Billard (8-ball) rules and regulations

8 ball rules. Billard Table - BookGame

In an increasing number of clubs you will find at least one table where you can play billiards. The rules of this game are relatively simple, but... you need to familiarize yourself with them in order to enjoy the pleasure of hitting balls with a cue. This is what it involves.


Billiards rules - the rules that are common to every variant of the game


To begin with an important note: the rules of billiards are varied! The reason is simple: this sport has many variations. Therefore, do not be surprised, for example, that on a table designed for snooker (which is larger than pool billiard tables) you will find a total of 22 balls, including as many as 15 red balls, while for pool billiard "9 balls" only 9 balls.


But before you tear your hair out, learn the basic terms that abound in the rules of classic billiards (8-ball pool billiards) and all the others. You know one of them already. It’s about balls that roll around on a table. However, this is not all. To play the game you also need:



  • a table, which in most varieties is equipped with special pockets for balls, or bows (there are 6 of them); it can be of different sizes, usually from 6 to 12 feet;
  • a pool cue - is formed from wood, usually maple, and tapers upward; its individual components are the bouncer, handle, braid, thread, tip, ferrule and cap; this last component comes into contact with the ball;
  • a triangle - which allows you to put the balls in the right position at the beginning of the game.


No matter which billiards you choose, the rules of the game also require shooting balls with a cue. In what order and for what purpose - this may vary. But rest assured! Before you delve into the nuances and rules of billiards in its less typical varieties - learn the basics - starting with the most popular variety of the sport.

See our booking solution for Billiard

Cue bills

Billiard rules - 8 ball is a good game to start with

Most of the pool tables that you find in the clubs are pool tables, where you can play the so-called eight ball. Indeed, this variation of the game is most popular with beginners, because among other reasons, the rules are relatively simple. This point is important not only for amateurs, but for any person who wants to relax with friends over a game of pool.


Why are rules of 8-ball considered to be the rules of billiards for beginners?


  • The winner is the player who is the first to pocket all his balls and at the very end, the eight ball ).
  • There are a lot of balls to pocket so in the first phase of the game, the position of the white ball is not that crucial.
  • You don't have to worry about the order in which the balls are pocketed - the only thing you need to remember is that the eight ball has to sunk at the very end.
  • The gameplay is simple and quite fast. That's why you can play many games, and with each game you get better acquainted with the rules of classic billiards.

Pool table rules: how is the eight ball played?

What exactly does the game of 8-ball consist of? Here are the most important rules of billiards of this type. Number of balls on the table and their distribution

In 8-ball, a total of 16 balls are used. They are:


  • cue ball - this is the ball that players strike to pocket the other "balls";
  • 15 numbered colored balls - 7 of them are different colored solids (1-7) and 7 are different colored striped (9-15). There is also a black ball with the number 8 and it is how the game got its name. Why - we will explain in a moment.
Case study image







The ball’s division into solids and stripes is extremely important - each player is assigned one of these groups at the beginning of the game.


Remember, it doesn't matter what or how many balls are sunk in during the break. Only the first ball that falls in after the break "closes" the table and determines which group of balls (solids/stripes) each player is to pocket


During the rest of the game, the players are supposed to pocket either only solids or only stripes. The black "eight" ball is sort of out of bounds and de facto does not "belong" to any of the players.



The goal of the game - 8 ball


The  game of "eight ball" is played simultaneously by two players. The goal of each is to pocket all "their" balls (solids or stripes), and at the end - the eight ball, or black ball. When this happens, the game ends with a win.

Remember, you can pocket 8 ball in any pocket ( you just have to call it beforehand, of course ).

Many amateurs think that the 8 ball should be pocketed into the opposite corner/pocket ( after the last ball is pocketed ), but this is a wrong rule.


How does a game of 8 ball begin?


How does this variant of the billiard game begin? The rules of the game are clear. At the beginning, the balls should be in their designated place at the head of the table and strictly arranged into a triangle. It is worth knowing that:


  • the black "eight" should be placed in the center of the triangle;
  • the apex of the triangle facing the shooter (that is, the opposite, shorter band) should be at the main point of the table;
  • on the lower corners should be a representative from each groups, ie, one solid, one stripe;
  • the position of the other balls does not matter - they should be randomly placed within the triangle.


Once the balls are set, a break can be performed.


Who breaks? In professional games, a breaking round is conducted even before the balls are set on the table. What does it consist of?


  • Players line up 2 balls on the base field line 
  • At the same time, they shoot their balls toward the top band - so as to bounce off it.
  • "The winner" is the player whose ball comes back the closer to the bottom band of the table ( it can touch it ) - without first touching the side bands.


In friendly games, you can also simply hold a draw (such as a coin toss) or decide among yourselves who starts.


Billiards game rules for beginners: the break

Breaking is done from the base area, i.e. from the lower part of the table. The player hits it - so as to break apart the triangle of colored balls on the table. According to the rules of classic billiards ( pool billiards 8 balls), a break is valid only when:

  • at least 2 colored balls touch a rail or a minimum of one ball is pocketed.
Case study image


And what is the outcome of the break?


  • If at least one ball goes to the pocket, the player continues the game and can pocket another ball. If not, the turn passes to the other player.
  • If a black eight falls into the pocket during the break - you can either take it out and set it in the main point, or repeat the break.



Pool table regulations: how to pocket the balls?


The player has the right to make consecutive strokes until he misses sinking a ball in a pocket. Then the turn passes to the second person and so on until one of the players has pocketed all the balls belonging to him.

Remember! At the beginning of each stroke you must call where you intend to pocket the ball.



How does a game of classic billiards end?

Once one of the players has pocketed all the balls that "belong" to him, he has the right to sink the "eight ball", which is the black ball. At this point he should declare in which pocket he will try to place it. If he succeeds as called, he wins.


Although the rules of billiards for beginners may seem complicated, it only takes a few games to master them. Once you understand the basics, you can delve into other rules - such as what is considered a foul, as well as the rules of other variations of the game. Good luck!


Start using our system

Iphone mock