Learn All The Rules of 8 Ball Pool

Learn All The Rules of 8 Ball Pool

Table of content:

A brief guide to all the rules of 8 ball pool

Before we get to the rules, let us quickly run through the equipment and the terminologies so you can follow the guidelines accurately.

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  • There are 16 balls on the table in a game of 8-ball pool. 7 solid-colored balls numbered from 1 to 7, a black ball with the number 8, another 7 striped balls numbered from 9 to 15, and a white cue ball.
  • The cue stick is used to strike the cue ball.
  • There are 6 pockets on the table: 4 on the corners and two in the middle of the long rails.
  • Rails or cushions are the leather or wood binding around the four sides of the table.
  • The far end is the foot side where the balls are racked using a triangle. The foot spot is the small dot along the foot line, which is marked by two diamonds.
  • The head string is on the other side. It is an imaginary line marked by two diamonds.
  • A group in 8-ball is the set of striped or solid balls assigned to you as your object balls.
  • Spotting a ball refers to returning the ball to the table and back to the game.

Now, for the 8 ball pool game rules, there are five distinct guidelines that you must follow. We’ll get to the 8 ball pool rules for fouls in some time.

1. Racking and breaking an 8-ball game

As per the World 8 ball pool rules, you must always rack the balls in the correct order. The 8-ball rack is set in a triangular structure. The 1-ball sits on the foot spot, i.e., the head of the triangle. The 8-ball is placed in the center and the rest of the object balls can be arranged numerically or at random.

I order to decide who breaks the 8-ball rack, players can either toss a coin or shoot the cue ball at random to hit the opposite rail. Whosever cue ball travels back the longest distance, gets to shoot first. Players can also opt to elect turns if it is not a tournament or league game.

When breaking the rack, World 8 ball rules dictate that it must be a legal break. This means that the player must strike the cue ball with significant force such that 4 balls from the rack travel to hit the cushions. If one or more object balls are potted during the break, it is fine as long as it is not the 8-ball.
In case the 8-ball is pocketed during the break, Official 8 ball pool rules dictate that the game must be re-racked and the opponent gets to break.

2. Grouping and Player’s turns

The player who breaks the rack can continue his or her turn if they managed to sink a ball during the break. They can choose the group of balls they want as their object and continue to play as long as they keep sinking their own object balls in pockets.

According to Professional 8 ball rules, a player doesn’t have to choose the group just because they accidentally pocketed it during the break. For instance, if they sunk a striped ball, they can still choose solids as their group if they want based on strategic planning. The second player must take the remaining group.

If a player commits a foul or misses potting an object ball during their shot, it is the opponent’s turn. If a player makes a shot when it is not their turn, it is an illegal shot, in which case the other player takes their turn and any ball pocketed is spotted.

3. Sinking the object balls

A player must only sink their own object balls during their turn. They do not have to pocket them chronologically but they must target their assigned group.

Speaking of which, a player must never target the object balls directly. They must strike the cue ball with the cue stick and aim for the object ball. If the player sinks the object ball, they continue to play, otherwise, the opponent takes a turn.

If a player sinks the opponent’s ball, then the ball is not spotted. It just makes things easier for their opponent. Sinking a ball is also not a means for scoring as per the 8 ball game rules. It is a means to clear the 7 object balls in order to pocket the 8-ball which essentially decides the winner.

4. Ball pool rules for sinking the 8-ball

Eight ball pool rules dictate that only when a player has pocketed all their object balls can they target the 8-ball. If they sink the 8-ball before clearing their object balls then the 8-ball is spotted and the player loses their turn.

In order to sink the 8-ball in a legal shot to win, the player must sink it in the pocket where they sunk the last object ball.

As per Pool table rules of 8 ball, if the last object ball was sunk in any of the corner pockets then the 8-ball must follow suit in the same corner pocket. If, on the other hand, the last object ball rolled down one of the side pockets, then the player can choose one of the 6 pockets at their discretion to sink the 8-ball.

5. Cue ball in hand

When a player commits a foul, the opponent gets a rare opportunity of ball-in-hand. This means that the opponent is at the liberty to place the ball anywhere behind the head string to take their next shot.

Although 8 pool rules in friendly matches and bar games allow the player to only place the ball behind the head string, tournaments have a different policy for cue ball fouls.

