8-Ball Rules
Short Version - Call Shot

CALL SHOT (Gentlemen’s Call): In Gentlemen's Call, obvious balls and pockets do not have to be indicated. It is the opponents right to ask which ball and pocket if he/she is unsure of the shot. Banks and combinations are not considered obvious and both the object ball and the pocket must be called. When calling the shot it is ONLY necessary to indicate ball and pocket, it is NEVER necessary to indicate details such as the number of cushions. banks. kisses. caroms. etc.

LEGAL BREAK SHOT: To execute a legal break, the breaker must either

  1. pocket a ball, or
  2. drive four numbered balls to the rail.
If the breaker fails to make a legal break, the incoming player has the option of
  1. accepting the table in position and shooting, or
  2. having the balls re-racked and shooting the opening break himself.
It is not necessary to hit the head ball (the ball that is on the foot spot) to initiate a legal break in 8-ball. ALL BALLS STAY DOWN ON THE BREAK SHOT.
  1. Scratch on break: It is a foul; incoming player has ball in hand behind the line.
  2. 8-ball on break: (House rule only) Player pocketing 8-ball on break, wins. If player pockets 8-ball and scratches, player does not lose, but the 8-ball is spotted and incoming player has ball behind the line.

CHOICE OF GROUP: The choice of stripes or solids is not determined on the break even if balls are made from only one or both groups. THE TABLE IS ALWAYS OPEN IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE BREAK SHOT. The choice of group is only determined when a player legally pockets a called object ball after the break shot.

LEGAL SHOT: Once high and low groups are determined, the shooter must hit one of his group first and either:
  1. pocket an object ball or
  2. cause the cue ball or any object ball to contact a rail.

SAFETY PLAY: If the shooting player intends to play safe by pocketing an object ball. then prior to the shot, he must declare a safety to his opponent. If this is NOT done, the shooter will be required to shoot again.

FOULS: the following infractions result in a foul:
  • Failure to execute a legal shot
  • Scratch on cue ball
  • Causing cue ball to go off the table
  • Shooting without at least one foot on the floor
PENALTY: Opposing player gets cue ball in hand. This means that the player can place the cue ball anywhere on the table (does not have to be behind the headstring except on opening break). This rule prevents a player from marking intentional fouls which would put his opponent at a disadvantage. With "cue ball in hand." the player may position the cue ball on the table by hand (more than once if necessary).

LOSS OF GAME: A player loses the game if he commits any of the following infractions:
  • Scratches when pocketing the 8-ball
  • Pockets the 8-ball on the same stroke as the last of his group of balls.
  • Jumps the 8-ball off the table at any time.
  • Pockets the 8-ball in a pocket other than the one designated.
  • Pockets the 8-ball when it is not the legal object ball.


NOTE: when shooting the 8-ball, if the player doesn’t hit the 8-ball first, it is not loss of game, but incoming player has ball in hand. ALSO, if when shooting at the 8-ball, you scratch, it is not loss of game unless the 8-ball is sunk in the same shot.


9-Ball Rules

Object: To pocket the 9 ball legally before your opponent

Legal Break: Breaker must hit the one ball first & drive 4 balls to a rail or pocket an object ball, failure is a foul, ball in hand.

Play: As long as the player strikes the lowest numbered ball on table, first, any balls made as a result of this hit are legal, and player continues to shoot. Player does not have to “call” the shots.
NOTE: If 9-ball is made on any legal shot, player wins game, provided player has called correctly where the 9-ball id going.

Fouls:

  1. Scratch - when cue ball goes into the pocket
  2. when player does not hit lowest numbered ball on the table first.
  3. when player hits lowest numbered ball first, but does not drive an object to a rail, or the cue ball to a rail, after making contact with the object ball.
Penalty - player loses turn
Cue Ball in Hand: Incoming player has the option of taking the cue ball (in his hand) and placing it anywhere on the table.
3 Fouls in a Row: Player committing three consecutive fouls in a row constitutes loss of game.

NOTE: Kicking (hitting the cue ball to a rail, first, before making contact with object ball) and playing safes are key to a successful game plan.