View Full Version : have i been playing 8 ball wrong my whole life?

03-20-2004, 10:51 AM
i think my other thread didnt get posted for some reason i tried posting it before but i don't think it went through.

I always played 8 ball with the following rules

if you shoot at the 8-ball and scratch. you lose.

if you scratch while shooting at one of your balls, opponent must take the ball into the kitchen, and must shoot OUT of the kitchen. so if a ball is behind the line they have to kick it in.

8-ball on the break = win.

are these rules wrong? how do they play in pool halls?
does a foul, including a scratch, mean BIH anywhere on the table? shoot at anything?

03-20-2004, 11:04 AM
You will find many different rules on 8-ball. There was a thread not long ago on this same subject, I think it was called bar myths or something like that.

The rules you are talking about are correct, but somewhat out dated. At least in my area most people now play "ball in hand" on fouls. But the loss of scratching on the 8 and the winning by making the 8 on the break are still in the rules most people play.

03-20-2004, 11:09 AM
"how do they play in pool halls?"

Pool halls, any PHs around here play BIH fouls anywhere. The big differences you mentioned are bar rules vs BCA. I played your way all my life until I learned better.

"if you shoot at the 8-ball and scratch. you lose."

No, not in pure BCA. Some smaller tournaments vary the rule though, so ask.

"if you scratch while shooting at one of your balls, opponent must take the ball into the kitchen, and must shoot OUT of the kitchen. so if a ball is behind the line they have to kick it in."

BCA, anywhere with BIH

"8-ball on the break = win."

BCA, Nope, but again some smaller tourneys alter to accomodate bar rule players. I personally think that league and local tournaments SHOULD allow for the win, it'd add fun to the local players, and that's what local play and leagues is all about. That's just my opinion though, the rule is still as I stated.

03-20-2004, 11:36 AM
with 8-ball it depends on whether you are north or south of the equator. or sometimes it depends on the phase of the moon.

seriously, there are at least a hundred variations of 8-ball rules. I'm sure someone on this thread will explain BCA and APA rules. If not, I will.

03-20-2004, 12:01 PM
'Lo, Poke.

It isn't really a question of right and wrong. It's like the situation in basketball, where you've got the NBA rules, the NCAA rules, the Olympic rules, the rules of high school athletic associations, and the street rules. In pool you've got the Billiard Congress of America (BCA) rules, the American Poolplayers Association (APA) rules, and the bar rules.

The BCA is the big pool trade organization in this country. They've been running amateur leagues, and they run state and national championship tournaments in 8-Ball. To see their rules (which are known both as the BCA rules and as the World Standardized rules), go to http://www.bca-pool.com/play , then click on Game Rules, then click on 8-Ball.

The APA is a commercial outfit that franchises amateur pool leagues. To see their rules, go to the APA website, at http://www.poolplayers.com , go to the Leagues menu, then follow the trail to the rule booklet.

Sounds like you're used to a version of the bar rules. The bar rules vary a little from place to place, based on local custom. They aren't standardized.


03-20-2004, 12:07 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Leviathan:</font><hr>
...Sounds like you're used to a version of the bar rules. The bar rules vary a little from place to place, based on local custom. ....<hr /></blockquote>

Indeed they do.

pokesteve might want to read this thread...

whacky 8-ball rules (http://www.billiardsdigest.com/ccboard/showthreaded.php?Cat=&amp;Board=ccb&amp;Number=126443&amp;page =&amp;view=&amp;sb=&amp;o=)

03-20-2004, 12:20 PM
The great thing is if you have your own stick and can make a ball now and then, some friday nite banger will come up to you with his friend and ask "Please settle this for us.... I stop them mid sentence and ask what game they are playing (as if i didnt know) and when they say 8-Ball- i just say- I dont play 8 ball sorry. Doing anything else has proven to be a no win situation.

phil in sofla
03-20-2004, 03:10 PM
I think there are more games played according to the rules you learned than not, since I think there are more 'casual' games played under semi-standard 'bar rules' in coin-op tables than in pool halls. Likewise, people who are used to playing on coin-op tables in bars normally play those same rules in pool halls, from what I've seen.

Players used to playing in leagues may use different rules in that setting, but if they put quarters up to be next in a bar, generally they are also going to play 'bar rules' (as modified by 'house rule' changes, if any), or they're going to have to negotiate to get the ball in hand rules, which are not standard in bars, IMO.

Briefly, it's always ball in hand behind the line (in the kitchen), if someone scratches on a break, in any rules I've ever seen.

8 on the break (without scratching) is a win in APA rules, not a win in BCA rules.

Scratching on the 8 is a loss in APA rules, not a loss in BCA unless the 8 also goes in somewhere.

Both APA and BCA use ball in hand rules anywhere on the table for a scratch or any other foul (except on the break, as noted above).

Lastly, how you make a ball to make it count varies as well. In bar rules, generally, you have to call all kisses and caroms, the whole shot. In BCA, you just call the pocket, however it goes there. In APA, so long as you hit one of your group's balls first, anything of yours that goes anywhere counts and you keep shooting (?!?!?).