According to World eight ball rules, if a player commits a cue ball foul during a tournament, the opponent can place the cue ball anywhere on the pool table, not just behind the head string. This altercation was introduced to ensure that players don’t foul on purpose just to strategically put their opponent at a disadvantage.

Official 8 ball rules in case of fouls

The following occurrences are considered fouls according to the International 8 ball rules

1. Sinking the cue ball during gameplay

According to 8 ball pool, 9 ball rules, 10 ball, cutthroat, snooker, and every other billiard game, sinking the cue ball is a foul. It may be when the player is striking or when the cue ball follows the object ball into the pocket due to draft. It sometimes happens during cut shots if the ball is overcut or undercut.

In any case, sinking the cue ball is called a Scratch and results in ball-in-hand for the opponent.

2. Bouncing the balls right off the pool table

Often, players who are unfamiliar with the technique of Draw Shots tend to bounce the cue ball. This can cause it to hop straight off the table which is a foul. In such cases, the opponent gets a ball in hand.

However, if an object ball hops away, according to eight ball rules, the ball is simply spotted and the player loses their turn.

3. Taking an unauthorized turn

If a player plays a shot when it is not their turn, then as per 8 ball rules, the player loses their turn on account of foul and any ball they pocketed is spotted.

4. Sinking the 8-ball before the object balls

Official rules of eight ball pool state that if a player sinks the 8-ball before the object balls, it is a foul and the player loses their turn. However, any object ball that they potted remains in pockets.

In case the first player accidentally pockets the 8-ball while breaking the rack, then the game must be re-racked and reset. The player does not win for potting the 8-ball either.

5. Illegal breaks and shots

According to 8 ball pool league rules, if a player fails to strike the cue ball with enough power to force 4 balls to make contact with the rails, then it is an illegal break. The players on the table can decide if the game should be reset or continue wherein the first player loses their turn on the count of foul.

In all subsequent shots, the cue ball must hit an object ball or the rails. Failing to do so is considered a foul as per US 8 ball rules and the player loses their turn to their opponent.

8 ball pool app rules

When playing a game of pool on the 8 ball pool app, the rules slightly differ.

  • For one, a player cannot bounce the balls off the table therefore those fouls are eliminated.
  • Two, when you play pool games on GetMega, the balls are colored based on the shade assigned to you. Therefore, instead of looking for solid or striped balls, you must only sink the colored balls with your assigned shade as they are your group. This is simply to avoid confusion in a multiplayer game.
  • The rules of 8 ball pool on the app eliminate fouls on illegal turns as well since the players take turns as per the computer program.
  • The 8 ball pool app rules include legal breaks. Failing to do so, the player loses their turn.
  • Each player must strike the cue ball to hit their assigned object balls first. In case the ball in their group happens to touch or sink an opponent’s ball, there are no penalties. As long as the first contact is with their own object ball, the shot is legal.
  • In case of cue ball fouls such as scratch and bounce during a multiplayer game, only the next player gets the cue ball in hand.

Why should you play 8 ball pool on GetMega

The GetMega platform is an incredible platform where you can benefit from playing pool in more than one way.

To begin with, GetMega offers an opportunity for players to earn real cash. You can play pool with your friends, family, or random strangers on the internet to earn money. You can easily cash out using one of the online payment gateways such as PayTM, PhonePe, Google Pay, etc.

Secondly, 8 pool game rules can be quite confusing for beginners. On the GetMega platform, you can take some time to familiarize yourself with all the rules for playing 8 ball before you take the game to an offline table. You will have a handy set of 8 ball pool instructions that you can refer to and understand practically.

Lastly, once you understand the theoretical aspects of Standard 8 ball rules you can transfer this knowledge to real-world games. The online practice rounds give you an idea of when to use spin action, how hard you must hit the cue ball for certain object ball placements, the 8 ball league rules for fouls, and International pool rules - 8 ball version of penalties.

In other words, the GetMega platform prepares you for a round of offline pool and helps develop your game in case you want to participate in tournaments later. Not to mention, earning money while playing your favorite pool game is a tremendous profit.

Go and register yourself on GetMega Pool app now and avail the chance of playing a diverse range of pool games and tournaments while earning real money!


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