Pool/Billiards/straight 8 rules


if a rail shot is called such as a bank shot and the  object ball hits the rail inside the last diamond after coming off the first rail is that considered two rails   thank you    john

Hi John.

There is no such game as "straight eight". There is eight ball, played by authoritative rules, and the chaos of anecdotal, illogical rules that vary between informal venues, such as bars, with little consistency. You haven't told me why you might be asking this question but I am going to guess, maybe, that it is because you are playing the rules seen in some bars that you must call every aspect of a shot. Please understand that this is a poor rule, only played by amateurs and, though it has a surface appearance of requiring rigor, it actually strongly favors unskilled play.

In authoritative and/or professional rule sets you are only required to call the intended ball in the intended pocket. This means that you do not need to call anything about how the shot will unfold--not combinations, kisses, rails being struck, whether the ball will go in "clean"; if the intended ball is pocketed in the intended pocket in a legal manner it is irrelevant how that occurs.

Anyway, no, if the ball catches the rail before going into the pocket that would never be referred to as getting a second rail. The back of the pocket and the jaws are actually considered rails, so if someone wants to play by such massively hypertechnical rules, the only way a ball could go in without getting a "second" rail is if its dribbled in so it falls without touching either jaw or the back of the pocket. Please don't play this nonsense.

I invite you to read the BCAPL (Official Rules of the Billiard Congress of America Pool League), the best most logical and nuanced ruleset there is: http://www.playbca.com/downloads/rulebook/completerulebook.aspx

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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