The Basic Rules For Playing Billiards

Billiards is a very popular game that is played all around the world. It is commonly referred to as pool in most countries and even by professionals who play the game as a competitive sport. There are dozens of different varieties and hundreds of rule variations depending on where the game is played and what rule sets are being used. The most common variation is eight ball. This game is played in basements near home bars as well as in public billiard halls. The core rules are relatively simple although individual players sometimes change individual details.

Starting Play
The game is played with 15 balls and a single cue ball that is while. The 14 colored balls are designated with a number and either a stripe or a solid color. Each player or team chooses solids or stripes. The black ball is called the eight ball. The game starts when all 15 balls are placed into the triangular frame called the rack. The tip of the rack is placed over a small marker on the table called the foot spot. The rack is removed and the player who will go first prepares to break the triangular formation of 15 balls.
The break occurs when the first player uses the pool cue to shoot the white cue ball at the colored balls. There are different rules about what constitutes a valid break. In general, the cue ball must hit the triangular formation of balls knocking at least a few of them against the edges of the table. The eight ball must not go into a pocket during the break. If the initial break is considered foul or not valid, then the opposing player can request a new break after racking the balls again. Regular game play begins once the break is completed.
Regular Play
The game progresses in turns. Players use the pool cue to hit the white ball into the other balls on the table. The goal is to get the balls into the six pockets along the edges of the table. The player who chose striped balls can only sink striped balls. The same is true for the player who chose the solid balls. Players are allowed to continue shooting as long as a ball is knocked into a pocket after every shot. The turn ends when the player misses a shot or when the cue ball, eight ball or a ball belonging to the other player goes into a pocket.
The first player who is able to get all seven appropriately colored balls into the pockets must then also sink the eight ball. The first player to sink all eight balls wins. Sinking the eight ball before the other seven balls have been removed from the table triggers an instant loss according to most rules. Some rules require that the player attempting to sink the eight ball must call out which pocket the ball will enter. If the eight ball enters a different pocket, then the player actually loses the game. If the eight ball just misses the pocket, then the game continues as normal. The rules that are used for wining when playing in home bars are usually much more lax.
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