upon break where no balls are pocketed is it legal for the next player to make a combo shot involving a stripe and a solid (PLAYING CALLED SHOT BILLARD)PLAYER 2 WAS GOING FOR STRIPE.CUE BALL HIT SOLID SOLID COME IN CONTACT WITH STRIPE AND IS POCKETED. IS THAT LEGAL

Hi Sam,

In a word, yes.

In most sets of rules this also applies if balls were pocketed on the break. For example in BCA, WPA, TAP making a ball on the break does not decide the players suit, it only gives the breaker the chance to shoot again. So you could break and make 4 solids; the table is still open and you can choose to shoot the stripes instead. Also, if you fail to make a shot after the break the incoming player still has their choice even though 4 solids are already down. The only exception I can think of is APA rules where if you made a ball or balls from only one suit that would decide, i.e., if you pocket only solid balls on the break, you have solids (APA only).

But in all sets of rules that come to mind all balls, except the 8 ball, are neutral when the table is "open". Until a ball has been legally pocketed that establishes the suits you can play any combination of balls to pocket a called ball. Also, although the 8 ball is not neutral, and cannot be struck first, it can be the middle ball in a three ball combination. So when the table is open you could call the 7 in the corner and make it by shooting the 12 into the 8 into the 7. If it goes, it's good and you have solids.

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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