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Sinking Eight Ball On Opening Break

Sinking Eight Ball On Opening Break

While playing a casual game of 8 Ball, I pocketed the 8 ball off the break shot.

A friend maintains that in some versions of the rules of "casual" play, my action caused me to lose the game. I'd like to convince my opponent that I actually won the game. My reasoning is that because this is such a rare occurrence, as is a hole in one in the game of golf, the shooting player should be granted a win.

How do you guys play when you sink the eight ball on the opening break? What rules come into play?

This question relates to the following billiard rules:

Sinking Eight Ball On Opening Break

Replies & Comments

  1. denverbilliardsforum on 8/26/2006 10:23:54 PM

    In my experience, the majority of league, tournament, and room play rules dictate that when the 8 ball is pocketed on the break shot, it is neither a win, nor a loss, nor a foul.

    According to the World Pool-Billiard Association rules for eight ball pool, the shooting player has an option for how to continue.

    3.3 Break Shot

    The following rules apply to the break shot:

    • [...]
    • (e) Pocketing the eight ball on a legal break shot is not a foul. If the eight ball is pocketed, the breaker has the option of:
      • (1) re-spotting the eight ball and accepting the balls in position, or
      • (2) re-breaking.

    The one exception to that is that if the cue ball is also pocketed (scratch) after the 8 ball is pocketed off the break shot, the opponent has the option for how to continue.

    • (f) If the breaker pockets the eight ball and scratches (see definition 8.6 Scratch), the opponent has the option of:
      • (1) re-spotting the eight ball and shooting with cue ball in hand behind the head string; or
      • (2) re-breaking.

    As you'll see all throughout this forum, be warned that house rules do vary, and that there thousands of variations of 8 ball. See the thread titled Who Should I Ask For Bar Pool Rules? or the thread about casual billiard play for more on this. As always, players must establish the rules in advance of the game's beginning. Generally, most players play by league rules, but this is not always the case.

    I have seen many casual non-pool-league players who play no-slop.

  2. denverUberPoser on 12/27/2012 2:02:22 AM

    In order to legally sink the ball at any other point in the game, you have to sink all your other balls and call the pocket for the 8. If you sink the 8 without doing these two things first, you automatically lose. Why would it be any different on the break? Seems like an easy enough rule to follow but this argument never seems to die.

  3. denverZeke on 12/27/2012 8:17:50 AM

    It is universally accepted that "house rules" impact 8-ball standardized rules - more than all the other games of pool in existence.

    This is most likely the result of there being at least three different organizations claiming jurisdiction in authoring the "official" rules - all at odds with each other.

    Almost everyone accepts one of the "official" rules - as the basis upon which they nuance subtleties to "local house rules."

    When money is involved, this stuff becomes critically important.

    Which is one of the reasons I don't play 8-ball; at least not for money ;-)

  4. denvergibson on 12/27/2012 2:41:44 PM

    I am not an authority on rules for any game, but I have been around a while and have seen many changes, eight ball included. The biggest influence, in my opinion, was the coin operated table. I think the rule for eight ball break originally was that if you sunk the eight on the break, it was spotted and the game continued until a legal shot on the eight occurred to end the game. The problem with coin-op tables is that you have to deposit coins to spot a pocketed ball. Two rules might have developed: eight on break ends game with either a loss or a win. I agree with Zeke. The rules depend on where you have your feet planted at the time you are playing. Don't play pool for money if you are not acquiainted with the house rules and the people playing.

  5. denverZeke on 12/28/2012 9:11:25 AM

    Gibson, you are correct. Once the quarters got involved, the rules changed immensely. It's no longer about the game, it's about maximizing revenue.

    Nonetheless, rules are supposed to level the playing field.

    I still can't get over the now ancient revision of the B-I-H rule. When I learned the game, B-I-H meant anywhere in the kitchen. Now, it means anywhere on the table!

    This rule has nothing to do with "justice" - and everything to do with increasing revenue. By making a foul B-I-H anywhere on the table, we quicken the end. The only benefactors are those that own the table and those that share in those proceeds.

    Always at the expense of the players!

  6. denvergibson on 12/29/2012 8:45:38 AM

    Full table ball-in-hand eliminated the intentional scratch when the 8 ball was in the kitchen. The old rule was that if all of your eligible balls were in the kitchen and you had ball in hand, the object ball most forward on the table was spotted. Then the rule became that no balls got spotted after scratches. The incoming players had to play a bank and hope to hit an object ball on a bank shot. This rule still applies in a lot of bar rules games. I agree the penalty is too severe and if you foul when the opposite player is on the 8 ball it is an instant loss unless the 8 is snookered. The original rule of spotting the farthest ball worked

  7. denverMitch Alsup on 1/5/2013 4:21:03 PM

    While playing a casual game of 8 Ball, I sunk the eight ball off the break. A friend maintains that in some versions of the rules of "casual" play, my action caused me to lose the game.

    In several sets of rules you win.

    In several other sets of rules, the 8-ball is spotted.

    In no set of rules I am familiar with did you lose.

  8. denverUberPoser on 1/5/2013 5:20:45 PM

    I read it in "99 Critical Shots in Pool" by Ray Martin. Made perfect sense to me but I have yet to meet 1 person that agrees with me. Shrug. House rules. Rack 'em and let's play.

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Sinking Eight Ball On Opening Break

  • Title: Sinking Eight Ball On Opening Break
  • Author:
  • Published: 8/24/2006 6:54:12 PM
  • Last Updated: 1/5/2013 5:20:45 PM
  • Last Updated By: billiardsforum (Billiards Forum)