The most popular billiards game in America is 8-Ball. Eight ball became on official game in 1940 with an official rulebook. With huge popularity around the world, eight ball is often known simply as “Pool” since it is played on a six-pocket pool/billiards table. The essential goal of a eight ball game is for a player to pocket their group of balls, either solids (balls numbered 1 to 7) or stripes (balls 9 to 15), and then sink the 8-ball last for the win.
How to play
Eight ball is played with all 15 object balls and the cue ball. All the objective balls are racked into a triangle at one end of the table with the 8 ball in the center of the triangle, the 1 ball up top and the rest of the balls alternating stripes and solids. The starting player than uses their stick to shoot cue ball from behind the head string at the other end of the table and break the rack, hopefully separating all the balls and sinking one. If the breaker sinks a ball or more they then get that group, stripes or solids, as theirs.
However, there are a variety of rules that can come into play with a break. If the breaker scratches the cue ball during a break the table is considered open for the next player to choose which group they want, that player can then spot the cue call anywhere behind the headstring of the table for their shot. If the breaker sinks the 8-ball it is considered a foul, the game may be re-racked or the 8-ball spotted by the next player.
Once each player has their group of balls after the breaking, a player can keep shooting at their balls as long as they sink one of their balls in a pocket, if they miss then it is the next player’s turn. A few general rules to keep in mind during the game are that if you accidentally sink the 8-ball before you have pocketed all your balls you lose the game. If you sink an opponent’s ball, you lose your turn, unless you additionally pocket one of your balls in the same shot. If you sink a ball then scratch the cue ball you lose your turn.
The first player to pocket their complete collection of balls and then the 8-ball wins the game; loser gets to rack the next game.
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How To Play 8-Ball Pool