Pool/Billiards/8 ball shooting


if you're on the eight ball are you allowed to call it kissing off an opponents ball before pocketing the eight ball or does the eight have to be a solitare shot straight into a called pocket touching no other balls on the table even if called first and secondly are you allowed to use opponents balls or eight in combos and what happens if you sink the eight in the called pocket as well as sinking an opponents ball as well. these have been the arguments of my friends and I for a long while and apa rules are  very blunt and lack a lot of detail.  thank you for you're time

Hi Brandon.

I am answering these questions from the perspective of the BCAPL and World Rules. The APA are basically these rules, with some variations but dumbed down, with nuance taken out. The BCAPL are the best and must nuanced set out there so I invite you to read them: http://www.playbca.com/Downloads/Rulebook/CompleteRulebook.aspx

First question: Like every other shot in the game in all authoritative rules, you need call nothing about rails, kisses cushions, kicks, caroms, etc., just the ball and the pocket, nothing else and if you make it you win--the "clean" rule (and calling every nuance of a shot) is bar rule nonsense that while it has a surface appearance of making the game more rigorous, actually very strongly favors less skilled play. Here you would call the eight ball and the pocket, that's all, then kiss it off the other ball, or not, and win. If you tell the person you will kiss it off the other ball you are providing irrelevant information.

Second question: Yes, you may use the eight ball and opponent's balls in combinations but note that you must contact your object ball first on every shot . This means that during regular play, if you were solids, you can shoot a solid into the eight ball, into a stripe, to then strike a solid (that you've nominated) into a pocket (that you've nominated). If successful, your inning continues. Of course, if your cue ball strikes either a stripe or the eight ball first on the shot it would be an immediate foul and ball-in-hand for the opponent.

Third question:  Incidental balls made on an otherwise legal shot are ignored (and stay down). This is true throughout the game, including on the eight ball. So, if you call a ball and a pocket, strike one of your balls first with no foul committed, and sink the ball in the pocket you've indicated, and any number of your opponent's balls are also pocketed, you ignore them and it's still your turn. If you sink the eight ball in a called pocket and an opponent's ball also goes in, you win.

Best of luck,

Pool Teacher


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I have wide ranging knowledge of all the cue sports, with the exception of snooker. I can answer most questions related to playing any of the standard games such as straight pool (14.1 continuous) eight-ball, nine-ball, one-pocket and 3-cushion billiards and the variations on these games. Questions welcomed regarding technique, strategy and rules, history of the sport, trick shots, the mental game, practice, practice drills, pool/billiards publications, and so on. I DO NOT DO CUE OR TABLE APPRAISALS OR IDENTIFICATION. See below.


I have been a dedicated player of pool and 3-cushion Billiards for many years. I have given lessons professionally and have run and participated in too many tournaments to name, including professional events such as the U.S. Open. I am also a cue collector and student of all aspects of the game. Note: I was starting to get far too many questions about pool cue (and pool table) valuation and identification and will no longer take these questions, sorry. I am a player and historian of the sport and the heart of my expertise is not product comparison or appraisal.


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