The Game Of 8-Ball
I would have to say that the game of 8-ball is probably the most popular pool game in the USA. I very rarely play anything else besides this old standby. I think its popularity is due to it being an easy game to learn, but a game where you can really use your shooting and strategy skills.
The game uses the standard configuration of
with the black eight ball and the white cue ball.
The balls are racked with the
and the winner of the
or coin flip breaks the rack. If the rack breaker makes any balls on the break he continues to shoot. If not, his opponent takes over.
If the shooter who broke makes a solid AND striped ball on the break, he gets to choose which type he will continue to shoot. If he makes just one or the other, this determines which balls he shoots for. The opponent gets the opposite type of balls by default.
The object of the game of 8-ball is to sink all of your balls, solids or stripes, and then sink the eight ball. Although the balls have numbers on them, they do not have to pocketed in numerical order in this game. As long as the current shooter continues to sink his balls legally, he keeps on shooting until he either misses or wins the game.
The balls are sunk by hitting the cue ball with the cue stick and knocking it into the object balls. The first ball hit with the cue ball must be of the type of balls that the shooter is aiming for. For example, If the current shooter has the striped balls, he must contact a striped ball with the cue ball first, before any other balls are contacted during the shot. If the shooter does not follow this rule he loses his shot and the opponent takes over the shot.
Different shots may be played, such as
Depending on the rules of the place where you are playing, you may have to call exactly how your shot will play out, or you may be able to just slam the balls and hope for the best. Make sure to check the local rules before beginning a game in a strange location.
After you have pocketed all of your striped or solid balls, you can shoot for the eight ball and go for the win. You always have to call the pocket that you expect the eight ball to drop into, and you usually have to shoot it clean. Shooting it clean means that you may not use another ball on the table in any type of combination to sink the eight. If you sink the eight ball first, you win the game!
This is the basically how the game of 8-ball is played. There are, of course more rules to the game that I didn't mention, and these may found on the game rules page.
There is some strategy involved in this game. Be careful of the eight ball, because if you sink it out of turn, you instantly lose the game. You always want to try to leave your oppponent with a tough shot if you miss, so keep that in mind. Before you shoot, study the table to see the best way to make multiple shots instead of just one or two. Practice your cue control so you can leave the cue ball in position to make another shot after you sink your current one.
The game of 8-ball is a great one that is enjoyed by thousands. The best way to learn it is to watch others that are good at the game and then just get on a table and practice what you've seen. Before you know it you'll be sinking the eight ball yourself.
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