IMO, most pool players find the slop allowed in APA too generous, and they don't like to play that way. And also, IMO, most people don't like the BCA rule that if you scratch while shooting the 8, and it doesn't go, it isn't a loss (BCA members excepted, I suppose).

Since both 'major' league or governing body rules (APA and BCA) have those two weird rules, neither of them can gain universal acceptance as being 'correct,' leaving what are 'THE rules of 8-ball' up in the air, and a matter of choice for you, considering whatever setting you're playing in.

The rules you learned are probably valid in 90% of the places where pool tables can be found (i.e., mainly bars).

03-20-2004, 11:03 PM
The BIGGEST-MEANEST guy makes the rules /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Cueless Joey
03-21-2004, 12:21 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Pelican:</font><hr> The BIGGEST-MEANEST guy makes the rules /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif <hr /></blockquote>
They should just get rid of balls from 10 and higher on those bar tables. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif
Joey~Hates barbox, barbox 8-ball and barbox bangers who have no clue about rules~

Ralph S.
03-21-2004, 02:15 AM
There is also another "major" pool league, known as VNEA {Valley}. The VNEA rules are very similar to the BCA rules with the exception of the 8 ball. Making the 8 on the break, it is either spotted or the game is re-racked. No auto win for 8 on the break. Also, in VNEA, scratching on the 8 ball is a loss.

03-21-2004, 12:08 PM
It depends on where you play and who your opponent is. When I play in a bar on a coin-op table, most people play by what they call "Bar Rules". According to these "Bar Rules" you have to put the cue ball in the "kitchen" after a scratch (foul) and shoot at an object ball beyond the headstring. Remember, the base of an object ball determines whether or not the ball is beyond the headstring...not the middle or top of an object ball. Most people I play don't realize that. Anyway, making the 8 on the break is usually considered a win. If you scratch when shooting the 8, it's a loss. Also, you have to call every single ball and cushion you are going to hit before your object ball goes in the pocket you called. Personally, I think these rules suck. That is why I normally play BIH...valley rules...APA rules...etc. However, in APA rules, you do not have to call pockets. If you hit an object ball and it goes in a pocket that you did not designate, it is still your turn. Oh...and in BIH...if you scratch on the break your opponent has BIH behind the headstring (this is only immediately following the break). Any foul occurring after that is BIH anywhere on the table. When I play my friends at the bar, we normally play call shot 8 ball...ball-in-hand of course. The rules we use are pretty much Valley Rules. Valley Rules are a little different than APA rules. Like I said, in APA, you do not have to call shots. You just shoot and hope for the best..."slop" play. That is one thing that I do not like about the APA rules. Oh well.

Sparky /ccboard/images/graemlins/cool.gif

03-21-2004, 08:03 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote pokesteve:</font><hr>I always played 8 ball with the following rules ... <hr /></blockquote>

There are and have been many different sets of rules for eight ball. The February 2002 issue of Billiards Digest has a summary of the history of eight ball rules since 1925 to the present, if you're interested in the variations that have gone by.

The world rules are on-line at www.bca-pool.com (http://www.bca-pool.com) and you can get a printed copy of the BCA rule book at any decent billiard supply store for under $10, and it has lots of info besides the rules.

In a league, the rules are set by the league. In a bar, the locals like their own rules. If you carry a rulebook, you'll be viewed with suspicion, since most pool players have no idea that a rulebook exists.

03-22-2004, 03:54 AM
some people here play last pocket
rules are different everywhere
you just have to discuss it before you play the game
no muss
no fuss

03-22-2004, 12:49 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Bob_Jewett:</font><hr> ...since most pool players have no idea that a rulebook exists. <hr /></blockquote>I remember my excitement and joy when, just a few short years ago, I learned that there were rules! It made everything so much better for learning the game knowing that there were rules! /ccboard/images/graemlins/laugh.gif

(I'm saying it like that dog on the commercial that says BACON! /ccboard/images/graemlins/laugh.gif )

03-22-2004, 01:35 PM
Bar rules are ignorant, even thow most of learned to play that way. Most bar rules have no prvisions for safety. I get asked to play this in bars alot and the first time i roll up behind one of my balls, a fight insues with ;....yo cant do that... sure I can there, are no ball and a rail rules in bar rules. I would advise against playing this type of game, it just leads to trouble! lol

03-22-2004, 05:08 PM
This reminds me of when someone scratched and it was ball in hand in the kitchen. If you were on the 8 and the 8ball was in the kitchen some people would just shoot the cue ball into a pocket so you would have to kick at the 8 and hope you would scratch so they could win the game. Man I hated those rules.

03-23-2004, 03:27 PM
In Roanoke Va. where I play we use VNEA rules. We play ball in hand on a foul except on the break. If you scratch on the breake it is behind the line and after that it is anywhere on a foul. We also have a Money league here where the eight on the break is a win and if you scratch and pocket the eight you loose. Also in this league it is ball in hand behind the line on a foul and if you get three fouls in a row you loose. In a BCA league if you scratch on the eight it is not a lose of game your apponent has to shoot and if he gives you another shot at the eight and you make it you winn. IMO we should all play by the same rules to stop all the confusion. /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif