In 8-Ball Pool, when you are on the black ball, if you foul (eg. don't hit the black ball), the other player doesn't get 2 shots because they are on the black ball.

What stops both the players from just tapping the ball every time? They are not at a loss if they do, because the other player only gets 1 shot.

2 Answers 2


By Pool, I take you are referring to a game of 8-ball (there are many variations of billiards games). As for your question, there are a few different ways that a player can foul on the eight ball. When fouling, the advantage is that the next player has ball in hand, allowing them to place the cue ball into a favorable position. So I would gladly have the player just tap the eight ball, as it increases the likelihood of leaving the cue ball in a favorable position for me to win the game.

Take a look at the rules for 8-ball to get some of the other specifics regarding fouls, etc. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eight-ball

  • Yes, I mean the 8 ball game. But, when you are on the black ball, I thought the rule was that there is no such thing as a foul - you can do anything and the other player won't get 2 shots. Is that wrong? Jul 25, 2014 at 14:47
  • @ṧнʊß What I've heard is if a player is on the 8-ball (the black ball) and they scratch (foul), then they automatically lose. Also, I've never heard of a player being allowed a second shot if they didn't sink a ball on the first shot. Jul 25, 2014 at 19:40
  • I agree, those seem like different rules then I have ever played with as well (I've always played that scratching on the 8 ball is an automatic loss as well). Perhaps it was some rule variation, or some home rules, that you played as you can most certainly foul with only the 8-ball left. Take a look at the wiki entry I provided, and then search from there for 'official' rules if you want the full scoop. Jul 25, 2014 at 20:41

BCA standard (and European Standard) rules for 8 ball pool state that

  • After hitting any ball, the cue ball or the object ball or another ball contacted after contacting the right ball (something has to) has to touch a cushion/rail.
  • In case the rule above was violated, it results in a foul and the opponent is awarded a Ball in Hand

    In case the 8 ball is stuck on a cushion/rail, after contacting the ball, something has to touch a DIFFERENT cushion/rail. It cannot be considered legal that you tap a frozen ball without contacting an entirely different rail/cushion.

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