8-Ball Billiards Overview
8-ball is one of the simplest forms of billiards played today and the game can be called many different names, including stripes and solids, high and low or spots and striped. This pocket billiard game is popular around the world and it is played in international competition. The game is played on a standard pool table and there are six pockets. The term pool refers to 8-ball, but since the game is so popular, many players do not even realise that there were preceding versions of the game. With some great variations like last pocket, Missouri, 1 and 15 in the sides and crazy eight, players will always have some awesome ways to enjoy the thrills of the game while perfecting methods and skills needed to be successful in tournament play. Standard 8-ball pool is the most competitive professional pool game behind 9-ball.
With 8-ball, the game is played with 15 balls and one cue ball, 7 of the balls are stripes and 7 are solid. The single 8 ball makes up the 15th ball on the table. The balls are racked and broken with a break shot to determine which player will be shooting for which balls. The goal of the game is to sink all 7 balls and then the 8 ball before the opponent. If the eight ball is sunk prior to all 7 balls, the game is immediately lost. The game is fun to play and is one of the top social games, especially among younger generations.
Standardized Game Rules
The standardized rules of American 8-ball are used by players all over the world and are the basis of rules and regulations for professional players. Even though the rules are rather concrete, they can be challenged by any player in any billiard game. There are various sets of official rules that are used and most are detailed by the World Pool-Billiard Association. The Billiard Congress of America also has created a set of standardized rules for amateur and professional players. The rules of the game largely remain the same for every level of play with some minor differences being in fouls that are committed. Regardless of the exact rules, players must first understand the objective of the game and then address the set of rules that are being used for the game they are playing at the time. It is not uncommon for players to encounter different rules as they play on different circuits, including amateur and professional tournaments.
There are hundreds of tournaments that are held all over the world for players who enjoy the game of 8-ball and most players who are professionals will travel the world to compete in a variety of these events. For members of the American Pool Players Association, there are many amateur tournaments in North America, including the National Singles Championships, National Team Championships, U.S. amateur Championship, Jack and Jill Championship and the Masters. There are also a number of events that are hosted by the World Eightball Pool Federation, including the European Lions Tour and other international events that allow for competition between professional and amateur players of different categories. With these tournaments, players can enter men’s or women’s events, teens and seniors events and even events that cater to those in wheelchairs. With hundreds of tournaments being hosted at locations all over the world, amateur and professional 8-ball players always have a way to show off their skills and compete for world titles in the sport.
Variants of 8 Ball
In the United Kingdom, 8-ball is not played as it is in the US. The other version of the game has been influenced by Snooker and is a popular variant in amateur competition in the UK. The UK variant of the game uses unnumbered balls and the UK tables have pockets that are slightly larger than the balls being used. This makes the game more difficult. The rules of the game are also different, including in how fouls are handed out. There are some fouls that will give opponent two shots instead of one. There is also a hybrid version of 8-ball, which is called eight-ball rotation. This game is a combination of 8-ball and rotation, where players will have to pocket all of their balls without pocketing the eight. The balls must all be sunk in numerical order. This game adds more of a challenge and is commonly used by professional 8-ball players as a way to practice. No matter what variant of the game is played, players will find that the rules and regulations of 8-ball are much easier to understand than with some other billiards games.