Variety is the spice of life and it’s no different when referred to the various games on a Billiards or Pool table.

There’s Eight Ball, Nine Ball, 10 Ball, Billiards and of course Snooker to master and each game not only takes cunning, guile and skill but naturally skill.

Over the following weeks Billiard Shop will highlight the particular ins and outs of the various games, starting with Eight Ball.

This is the game mostly played by the standard amateur player with a cue (white) ball and fifteen Pool balls numbered one to 15.

The balls are racked into the triangle at the pyramid spot with the eight ball in the centre.

To commence the game the cue ball is played into the waiting balls in what we refer to as the break.

One player or side then goes about pocketing the large or small circle balls or in numerical terms one must pocket the balls numbered one to seven, in any order while the other must pocket the balls numbered nine to 15.

Whoever pockets their group first can then attempt to win the game by legally potting the black, which of course is the eight ball.

This is all pretty straight forward but when it comes to the rules opinions can differ greatly.

But it is all widely accepted that losing a game without managing to sink one of your balls generally does mean a lap around the table without certain attire.

However as you the reader are of particular intelligence you can no doubt come up with your own more sanitised punishment for such a performance.

Firstly if a player fails to break the Pool balls on the opening shot it is a foul and the opponent is awarded two shots from the white ball’s position.

However if two or more balls fall from the break the ball that fell first is their target. In the event of dispute, the player potting has the choice.

Other white ball fails that hands your opponent two shots are, going in-off the break or with the white ball on any other shot.

The following is a list of other fouls that hands your opponent two shots and many if not all of them are a delight when handed to you.

  • If a player hits an opponent’s ball with the white before hitting his own.
  • If a player misses.
  • If a player hits the black ball with the white on the first impact before all his own balls have been potted.
  • If a player goes “in-off” the black ball.
  • If a player hits the ball off the table
  • Player’s clothing or body touching the white ball while making a shot
  • A player doesn’t have at least on foot on the floor when playing a shot
  • By playing out of turn.
  • By playing with other than the cue ball.
  • Playing before the balls have come to rest or before they have been spotted.
  • By causing the cue ball to jump over an object ball when snookered.

White and black in Pocket

It is hard to keep a straight face when you’re struggling opponent hands you double after double. Pure gold and we’ve all been there!

In regards to the positioning of the white ball for certain fouls, when the ball is knocked off the table the black or coloured ball is spotted but the white ball is to be played from the “D”.

If the spot is occupied then the ball to be spotted is placed as near as possible to the spot in a direct line between spot and top cushion.

In the case of a deliberate foul shot when a player deliberately cues a ball other than a white ball the ball can be placed at the discretion of the opponent as near as possible to their original positions.

If a player repeats the act well besides a gentle clip over the back of the head or just a disappointing gaze, they can be disqualified.

Beside this disqualification to win the game in general play you must sink the black ball after potting all of your coloured ones.

The other ways to win is when your opponent fouls. These include:

  • Putting the black ball before potting the coloured balls.
  • When going for the black ball they follow the white ball in after the black
  • Pits your ball in addition to the black
  • Pots the black without having put away there coloured ballsFor the uninitiated these rule may seem a lot to take in but to put it simply, break well and then always hit the white ball on to your designated coloured balls. And if you manage this who knows you may even sink one. Stranger things have happened!


For the uninitiated these rule may seem a lot to take in but to put it simply, break well and then always hit the white ball on to your designated coloured balls. And if you manage this who knows you may even sink one. Stranger things have happened!

But on the subject of strange things, what happens when rare things happen such as Foul Snookers?

When you are snookered from a foul stroke by your opponent, you get to nominate any of your opponent’s balls, or the eight ball, as being one of yours, for the first shot. If you pot the nominated ball (except the black ball) it’s deemed legal and you continue with the break.

If the Black ball is foul snookered by your opponent you may also play the nominated ball onto the black ball and pot either or both balls without penalty.

And finally did you know you can actually record a drawn game? Well yes you can but it’s exceptionally rare.

A drawn game occurs when you and your opponent has one coloured ball left on the table and they are both touching the black ball which is positioned over the pocket. If both players give a miss without a legal shot being played, the game is declared drawn.

In such an event the three balls are spotted in a triangle with the black ball on the spot and the players toss for the break.

But of all the rules, one of the most protested is when your opponents sinks the white ball while making a shot – can you shoot the repositioned white ball on the “D” backwards. Well yes you can!

For any further information or rule clarifications call your Billiard Shop on 1300 300 654.

Let the good times roll in the game that brings family and friends together!