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8 Ball Open Table Rule

The open table rule for 8 ball is not a completely separate billiard game, but is an amendment to the current 8 ball rules and regulations. It should be considered as only an interpretation by BCA staff in order to provide increased clarification of parts of the regular 8 ball rules.

8 Ball Open Table Rule

As usual, readers should note that except when clearly contradicted by these additional rules, the General Rules of Pocket Billiards apply. This rule clarification is considered supplemental to 8 ball regulation 10 and pertains to open table in the game of 8 ball.

10. It is said that the table is "open" when the choice of groups (stripes or solids, highs or lows) has not yet been determined. During this period where the table is considered open, it is legal for the shooting player to execute a combination shot where they strike one group's object ball first and cause it to hit and pocket an object all from the opposite group.

It is also worth noting that the table is always open immediately after the opening break shot. When the table is considered open it is legal to hit any solid ball or striped ball, or to hit the 8-ball first in the process of pocketing the called stripe or solid. However, when the table is open and the 8-ball is the first ball contacted, no striped ball or solid ball may be scored in favor of the shooter. When this occurs, the shooter loses their turn, any pocketed balls remain pocketed, and the incoming player addresses the balls with the table still open.

The BCA also made clarifications for the following excerpt from their official 8 ball rules: "When the table is open it is legal to hit any solid or stripe or the 8-ball first in the process of pocketing the called stripe or solid." They insinuated that this was meant to be a straight forward regulation. They clarified the meaning, saying that "it means that when the table is open, any ball can be legally hit without resulting in a foul." They also commented that this should not be new to anyone, adding the statement; "This is not a new rule for players in the United States."

They also made clarifications for this sentence: "When the table is open and the 8-ball is the first ball contacted, no stripe or solid may be scored in favor of the shooter."

They said this sentence may seem to contradict the first, but it doesn't. It says that although it is legal to hit the 8-Ball first on an "open table", if a player does, he/she forfeits their turn whether they pocketed something or not. There is no foul, and the incoming player accepts the cue-ball in position with the table still open.

They went on to add that this particular portion of the rules is derived from the old European rule which states that it is illegal to hit the 8-Ball first anytime during the game.

8 Ball Open Table Rule

If you have any questions about 8 Ball Open Table Rule, please post them in the pool rules forum.

...or view existing 8 Ball Open Table Rule questions in the forum.

8 Ball Open Table Rule History

This rule was clarified in 1993.

The official 8 Ball Open Table Rule are predominently observed in North America.

The official governing body for 8 Ball Open Table Rule is the World Pool-Billiard Association.

How to Play 8 Ball Open Table Rule

Questions about 8 Ball Open Table Rule:

  • Title: 8 Ball Open Table Rule
  • Author: (Billiards Forum)
  • Published: 2/15/2008 6:26:00 AM
  • Source: BCA

8 Ball Open Table Rule

The 8 Ball Open Table Rule article belongs to the Pocket Billiards Rules category. Pocket billiards is a class of cue sport game commonly referred to as pool.

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