The 8-ball pool game is played with a Cue Ball and 15 balls numbered from 1 to 15. Balls labeled from 1 to 7 are described as solids, those from 9 to 15 are known as stripes, and the 8-ball is black and should be pocketed as the last ball to win the game.
Pocketing is done in terms of the two groups. One player should pocket the solids balls, and the other goes for the stripes.
Once players sink all their object balls in the pockets, they should legally pocket the 8-ball to win the game. The table is opened on the break, and players can hit any object ball of their choice.
What happens if you make a stripe and solid on the break? According to official rules (WPA), the table will remain open after the shooter takes the break, even if one of the two groups is made on the break. That means the player must pocket an object ball legally on their next attempt to determine which balls type (either stripes or solids) they will continue with during the game.
The table remains open if each player’s choice of balls to play has not yet been set. Again, the choice of the ball type to play is not determined on the break, regardless of whether balls have been made or not.
Only when the table is open can a player make a legal hit to determine the ball type of their choice.
An 8-ball pool game is a call shot game meaning a player must call for all the shots before the player makes a shot, unless on the break. Therefore, any pocketing of an object ball is legal if the player calls a shot on it unless it’s obvious.
Rules vary from one house rule to another. However, the emphasis is on WPA rules because they are commonly used in most professional leagues.
Players can develop new rules on the break, provided both parties agree on the terms.
What happens when you scratch on the break?
Official rules state a player should not lose the game if they scratch on the break, though it’s considered a foul.
When a player scratches during the break, according to WPA rules, the opponent player gets the ball in hand behind the head string, and they are free to position the Cue Ball anywhere behind the service line to execute their shot. The white ball must pass the baulk line before contacting with any ball, otherwise the failure is a foul, and their turn ends right away.
A player cannot directly hit a ball behind the line when executing a ball in hand scratch since the ball must pass forward.
The pocketed balls remain pocketed unless it’s an 8-ball. If the blackball sinks on the break, the ball must be returned to the rack dot as the opponent player takes their turn, or the guilty player can request for rerack if the blackball is pocketed on the break.
Nonetheless, the table remains open even if the Cue Ball gets pocketed on the scratch foul since the shooter has already taken the break. The opponent player can choose any ball type of their choice during their turn.
Some house rules (APA rules) scratching on the break can lead to automatic loss if both the Cue and 8-ball get sunk. However, if the 8-ball is still in play, the opponent player gets ball in hand behind the baulk line.
When you scratch in the pool, do you take a ball out?
It depends on the rule applied to the gameplay and the time the foul is committed. When BCA (Billiard Congress of America) rules are used, when a player commits a scratch foul, any ball that a player may have pocketed as the Cue drops remain pocketed, but the opposing player gets a ball in hand bonus.
They have to place the Cue Ball behind the baulk while executing the ball in hand. Some pool rules allow players to place the Cue anywhere around the table.
However, some house rules state any ball accidentally pocketed during the scratch foul doesn’t count. The guilty player must return one of their pocketed balls to the rack dot as a one ball penalty, and the turn is passed over to the opponent player.
Stripes and Solids rules
According to BCA rules, the following are applied to stripe and solid balls:
- Stripes are numbered from 9 to 15, while solids range from 1 to 7.
- Each player must choose one of the two group balls by legally pocketing one of the ball types, which they must continue targeting until they clear all the balls of that type on the table.
- Players win 8-ball pool by first pocketing their group of balls (solids or stripes), and then legally sink the 8-ball without scratching.
- Whether to play solids or stripes cannot be determined because no call shots are made on break.
- Playing solids or stripes is determined when the table opens because only then can a player make a legit hit on any of the ball types.
- The 8-ball is only pocketed after a player clears all their ball type (solid or stripes). Otherwise, early pocketing of the blackball results in an automatic loss.
- If a player makes a legal shot and both a solid and stripe get pocketed, they must select one ball type to continue targeting.
- The table remains open even when one or both ball types have made it on the break. The next legal shot determines the ball selection.
- All the balls types are normally placed at the opposite side of the table on the break before one player takes a shot from behind the service line.
- Solid balls are colored, while stripes have a thick stripe. Each ball varies with different colors and assigned numbers.
- Once it’s legally confirmed, a player will shoot a specific ball type, and the player owns the remaining balls type on the pool table. If a Cue Ball strikes the other ball type, that’s a foul, and the opponent player takes the next turn.
One of Each on Break in Pool: Conclusion
Before deciding which ball type to the pot, it’s always important to check how the balls of that type align themselves on the pool table. In addition, the choice will depend on whether or not any balls have been pocketed.
If one of each ball is pocketed on the break, then the table is still open. The shooter gets another shot attempt and target any type they wish.
The next ball to be pocketed after the break determines the selection, and the table is closed moving forward. After this point you can only target the ball type you have selected.
It doesn’t matter whether the player accidentally commits a scratch foul, the opponent gets ball in hand behind the service line. The table remains open until the next legal ball is sunk.
Follow the pool rules to improve your gameplay and ensure that fair play is met. Once you understand principles of the break and open table rules, the rest is relatively easy to follow.