Eight Ball is a popular pool game played with 15 balls and a cue ball. The objective is to pocket all numbered balls before the 8 ball, which must be called before being pocketed. Rules vary, so players should clarify before playing.
Eight Ball is a popular pocket billiard game that is considered a staple of both amateur play and professional competition. The game is played with the use of fifteen object balls, including the 8 ball, and the cue ball. While the official rules of Eight Ball vary from venue to venue, there are a few basic guidelines that govern nearly all of the official rules used in competition.
Eight Ball is played on a pool table, with the player using a pool cue to execute moves designed to sink or pocket each of the fifteen numbered balls by using the pool cue to drive the cue ball into the other balls on the table. To begin, the balls are arranged in a triangular-shaped track, with the eighth ball in the center of the stack. The cue ball is used to break the rack, sending the balls to different locations on the table. If the person breaking the lane pots a ball, their turn continues until a move succeeds in potting a ball. The game continues with each player continuing to play until he manages to sink a ball into a hole.
The objective of this pool game is to pocket all the numbered balls on the table until only the eight ball is left. At this point, the player must call which pocket he will attempt to use to pocket the eight ball. If the player fails to pocket the ball, or if the eight ball lands in a pocket other than the one designated by the player, the round is lost. In some versions of Eight Ball, the opposing player has the option of putting the eight ball back on the table and attempting to sink the ball. In other versions, the game is considered complete, once the eight ball has been sunk into any pocket.
As there is some variation in the rules that apply to Eight Ball, players choosing to enter competitions should always review the rules in use before starting to play. The same also applies to friendly games at the local pool hall. Clarifying the rules before you start playing will help the game be more enjoyable and will also encourage good sportsmanship.