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How to play Blackball - game rules

Introduction

"Blackball" is a game for two players that is played on a table with seven red balls (reds), seven yellow balls (yellows), and one black ball (the 8-ball).

Balls to play Pool 8 UK.

The object of the game

The object of the game is to use a cue stick and the white cue ball to hit your set of balls (either reds or yellows) into the table pockets. Players use their cue stick to hit the white cue ball. The white cue ball should then contact a red or yellow ball and propel that ball directly or indirectly (a "combination" or "bank" shot) into one of the table’s six pockets. The first player to get all their balls (either reds or yellows) into the pockets, must then pocket the black 8-ball to win the game.

Turns

Players alternate turns. If during a player's turn, they pocket one of their balls without committing a foul, they continue playing. If the player fails to pocket one of their balls, pockets one of their opponent's balls by accident, or commits a foul, it then becomes the opposing player's turn. If at any time a player accidentally pockets the white cue ball, it becomes the other player's turn.

Start of the game

The game starts with all the balls (except for the white cue ball) placed in a triangle formation at one end of the table. The player that is going to "break" places the white cue ball anywhere in the baulk area. The player shoots at the triangular formation of balls using the white cue ball. If during the break, the player pockets a ball, they must continue to pocket that ball set for the rest of the game.

Table for billiards 8 UK

If only black ball left

After a player has pocketed all balls of their set, they must then pocket the black ball. Before shooting for the black ball, the game will ask the player to first nominate which pocket he intends to shoot the black ball into. After the player nominates a pocket, they must then shoot the ball into that pocket. If the player pockets the black ball into the pocket that they nominated, they win and the game is over. If the player pockets the black ball into a pocket other than the nominated pocket, they lose and the game is over. If the player does not pocket the black ball, it becomes the opposing player’s turn. 

Pocketing the Last ball in billiards.

Fouls

Foul are essentially illegal moves or actions that lead to penalties against the player committing the fault. 

  • When a player "breaks" to start the game, at least two balls—not including the white cue ball—must come in contact with the cushions OR at least one ball must be pocketed. (The cushions are the sides of the pool table.) If not, a fault has occurred and the balls will be re-racked and the opposing player (the player that did not break) will be given the opportunity to re-break the rack of balls.
  • If the player that is breaking pockets the white cue ball during the break, regardless of how many other balls may have been pocketed, it is a foul. It becomes the opposing player’s turn.
  • If at any time during the game a player pockets the white cue ball, they lose their turn. The white cue ball is removed from the pocket and given to the opposing player. The opposing player can now put the white cue ball anywhere within the semicircle and shoot at any ball. The player is also awarded an extra shot.
  • If a player pockets only one of the opposing player’s balls, it is a foul. The player loses their turn and the opposing player is awarded an extra shot.
  • If a player pockets the black ball before they have pocketed all the balls in their set (yellows or red), they instantly lose the game.
  • If a player hits the white cue ball and the white cue ball does not subsequently come into contact with any of the player's balls on the table, a foul has been committed. The player loses their turn and the opposing player is awarded an extra shot.
  • If a player shoots and the cue ball FIRST comes into contact with one of the opposing player’s balls, a foul is committed, even if the player sunk one of their own balls during the shot. The player loses their turn and the opposing player is awarded an extra shot.
  • If a player shoots and the white cue ball FIRST comes into contact with the black ball, a foul is committed, unless the black ball is the shooter’s last remaining ball on the table. The player loses their turn and the opposing player is awarded an extra shot.
  • After pocketing all their balls, the player pockets the black ball into a pocket other than the pocket that they have nominated, they lose and the game is over.
  • If a player pockets the last ball of their set and the black ball at the same time, it is a foul and that player loses the game.