Learning How to Play 8-Ball

One of the most popular and basic games played on pool tables is 8-ball. Eight ball is a pool table game played with a cue and 15 object balls that are numbered 1 through 15.

One of the two players must pocket balls of the group numbered 1 through 7, which are solid colors, while the other player has the numbers 9 through 15, which are striped. The player pocketing either group, solid or stripe, first and then also legally pocketing the black 8 ball wins the game.

If the players choose to call shots when playing 8-ball,109, obvious balls and pockets do not have to be indicated,105. Although, the opponent has a right to ask which ball and pocket if he is unsure of the shot.

Any bank shots and combination shots are not considered obvious and should be identified before shooting the ball,105. When calling the shot,102, it is not necessary to indicate details such as the number of cushions, banks, kisses, caroms, and other details that may occur while playing.

If any balls are pocketed on a foul, they remain pocketed,107. Any player performing a break shot can continue shooting so long as any object ball is legally pocketed on the break.

The balls are racked in a triangle at the foot of the table with the actual 8-ball in the center of the triangle,104, the first ball of the rack on the foot spot, a stripe ball in one corner of the rack,102, and a solid ball in the other corner,109. The winner of the lag has the option to break first.

Usually the winner of the game breaks at the start of the next game. Some of the other options are that the players alternate the break or the loser breaks.

A legal break shot should be with the cue ball behind the head string. To be a legal break the player must either pocket a ball, or direct at least four numbered balls to the rail.

When the breaker fails to make a legal break, it is considered a foul,108. After a foul on the break, the other player has the option of accepting the table in position or having the balls re-racked.

The player decides whether they want the opening break or to allow the offending player to re-break,107. If on a break, a scratch occurs then all the balls remain pocketed and the next player gets the table open.

When there is an open table it means that the players are free to hit any of the balls. In other words, they do not have to hit their solid or stripe color first.

The choice of stripes or solids is not determined on the break even if balls go in pockets on the first turn from only one or both groups. The table is always open immediately after the break shot.

When placing the cue ball in position, any forward stroke motion contacting the ball with the cue ball will be considered a foul, if it is not a legal shot. When the 8-ball is the legal object ball, after all the others have gone in, a scratch or foul is not loss of game if the 8-ball is not pocketed or jumped from the table, but the incoming player has cue ball in hand.

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