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Pool/Billiards/8 Ball no contact rule


If a player fails to make contact with the 8 Ball on his final shot of the game
does that result in a lose or is it considered a foul and the ball in hand rule applies
I've always played this as a loss but was told this weekend that its ball in hand


Hi Bruce,

No, missing the 8 ball is not a loss, it simply gives the opponent ball in hand.

There have been so many variations to the rules of 8 ball over the years; you'll find it played according to "house rules" which can differ considerably. But in all sets of official rules that govern league, tournament, and professional play missing the 8 ball is just ball in hand.

Play well and enjoy,



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Bill Newsted


I can answer questions related to shot-making, aiming, position play, strategies, practice, mental preparation and the psychology of the game. Also, rules as they vary from venue to venue and how to become a winning player. I have experience recovering and maintaining tables and will also answer questions related to cues and billiard equipment. However, I prefer not to make brand recommendations. I do not offer information identifying old tables and equipment or estimating their values.


I have played over forty years in every state in the US (except Alaska). My experience is largely in pool rooms but I have also played extensively on bar tables and in league organizations. I have directed numerous tournaments up to the professional level and have played several world champion players. I am a former Billiard Congress of America instructor.


B.S. in Visual Communication M.A. in Education: Career and Technology Education

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