How do you play the pool game 8-ball?
Eight-ball (8-ball) is a pool game played with all 15 balls racked in a triangle pattern, where the objective is to pocket the 8-ball after pocketing all seven of your designated balls (stripes or solids). Here’s a concise rules summary for 8-ball and 9-ball (based on the WPA World Standardized Rules), and here’s an even-shorter 1-page summary for 8-ball (PDF version, editable Word version), suitable for posting in a bar (created by Nathan Rhoades, Newport RI).
Here are some useful resources related to 8-ball:
- 8-ball rules and variations (including “bar rules”)
- break shot technique, strategy and advice
- game strategy
- Video Encyclopedia of Eight Ball (VEEB)
A good variation on 8-ball for advanced players is rotation 8-ball, where each person must always contact the lowest-numbered ball in their group first.
When one player is much better than the other, possible ways to handicap the game include:
- require that the ball group be pocketed with standard rotation rules (balls shot in order).
- require that the 8-ball be pocketed in the pocket in which the last OB was pocketed (i.e., “last pocket”).
- disallow pocketing balls in the side pockets (or required that all balls be pocketed in the side pockets).
- require that every shot be a caroms, kiss, banks, or kick
- allow the less capable player two misses with each inning.
Any or all of these handicaps can be applied depending on the “weight” required.
Dr. Dave keeps this site commercial free, with no ads. If you appreciate the free resources, please consider making a one-time or monthly donation to show your support: