Knowledge Base

9-Ball Rules

Last Updated: Mar 16, 2018 04:31PM EDT
Rules & Objectives
The object of 9 Ball Pool is for the Player to pot the 9 ball before their opponent. Potting the 9 Ball can only be done after making legal contact with the lowest numbered ball on the table. This can happen at any point of the game.

If, for example, the lowest numbered ball on the table is the 1 ball, a player must pocket the 1 ball and then directly follow up by pocketing the 9 ball in order to win. If the lowest ball is 4, they must pocket the 4 and then take aim at the 9 ball.


The Break

The rack is set up with the 1 Ball in the front spot and 9 Ball always in the middle. All other balls are placed in the diamond formation in a randomized order.

At the start of a 9 ball 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. Only the first shot is counted as the break shot. Should the player with break somehow miss the rack or run out of time, the next shot is not considered the break shot, even if the rack remains intact. 

Legal and Illegal Breaks

A legal break must hit the 1 Ball first. If any balls are sunk on the break, the breaking player continues to shoot for the lowest numbered ball. A break shot must force any 4 object balls (not including the Cue Ball) to hit the rails of the table. 

If a player sinks the 9 Ball on their break, they will automatically win. This is referred to as the "Golden Break." If both the 9 Ball and the Cue Ball are sunk on break, the 9 Ball is spotted back to its original position and the other player is given Ball in Hand. 

If the breaking player misses, fails to sink any balls, or runs out of time during the break, the turn passes over to the other player and the breaking "phase" ends. As the opponent's next turn is no longer considered to be "breaking" they do not have the opportunity to get a Golden Break. 

Legal Shots

A legal shot in 9 Ball is made when:

  • The Cue Ball strikes the lowest numbered ball and...
    A) Is potted
    B) The lowest numbered ball strikes another ball (a combo shot) or balls and are then potted
    C) If no balls are potted, the cue ball or a legally struck ball hits the rail
Legal Sunk Shot:

Legal Missed Shot: 

Winning Conditions

Potting the 9 ball after making legal contact with the lowest numbered ball wings the game. This can happen at any point of the game!

Additional Rules and Notes

Calling Pockets
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 still a legal shot.

Ball in Hand
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 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.

Need additional help?

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