How to play Pool 8 - game rules
"8-ball" is a game for two players and is played on a table with 16 balls. Seven solid colored balls (solids), seven striped balls (striped), one black ball (the 8-ball), and a white ball are used to play the game.
Your main objective in this game is to use the cue stick to hit the white ball, which you aim at your set of balls (either striped or solid), and try to hit them with the white cue ball into the table pockets. The white cue ball should always touch a colored or striped ball and propel the ball into one of the table's six pockets. The winner is the player who gets all his balls (either striped or solid) into the pockets, and then gets the black 8-ball into a nominated pocket (it depends on the table rules).
Players alternate turns
If during a player's turn, he pockets one of his balls without committing a foul, he continues playing (see below for a list of fouls). If the player fails to pocket one of his balls, or pockets one of his opponent's balls by accident, or commits a foul, then it becomes the opposing player's turn. Any player that intentionally or unintentionally pockets the black 8-ball BEFORE pocketing his set of balls automatically loses 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 who is "breaking" the balls, places the white cue ball anywhere on the lower quarter of the opposite side of the table. The player then "breaks" the triangular formation of balls using the white cue ball. If during the break, the player pockets a ball, he can then continue to pocket that same ball set for the rest of the game OR he can begin to pocket the other ball set. If he sinks both a striped and a solid during the break, he can choose which set of balls he wishes to pocket during the game. In other words, it doesn't matter how many or what color (striped or solid) balls the player pockets during the break. The first ball that a player pockets AFTER the break determines which set he will pocket for the rest of the game.
End of the game
After you pocket all your balls (solids or stripes), it's time to pocket the black ball (8-ball). On most tables, before you can pocket the black ball, you have to nominate the pocket into which you want shoot the ball (it may vary on different tables). If you pocket the black ball successfully, you win the game, but if not, it becomes the other player’s turn. You will also lose if you pocket the black ball into a pocket that was not nominated (it may vary on different tables), or if you pocket the white and black balls together.
Foul are illegal moves or actions that lead to penalties against the player committing the foul. The fouls are divided into those which either end the game, or give a turn to the opposite player.
Your turn is over and the other player can place the white ball anywhere he wants on the table when:
- If during the break, less than four balls contact the cushions (table walls) and no ball was pocketed.
- If you pocket the white ball during the break.
- If during any round, you pocket the white cue ball.
- If during the round, you pocket any of the other player's balls, without pocketing any of your own balls.
- If you hit the white ball and it doesn't come into contact with any other balls.
- If you hit the white cue ball and it hits the other player's ball first. This foul applies only after the break.
- If you hit the black ball before you pocket your ball set.
- If you don't hit one of your balls with white cue ball hard enough, (it wasn't pocketed or made contact with any cushions or any other ball (including the white cue ball), or didn't directly or indirectly contact a cushion or go into a pocket.
You lose when:
- If you pocket the black ball without pocketing the rest of your ball set.
- If you pocket the black ball in a pocket other than the nominated one.
- If you pocket the last ball of your set and the black ball at the same time.