREAK
If the 8-ball is pocketed on the break, the breaker may ask for a rerack or have the 8-ball spotted and continue shooting. If the breaker scratches while pocketing the 8 ball on the break, the incoming player has the option of a rerack or having the 8 ball spotted and begin shooting with ball in hand behind the head string.
OBJECT BALLS JUMPED OFF THE TABLE ON THE BREAK
If a player jumps an object ball off the table on the break shot, it is a foul and the incoming player has the option of:
1) accepting the current cue ball position and shooting, or
2) taking cue ball in hand behind the head string and shooting.
Any balls bounced off the table are spotted.
(Defined) The table is "open" when the choice of groups (stripes or solids) has not yet been determined. When the table is open, it is legal to hit a solid first to make a stripe or vice-versa. Note: The table is always open immediately after the break shot. However, when the table is open and the 8-ball is the first ball contacted, it is a foul and no stripe or solid may be scored in favor of the shooter. The shooter loses his turn; the incoming player is awarded cue ball in hand; any balls pocketed are spotted in sequential order. The incoming player addresses the balls with the table still open.
SCRATCH AFTER POCKETING A BALL
If a player pockets one or more of his own balls and scratches on that shot, the pocketed balls from his group are spotted.
JUMP AND MASSE SHOT FOUL
A player should be aware that it will be considered a cue ball foul if during an attempt to jump, curve or masse the cue ball over or around an impeding numbered ball that is not a legal object ball, the impeding ball moves, regardless of whether it was moved by a hand, cue stick follow through or bridge.
On all shots except on the break and when the table is open, the shooter must hit one of his group of balls first and
1) pocket a numbered ball, or
2) cause the cue ball or any numbered ball to contact a rail.
PLEASE NOTE: It is permissible for the shooter to bank the cue ball off a rail before contacting his object ball. However, after contact with his object ball, an object ball must be pocketed, Or the cue ball or any numbered ball must contact a rail. Failure to meet these requirements is a foul.
For tactical reasons a player may choose to pocket an obvious object ball and discontinue his turn at the table by declaring safety in advance. A safety shot is defined as a legal shot. If the shooting player intends to play safe by pocketing an obvious object ball, then prior to the shot, he must declare a safety to his opponent. If this is NOT done, and one of the shooter's object balls is pocketed, the shooter will be required to shoot again. Any of the player’s own balls pocketed on a safety shot remain pocketed and subject to the double-up rule if necessary. If his opponent’s ball is pocketed on a safety, it stays down, and the opponent can move it to an open pocket or spot it if it’s doubled up.
Opposing player gets cue ball in hand. This means that the player can place the cue ball anywhere on the table and does not have to be behind the head string except on opening break. This rule prevents a player from making intentional fouls which would put his opponent at a disadvantage. With cue ball in hand, the player may use his hand or any part of his cue including the tip to position the cue ball. When placing the cue ball in position, any forward stroke motion contacting the cue ball will be a foul, if not a legal shot.
Combination shots are allowed however the first ball in the combination has to be from the players own group and not the 8 ball.
ILLEGALLY POCKETED BALLS
An object ball is illegally pocketed when
1) that object ball is pocketed on the same shot a foul is committed, or
2) the called ball did not go in the designated pocket
OBJECT BALLS JUMPED OFF THE TABLE
If any object ball is jumped off the table, it is a foul and loss of turn, unless it is the 8 ball, which is a loss of game. Any object balls jumped off the table are spotted in numerical order according to General Rules for spotting balls.
SCRATCHING ON THE 8 BALL
When shooting at the 8 ball, a scratch or foul is not loss of game if the 8 ball is not pocketed or jumped from the table. Incoming player has cue ball in hand. Note - a combination shot can never be used to legally pocket the 8-ball.
LOSS OF GAME
A player loses the game if he commits any of the following infractions:
1) Fouls when pocketing the 8 ball. Exception - see 8 BALL POCKETED ON THE BREAK.
2) Pockets the 8 ball on the same stroke as the last of his group of balls.
3) Jumps the 8 ball off the table at any time.
4) Pockets the 8 ball in a pocket other than the one designated.
5) Pockets the 8 ball when it is not the legal object ball.
All infractions must be called before another shot is taken or else it will be deemed that no infraction occurred. The only exception to this is when during the game it is noticed that a group of balls are doubled up (the only exception is the 7th ball of a group). As soon as this is noticed the extra ball is spotted.