log in
sign up or:

By using this site you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service

forgot password?

Chinese Eight Ball Rules

Chinese Eight Ball is a two player pocket billiards game. It combines the playing style of 8 Ball Pool with the shooting style of other carom games. This makes for a distinctly different, yet familiar game.

If there are any terms throughout the Chinese Eight Ball Rules that you do not understand, you can search our billiard terms glossary in the search box near the top left of the page, or search the billiard terms glossary directly.


To begin play, rack the object balls the same way you would in a game of eight ball pool. The players lag for break, and the breaking player shoots the cue ball into the rack as one normally would. For the break to be considered legal, at least one ball must be pocketed, or two must strike cushions. If a ball is pocketed, the breaking player's inning continues, and they shoot again. From this point on, Chinese Eight Ball becomes different than normal 8 Ball Pool, in that the break is the only time players will strike the white cue ball with their cue stick.

From this point forward, balls are pocketed by striking the object ball first using the cue stick and causing it to carom off of the cue ball, then fall into the called pocket.

When a ball is pocketed, the table is still considered to be "open." This means that neither player is yet "stripes" or "solids." To determine which object balls you are playing, you must sink an object ball with a legal shot.

Legal shots

For a shot to be considered legal, the object ball must strike the cue ball before touching any other ball on the table. Additionally, the shooting player must call the pocket that he or she intends the object ball to drop in to.

As with Straight Pool, the object ball may strike other balls or cushions unintentionally before falling and still be counted toward the shooting player's score, provided that it falls in the called pocket.

When a player pockets one of their balls they continue their inning by shooting again. When all of their object balls have been pocketed, the 8-ball becomes their final object ball.


If the object ball is in contact with the cue ball when the shot begins, the player must shoot away from the cue ball and strike it by banking the object ball off of a cushion. The cue ball may not move before the object ball touches the cushion or the shot is considered a foul.

When the cue ball is pocketed or leaves the table, the shot is considered a scratch. The cue ball is then placed at the head spot, or, if the head spot is occupied, it is placed as close as possible to this spot following a line perpendicular to, and moving toward, the head cushion.

In the event of one of the above two fouls, one of the player's pocketed balls comes out and is placed on the foot (rack) spot, or if occupied, as close as possible to this spot following a line perpendicular to, and moving toward, the foot cushion. Any other missed or illegal shot does not result in a spotted ball, unless the ball was pocketed during that shot.

Any opponent's balls pocketed through an illegal or foul shot will remain pocketed. Any of your own balls pocketed as a result of your illegal or foul shot come out and are placed on the foot spot, or if the foot spot is occupied, they are to be placed directly behind it.

If a player or makes an illegal shot, including not striking the cue ball first with the object ball, their inning is terminated. Their opponent may elect to play the balls where they sit. The opponent may also choose to relocate the cue ball to the center spot, but only if it is unoccupied.

Winning and Losing

Scratching while shooting the 8-ball does not result in a loss of game, as in 8 Ball Pool. The balls are replaced according to the foul rules outlined above.

Sinking the 8-ball via an illegal shot or a foul shot, or when you have not yet pocketed all of your object balls, does result in a loss. The first player to successfully pockets the 8-ball via a legal shot as outlined above is the winner of the game.

Chinese Eight Ball Rules

If you have any questions about Chinese Eight Ball Rules, please post them in the pool rules forum.

...or view existing Chinese Eight Ball Rules questions in the forum.

Chinese Eight Ball Rules History

If anyone has any documented or prove-able history or origin information about this game, please contact us using the form below...and provide all supporting information. We'll be sure to give you full credit for the information you provide.

How to Play Chinese Eight Ball

Questions about Chinese Eight Ball Rules:

  • Title: Chinese Eight Ball Rules
  • Author: (Billiards Forum)
  • Published: 7/13/2006 10:00:00 PM
  • Source: Internet

Chinese Eight Ball Rules

The Chinese Eight Ball Rules article belongs to the Pocket Billiards Rules category. Pocket billiards is a class of cue sport game commonly referred to as pool.

Chinese Eight Ball Rules Comments

  1. W.F. TsangW.F. Tsang from Glasgow, Scotland on 3/6/2016 11:07:23 AM

    This wrong.

    The only real difference with Chinese 8 Ball and American 8 Ball is that they use a 9-foot snooker-table with small pockets.

  2. Sengo PascalSengo Pascal from Uganda, Kampala on 9/27/2017 2:26:25 AM

    I came here looking for Chinese 8 ball rules. Does anyone in play Chinese 8-Ball in Uganda?

Reply and share your comments below:

upload a photo or document

use plain text or markdown syntax only