Hi Bill, Quick question really. I was playing pool with a few mates the other night and we started a game and I broke, I ended sinking the black ball off the break despite it being placed in the middle of the triangle. II thought that was an instant win however my mates thought it was an instant loss. Can you answer whether sinking the black off a break is a win or a loss.
I assume you are playing Black Ball, but the rules are very similar in Black Ball and Eight Ball and on this topic they agree.
It is neither a win or a loss. Following is from the World Pool-Billiard Association rules of each game.
5.5 Break Shot
The following rules apply to the break shot.
(a) The cue ball begins in hand in baulk.
(b) At least one ball must be pocketed or at least two object balls must cross the center string or the break shot is a foul.
(c) If the black ball is pocketed on the break, all the balls are re-racked and the same player breaks again. Any violation of 6.1 Cue Ball Scratch or off the Table or 6.5 Ball Driven off the Table is ignored on a break that pockets the black ball.
3.3 Break Shot (e) & (f)
(e) Pocketing the eight ball on a legal break shot is not a foul. If the eight ball is pocketed, the breaker has the option of
(1) re-spotting the eight ball and accepting the balls in position, or
(f) If the breaker pockets the eight ball and scratches (see definition 8.6 Scratch), the opponent has the option of
(1) re-spotting the eight ball and shooting with cue ball in hand behind the head string; or
So, in either game, making the Black (8) is neither a win or a loss. It makes sense if you think about it this way; it's a game of skill not a game of luck. Making the Black (8) on the break is certainly more luck than skill so, officially, it isn't allowed to affect the outcome of a competition between skilled players.
Cheers to you too,