8 Ball Rules

8 Ball Rules

8 Ball is played with 15 balls and a cue ball. The goal of each player is to pocket their set of balls (solid: 1-7 or stripes: 9-15) and then pocket the 8 ball. The first person to legally pocket the 8 ball wins the game. Players do not need to call their shots in this version of 8 ball. A player’s turn is over when they fail to pocket one of their balls or if they scratch.


The break is made by player 1, beginning from any point behind the head string. The head string is defined by an imaginary vertical linke across the table at the rightmost spot. If player 1 pockets a ball on the break, their set of balls ( strips or solids) is selected by the first ball. If Player 1 does not pocket a ball on the break, Player 2 shoots and the table remains open until a ball is pocketed. Pocketing the 8 ball on the break is an instant victory.

Losing the Game

A player immediately loses the game for any of the following reasons:

  • Pocketing the 8 ball when they are not shooting at the 8 ball.
  • Scratching the cue ball while shooting at the 8 ball.