I searched a lot about last ball fouls, but I couldnt conclude any answers. I got two scenarios:

  1. If only black ball remains and Player A fouls, what does Player B do?
    1. Can player B do free-shot? I mean, place the ball anywhere on the table?
    2. Must player B place the ball anywhere before the starting line? And can he shoot the black ball directly? What if the black ball is also in the starting line area? Must he shoot to the other lane before touching black ball?
  2. What if Player A has some balls and Player B doesnt, and its Player A's turn. For the scenarios in the 1. item, he can gain advantage by fouling?

1 Answer 1


This is according to US 8-Ball Rules.

If the black ball is the only ball remaining, there are only 3 basic types of foul that can be committed:

1) Complete miss (scratch)

2) Remove the ball from the table

3) Other foul, such as touching the cue ball.

7.1 of the referenced document states that:

If the 8-ball was pocketed the result shall be a loss of game (see 4.2, Game Loss).

otherwise the ball is in hand.

7.2 (scratching) states:

Pocketing the cue ball or driving it off the table is a ball in hand foul. If a scratch occurs while shooting the 8-ball, but the 8-ball was not pocketed or removed from the table, the game continues with ball in hand to the opponent (scratching on the 8-ball is not a loss of game as long as the 8-ball is still in play).

and 7.5 states:

If a player removes the 8-ball from the pool table, it results in a loss of game (see 4.2, Game Loss).

So if the foul involves the black ball leaving the playing area of the table, it results in losing the game, otherwise it is ball in hand.

Part 2 doesn't appear to make sense - if the black ball is the only ball remaining, how does Player A have balls left?

  • so in foul scenarios, its stated that it would result in ball-in-hand. thanks for the answer. for part 2, i meant that player A has some balls and if fouling would not cause ball-in-hand, he can gain advantage by fouling because, if player B has to shoot from behind of the starting line, he might foul or even lose depending on how far/hard is the position? Commented Jan 4, 2018 at 8:51
  • for part 2, what would it be then if player A fouls either intentionally or mistakenly? lets say pocketed the cue ball? Commented Jan 4, 2018 at 8:52
  • intentional fouls usually forfeit the game immediately, and to gain an advantage from unintentional fouls is impossible - a ball in hand means the opponent can place the cue ball wherever they want.
    – JMP
    Commented Jan 4, 2018 at 8:57

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