Relevance and Rules of the Black Ball in 8-Ball Pool

The 8-ball pool game is perhaps one of the most enjoyed cue sports owing to its availability on online gaming platforms. Whether you play billiards, snooker, or 8 Ball Pool, each game includes different object balls, making the gameplay slightly different for each game. The unique ball present in the 8-ball pool game is the black ball numbered 8. The black ball in 8 ball pool plays a vital role in the game and has several rules to pot it.

If you are an 8-ball pool novice, you can learn about the relevance and rules of the black ball in 8-ball pool here.

Relevance of the Black Ball in 8-Ball Pool

When you play 8-ball pool, you will find seven solid-colored balls, seven striped balls, one white ball (cue ball), and one black ball with the number 8 on the table. The black ball stands out from all the other balls and is called the 8-ball in 8 ball pool. The name of the pool variant itself justifies the importance of the 8-ball in the game. 

The black 8-ball in pool is as crucial as the queen in carrom; the 8-ball decides which player wins the pool game. After successfully potting all the assigned balls (stripes or solids), the player that pots the black ball wins the game. 

Black Ball Rules 

8-ball is like the queen of the 8-ball pool game as the winner or loser is decided by who pots this ball. The objective of the 8ball pool game is to pot all the assigned object balls and then pot the 8-ball. Black ball rules state that the 8-ball must remain unpotted until one of the players pots all the designated balls. The rules for potting the 8-ball and rules relating to potting the 8-ball accidentally are pretty straightforward. Here are the black 8-ball rules you must know as an 8-ball pool player:

  • Being the most crucial ball in the 8-ball pool game, the black ball is placed right in the center when all the balls are racked on the table. The 8-ball is surrounded by solid and striped balls from all sides.
  • As per the black ball rules, the players can only pot the 8-ball at the end of the game after all the designated balls have been potted.
  • No player can hit the black 8-ball directly with the cue stick.
  • When a player plays the break shot, they can pot any object ball apart from the 8-ball. 
  • Potting the black ball in one of the pockets leads to a foul. The black ball is placed back on the table in such a case.
  • The rules of potting the 8-ball also state that the black ball must be potted in the same pocket as the last object ball.
  • If the last object ball was potted in one of the four corner pockets, the players must pocket the 8-ball in the same pocket. However, if the last object ball was potted in one of the two middle pockets, the players must call one of the middle pockets before potting the 8-ball. 
  • If a player pots the black ball accidentally in an undesignated pocket, i.e., a pocket other than the one in which the last object ball was potted or the pocket called by the player, the black ball is considered spotted.
  • In games played on a physical table, the black ball is considered spotted if it bounces off the table.
  • In consecutive 8 ball pool games and tournaments, the black ball carries 7 points, and the other object balls aren’t assigned any points.
  • At the end of the game, the black 8-ball acts as the deciding factor for the winner or loser of the game, as the player that pots the 8-ball first wins.

Also Read: 8-Ball Pool Rules for Beginners & Pros

Rules to Follow If You Hit the Black Ball in Pool

In 8 ball pool, if a player hits the 8-ball accidentally or indirectly with another object ball, the player is not penalized for a foul. As per 8-ball pool rules, when the cue stick hits the cue ball, the first ball that the cue ball makes contact with must be an object ball. Therefore, the concern lies in the situation when the cue ball directly touches the black 8-ball.

If you hit the black ball indirectly, there are no severe consequences. However, it is a foul if you hit and pot the 8-ball before potting the designated object balls. 

Rules for Taking Two Turns to Pot the Black Ball

In 8 ball pool, you can take two turns to pot the black ball in one circumstance. For instance, you have potted all your designated balls and have to only pot the 8-ball to finish your game. But, your opponent has a few object balls remaining on the table. You can take two shots to pot the black ball in this case. 

However, if you and your opponent have potted the corresponding designated object balls, and are chasing the 8-ball, you only get one shot to pot the 8-ball. After your shot, the opponent gets a turn to pot it, and if they fail, the turn comes back to you. The turns continue until one player pots the 8-ball successfully.

Read More: 8-Ball Pool Tips & Tricks


Knowing the rules related to the black ball before your play 8-ball pool game online is essential to avoid fouls. Potting the 8 ball prematurely or during the break shot will give the upper hand to the opponent, which can break your game. You must also avoid touching the 8-ball directly with the cue ball to avoid a foul. If you’re interested in a simpler, more fast-paced version of the game, check out MPL’s 8-Ball Blast. You can also win plenty of rewards by playing!

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