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How to Play 8 Ball

8-ball is a popular pool game played with a cue ball and 15 object balls numbered 1 through 15. Here are the basic rules for playing 8-ball:

  1. Rack the balls: Place all 15 object balls into the triangular rack, with the 8-ball in the center of the third row. Place the rack at the foot spot on the table, and ensure the balls are tightly packed.

  2. Break: The player who wins the lag (a technique for determining who breaks first) breaks the rack by hitting the cue ball from behind the head string and making contact with the object balls. If a ball is pocketed on the break, the player continues to shoot, otherwise, the turn passes to the other player.

  3. Choose a group: After the break, if any balls are pocketed, the player who made a ball gets to choose their group (either solids or stripes) and continues to shoot.

  4. Pocket all of your group's balls: The objective of the game is to pocket all of the balls in your group, then pocket the 8-ball. Players must always first contact one of their own balls with the cue ball, and then pocket any ball on the table. If a player makes a ball from the other group, the turn ends, and their opponent gets the ball in hand.

  5. The 8-ball: Once all of the balls in a player's group are pocketed, they can then attempt to pocket the 8-ball to win the game. However, the 8-ball cannot be pocketed until all of the player's own balls have been pocketed. If a player pockets the 8-ball before their group is cleared, they lose the game.

  6. Fouls: If a player commits a foul, the opponent gets ball in hand, meaning they can place the cue ball anywhere on the table before shooting. Examples of fouls include scratching (pocketing the cue ball), hitting the wrong group of balls, or failing to make contact with any ball.

  7. Alternate turns: Players take turns shooting until one player wins the game by pocketing the 8-ball after clearing their own group of balls.

These are the basic rules of 8-ball, but there are also many variations of the game played around the world.

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