You are here:

Pool/Billiards/last pocket 8 ball rule


hello ive been having a dilemma with a friend of mine about about the rules of this game ive played this kind of billiards for years and i still am running into people that wont give me the benefit on the rules. now my question is in a three way combination shot ... and you hit your intended object ball into the 8 or an opponents ball into the ball im trying to pocket if thats a leagle shot because ive always thought the 8 was a neutral ball on the table and is it or not? i know i cant hit it before my object ball has to be hit first but can it be used in the middle of tow of my object ball to make a combination shot? also can an opponents ball be used in the same fashion as long as im hitting my object ball first and call the shot? if you could please answer this question for me that would be great thank you. Patrick Kurkowski

Hi Patrick

You're right and your friend's wrong, at least from the perspective of all authoritative eight ball rulesets. So long as you contact any one of your object balls first and your called ball goes into your called pocket it makes no difference how it reaches that pocket. Answering both your questions in one, you can make a quadruple combination: Your stripe into his solid into the eight ball into another solid into your stripe to the pocket = legal shot. Note also that under authoritative rules you need not call anything but the ball and the pocket--on the quadruple I just mentioned, you do not need to say "quadruple, combination, the eleven into the three into the eight..." none of that, just the ball and the pocket.

There is one qualification though. Last pocket is an eight ball variant, and may have set house rules in some venue that vary from the authoritative rules. This happens often with eight ball in general. You go to some informal place where they play a set way, and they don't care about (or know) the official (more logical) rules. When you're in such venues you better agree before starting what rules your playing.

Best of luck,

Pool Teacher


All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts




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.


©2017 All rights reserved.