Knowledge Base

8-Ball Rules

Last Updated: Jun 25, 2018 04:10PM EDT
When Kings of Pool loads a game, both Players have a 50% chance of getting the break shot. When a Player has break, they can move the cue ball anywhere behind the break line, an area also called the ‘Kitchen’. Only the initial shot is counted as the break shot. Should the Player with break miss the object balls or run out of time, the next shot is not considered the break shot, even if the rack remains intact.

The rack is set up with the 8-Ball always in the middle. The two balls on the highest and lowest end must be a stripe and a solid - this is done interchangeably and is randomly assigned every game. All other ball placement in the rack is random and without intention.

A legal break must have at least 4 balls, not including the cue ball, make contact with the rails. If less than 4 coloured balls make contact, the opposing Player is given ball in hand and plays the table as it lies. If the Player does not sink any balls on break, the turn passes to the other player, who will take a shot from where the cue ball lies. If any balls are sunk on the break, the breaking player continues to shoot. The table remains open after the break regardless of what is sunk on the break.

Legal Break:

Illegal Break:
Sinking the cue ball on break is a scratch and passes the turn to the opponent, giving them ball in hand.


Pocketing the 8-Ball on the break “spots” the 8-Ball back into its original position and the breaker keeps their turn. If a ball is in the place of where the 8-Ball needs to go, it will take the closest free spot:

If both the 8-Ball and the cue ball are sunk on break, the 8-Ball is spotted back on the table and the opponent is given ball in hand.  

A legal shot is when an assigned object ball is made contact with and sunk or, after proper contact with an object ball, the object ball or the cue ball makes contact with the rail. A legal shot that sinks an object ball does not require rail contact.

Legal Sunk Shot:

Legal Missed Shot:


Suit assignment takes place when the first ball is sunk legally after the break, and dictates which player will hit stripes or solids. Suit assignment does not occur on the break shot regardless of what is sunk on the break. Simply, whatever suit of ball is sunk first after the break, regardless of other contact and sinking of balls, is assigned to the Player. In all cases, suit assignment does not occur if a Player sinks any balls but also scratches the cue ball (See: Fouls). The 8-Ball is always invalid, even before suit assignment.

Typical Suit Assignment Shot - sinking Stripes assigns Stripes:


Make contact with a solid ball and then only sink a stripe ball = player is stripes:

Other Examples:
Make contact with a solid ball and then only sink a stripe ball = player is stripes
Make contact with a striped ball and then sink a solid and then a striped ball = player is solids
Make contact with a solid ball, sink the solid ball, but then sink 2 stripes = player is solids 

On certain stages, Players must call their pockets. The Player must sink any of their suited balls into the called pocket - balls themselves are not called. Players only call one pocket per shot. If legal contact is made on a Player’s target ball and is successfully sunk in the called pocket, and any other balls are sunk in uncalled pockets, it is a legal shot. Calling pockets only takes effect after Suit Assignment.

Legal shot called pocket:


Illegal shot called pocket:


A foul is any illegal action on the table and always results in ball in hand for the opponent. Sometimes used interchangeably, scratching is actually just a subset of fouling. A scratch is any instance where the cue ball is pocketed. All other illegal actions can be referred to as fouls.

Scratching the cue ball:

Potting the cue ball in any instance, also called scratching:8_ball_13_-_foul_2_v1_82e301ed351af900b257a63e2dcd048170f583df

Less than 4 coloured balls make contact with the rail on the break:

Before or after suit assignment, the cue ball does not make contact with any object balls:

Making primary contact with the 8-Ball any point before potting all other suited balls, before or after suit assignment - (inadvertent contact on the 8-Ball after a legal hit on an object ball is ok):

After suit assignment, the cue ball does not make contact with any of the Player’s own object balls, but a rail is hit:

After suit assignment, the cue ball makes first contact with an incorrect suit (ex: if stripes, hits solids first):

Making contact with an assigned object ball and neither the cue ball or the object ball makes contact with the rail:

If calling pockets: It is a foul if the Player sinks an object ball in an uncalled pocket without sinking a ball in the called pocket first:

If calling pockets: This also applies if the user makes legal contact with an opponent’s ball that is sunk before the Player’s ball is also sunk.

A Player is given ball in hand when the other player commits a foul. A small hand icon will appear overtop the cue ball, and the Player with ball in hand can place the cue ball anywhere on the table:
On break, the breaking player can choose to move the cue ball anywhere behind the break line:
On call pocket stages, Ball in Hand is active before and after the User calls a pocket.

To win, a Player must sink the 8-Ball after having sunk all their assigned balls:
Potting the 8-Ball after break but before sinking all assigned object balls results in a loss:
The 8-Ball cannot be sunk in conjunction with the last of the Player’s suited balls, the 8-Ball shot must be taken by itself.

On the 8-Ball shot attempt, if the Player sinks the cue ball in addition to sinking the 8-Ball - a scratch, it results in a loss for that player:

If calling pockets: The 8-Ball must be sunk in the called pocket. If the 8-Ball is sunk in an incorrect pocket, the game is won by the opposing player:
All fouls apply to the 8-Ball attempt as well, and result in giving the opponent ball in hand - unless the 8-Ball is sunk, which then counts as a loss.
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