Who isn’t aware of this game used more as a way to relax and chill out after a hard week at the office? Pool is increasingly becoming the game of both the young and old and is often a status symbol as it was not too accessible as it is now, a decade ago. Among the indoor games, it is considered a gentlemen’s game and dates back to the later years of the seventeenth century. It underwent rapid changes, improvements and branching out in the form of 8-ball, 9-ball, billiards, snooker and so on, after the 1870’s. Out of these forms, 8-ball is the most widely played one and involves a total of fifteen balls stacked in a triangle. Seven of these balls are striped, seven are solid colored and one is the 8-ball. The rules of this game, though quite simple, may seem very tough for a beginner, but that is no reason to worry. Here are the rules of 8-ball pool and some tips to help you play better.
Learning To Play Pool
The rules for playing pool the 8-ball way are pretty simple. Here is how to play 8-ball pool:
- Fifteen balls are stacked together and each player has to pocket eight balls. The one who pockets eight balls first wins the game.
- The 8-ball is placed at the centre, with a ball in the front, a striped ball marking one edge and a solid ball marking the other.
- The person who chooses to make the break will have to aim at winning it – winning a break is to either pocket a ball when he or she breaks or to drive four balls to the rails.
- If, in the process of breaking, the player knocks a ball off the table, then the ball stays pocketed, the balls are stacked up again and the opposing player or the opponent decides either to break himself/herself or to let the first player break again.
- If a foul occurs during the break, then the cue ball is kept in hand, behind the head string.
- After the break, the player who broke will make a choice between solid balls or striped balls. The game then proceeds to see as to which player sinks or pockets his/her choice of balls first and then proceeds to sink the 8-ball too. The task is to sink the solid or striped balls of one’s choice first before the opponent sinks his/her and proceed to sink the 8-ball. The player who sinks the 8-ball first wins the game.
- If a foul occurs during the course of the game, then the opposing player gets the cue ball in hand anywhere he wants it on the table.
Now that you know how to play pool, here are some tips that you could keep in mind while playing pool:
- Make sure you use a cue that is moderately heavy – too heavy a cue will leave you with a pain in your arms and shoulders; too light a cue it will not be able to give you the right momentum to drive the balls.
- Chalk the cue tip before every shot, as it is very important for a smooth shot. Use the strokes used for painting while you do so.
- Keeping a proper form is of utmost importance – right-handed people should hold the thick end of the cue in their right hand, an inch behind the end. The cue is then put through the circle, to rest just on top of the middle finger, behind the knuckle. The other fingers – the pinky, ring finger, and middle finger and then spread out to give a tripod-like support to the cue. The ridge of the hand is to be on the table and the thumb side should be lifted a bit higher.
- Having a proper posture is very important – in case you do not maintain a proper stance, your body will interfere with the stroke of the cue. Keep the left foot forward and your right foot back by about two feet, with the body slightly twisted at a comfortable angle.
- Take time to practice your form stance and stroke without the use of ball at first, so that you get to know as which position you are most comfortable in.