In 8 ball, if neither group has been claimed yet and a player makes a shot, pockets a solid ball, then pockets the cue ball all on the same turn (in that order), is that player solids or do both groups remain unclaimed?

I originally also asked for citations from reputable sources (wpa, etc.), but that was edited out for some reason. I'm still looking for links to official rules regarding this.

2 Answers 2


The World Pool-Billiard Association has the following rules:

3.4 Open Table / Choosing Groups:

Before groups are determined, the table is said to be “open,” and before each shot, the shooter must call his intended ball. If the shooter legally pockets his called ball, the corresponding group becomes his, and his opponent is assigned the other group. If he fails to legally pocket his called ball, the table remains open and play passes to the other player. When the table is “open”, any object ball may be struck first except the eight ball.

A "legal" shot is defined in Rule 8.2, Shot:

A shot begins when the tip contacts the cue ball due to a forward stroke motion of the cue stick. A shot ends when all balls in play have stopped moving and spinning. A shot is said to be legal if the shooter did not foul during the shot.

And, of course, pocketing the Cue Ball is a foul, under Rule 6.1, Cue Ball Scratch or off the Table:

If the cue ball is pocketed or driven off the table, the shot is a foul. See 8.3 Ball Pocketed and 8.5 Driven off the Table.

So, in the situation you've described, the shooter fouled since they pocketed the cue ball (Rule 6.1). Therefore the shot was not legal (Rule 8.2), therefore the table is still open since the shooter "[failed] to legally pocket his called ball" (Rule 3.4).


It depends what you mean by the same turn - do you mean a single shot, or a visit to the table (i.e. one or more consecutive shots)?

If you mean all in the same shot then it is a foul; both groups are unclaimed. The order the balls go in the pockets makes no difference at all, we only care about the state of play when the balls stop moving.

If you mean in the same visit, with shot 1 being the legal pot of the solid ball, and shot 2 being the cue ball going in, then that player would have the solid group and would end his visit with the foul shot.

  • I mean in the same shot. Could you link to wpa or bca (or any other official pool organizations) documentation saying that the order balls enter the pocket doesn't matter? I'm having a hard time finding anything
    – Kdgsyxodbx
    Nov 12, 2016 at 18:28

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