Playing pool today and my opponent purposely hit the black out of the way of the pocket instead of hitting his own ball.

How are you meant to proceed in this scenario, does the ball go in hand or are you meant to play one shot from were the ball lies?

  • 1
    The black is just a ball like any other in nine-ball, so this is either an eight-ball or a Blackball question, and the answer is close enough for both that it doesn't matter.
    – Nij
    Commented Jan 16, 2019 at 23:24

1 Answer 1



It depends on the ruleset being used. The English Pool Association says it is a Loss Of Frame foul:

Loss of Frame Fouls


  1. Any deliberate attempt to prevent the opponent from potting the Eight Ball, when the opponent is on the Eight Ball, by way of a Serious Foul or other unsporting manoeuvre.

However, the World Pool Billiards Association says it may only be a Standard Foul, which is penalised by the opponent receiving ball in hand anywhere on the table.

3.9 Standard Fouls

If the shooter commits a foul, play passes to his opponent. The cue ball is in hand, and the incoming player may place it anywhere on the playing surface. (See 1.5 Cue Ball in Hand.)

The following are standard fouls at eight ball:


6.2 Wrong Ball First The first ball contacted by the cue ball on each shot must belong to the shooter’s group, except when the table is open.


This is a Loss Of Rack foul. The World Pool Billiards Association says

5.14 Loss of Rack Fouls

The player loses the rack if he:


(c) intentionally violates 6.2 Wrong Ball First; or

(d) does not attempt to hit a ball on.

Again however, you may be playing to other rulesets, and this should be clarified in them.

  • I do want to point out that intentionally committing a foul can be beneficial in pool. It can save you from losing a game, or help you win.
    – Keltari
    Commented Oct 19, 2019 at 0:04
  • I'm very much a fan of the tactical foul myself, aside from the game benefits, it also has the tendency to put the opponent on tilt to some extent, occasionally extending the advantage to subsequent shots.
    – Nij
    Commented Oct 19, 2019 at 0:47

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