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8 Ball Pool is the most famous and most played pool game in the world. In this article, we’ll give you everything you need to know about the sport: Get familiar with the setup, the game rules, and how to rack 8 ball pool!

Would you like to know more about Pool and Billiard in general? Check out our huge Pool article!

8 Ball Pool Setup

Setting up the pool supplies and learning how to rack for 8 Ball are vital first steps in order before you even start learning how to play. You just can’t play without the essentials…

8 Ball Pool Supplies

  • 15 Object Pool Balls (seven striped balls, seven solid balls and one black 8 ball)
  • 1 White Cue Ball
  • Triangle Rack
  • Pool Table
  • Cue Stick
  • Chalk (Optional)
  • Bridge (Optional)

How to Rack 8 Ball

  1. Ball number 1 should be at the top or apex of your triangular rack.
  2. Ball number 8 should be at the center of the rack. The center is the middle of the triangle. It is at the third row down counting from the top.
  3. One striped ball should be at one bottom corner of the triangle and one solid ball should be at the other bottom corner. It doesn’t matter if it’s interchanged.
  4. The other balls are placed in random order within the triangle rack according to the players’ preference.
  5. The apex should be aligned with the middle diamond on the side of the pool table. Align the center of the first ball with the middle of the table at one quarter of the length. (Most pool tables nowadays have this spot marked with a small dot as a marker which you can easily follow.)
  6. Make sure that the balls are tightly packed together inside the rack. A tight rack will give you a better break to start the game.
  7. Slowly lift the rack from the balls and you’re ready to start your 8-ball game!
How To Rack 8 Ball Pool

How to Play 8 Ball

Eight Ball is a pool game played with one (1) white cue ball and fifteen (15) object balls, numbered 1 to 15. One player has to pocket balls of the set numbered 1 to 7 (solid colors), while the other player has to pocket set 9 to 15 (stripes). The player who successfully pockets his set can legally pocket ball number 8 and will be declared winner.

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8 Ball Pool Game Rules

A game is not a game without rules. Here are the basic rules that will get you started with your 8 Ball Pool:

  • If the assigned player to break the rack fails to break it properly, the opponent gets his chance to break. For a break to be proper, it needs to at least have 4 balls hit the rails.
  • The one who breaks the rack will claim his set for the rest of the game based on his first pocketed object ball’s color (solid or striped). The opponent will automatically have the other set.
  • The first player assigned to break the rack can continue to make his shots as long as he has legally pocketed an object ball in every try.
  • If ball number 8 is pocketed during a break, players must do a re-rack or spot the ball before continuing to make his shots.
  • Both players will try to drive all their pool balls into the pockets.
  • If a player unintentionally pockets an opponent’s ball, it is a counted point/score in favor of his opponent.
  • Each player’s ultimate goal is to pocket all the pool balls in his claimed set and then pocket ball number 8 afterwards in a designated pocket.


Players who earn a foul will give the turn to make shots to his opponent/s. A foul is any of the following:

  • Player has failed to hit the ‘on’ ball.
  • Cue ball is pocketed.
  • Cue ball fails to hit an object ball after it has been in contact with the cue stick during a turn.
  • Player knocks the ball off the table.
  • During the break, no ball is pocketed.
  • The player hits the cue ball more than once during a single shot.

Please note that three consecutive fouls is not a loss of the game.

Loss of Game

Player automatically loses the game if he commits any of the following violations:

  • Player fouls when pocketing ball number 8, except if it happened during a break.
  • Player pockets ball number 8 on the same shot for the last of his set.
  • Player jumps ball number 8 off the table.
  • Player pockets ball number 8 in a pocket other than the designated one.
  • Player pocket ball number 8 even when it is not the legal object.

Remember, all rule violations must be noticed and called on before the next shot, or else it will already be as if there were no infractions at all.

Stalemated Game

If after 6 turns in total, the player and/or the referees agree that any attempt to pocket to move an object ball will cause the game to be lost then the original breaker can re-rack the balls since the game is stalemated already. This will only happen when there are only two object balls and the ball number 8 remaining.

8 Ball Pool Hacks and Tips

Are you still scratching your head because you need more experience and practice before you become a Pool Pro? We’ve got you covered with these guaranteed guidelines on how to get better at pool:

  1. Know the rules. Know the rules by heart so that you can find loopholes to your advantage.
  2. Use either of these two effective types of breaks. In the first type, you can use a bit more force and top spin to the rack during the break or first hit on the ball straight to the cue ball. In the second type, you can hit the second from the end ball as cleanly as possible with full backspin This will cause the cue ball to hit the cushion/side and ricochet back into the rack again.
  3. Focus on positioning. Look at the position of the balls in picking out stripes or solid colored balls.
  4. Exercise control. Control the power of the shots you do. Make an estimate on the needed force to pocket a ball.
  5. Plan ahead. Pool games are also strategy games. Being able to predict possible outcomes on how things will go during the game will make your odds better.
  6. Learn how to spin the ball. Spinning is a technique stroke wherein you should make sure that the contact point between the cue and the ball is at the bottom of the ball. Get the hang of it so that you can get out of tight snookers and impossible angles.
  7. Use a ruler. There’s no rule that says you can’t use rulers to make your shots more precise.
  8. Practice makes perfect. Play every hour of every day. Nothing could ever beat practice and hard work when it comes to any sports!

8 Ball Online

Almost all games have their virtual and online version in this modern and digital world of ours.

Some would actually say that it’s a lot easier than the real life pool games since all you need to worry about is your game strategy and you can forget about the actual hand strokes. There are also coins and spins you can earn as you level up in the game that will help you make winning shots!

Check out these Free 8 Ball Pool Games you can play online:

Best 8 Ball Pool Apps for iOS

You can also download the best gaming apps version of the 8 Ball Pool for iOS users!

Best 8 Ball Pool Apps for Android

Here is also a list of the best 8 Ball Pool gaming apps for all you Android users out there:

What are you waiting for? Start playing 8 Ball Pool and sharpen your skills. As a beginner, just internalize the 8 Ball Pool game rules and make sure to practice your strokes every single day. You will be a pro in no time!

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