How to play English Eight-Ball or Blackball?


What is Blackball?

Also called English Eight-Ball or English pool.

It is a game similar to 8-ball, as usual for two players that is played on a table with seven red balls, seven yellow balls and one black ball (the 8-ball).

What is the objective of the game?

Like snooker, a cue is used, however, a Snooker cue is used.

Recall that a Snooker cue is designed shorter than a pool cue, has a size of 57 to 58 inches or 140 to 150 cm and has removable extensions to make the cue 6 inches or 15 cm longer.

The cue ball is also used to hit the triangle of balls at the start.

The cue ball must then contact a red or yellow ball and hit that ball directly or indirectly (a kick shot or bank shot) into one of the six pockets on the table.

The first player to sink all of his balls (red or yellow) into the pockets must pocket the black 8-ball to win the game.


Players alternate turns.

If during a player’s turn, he pockets one of his balls without committing a foul, he continues playing.

If the player does not pocket one of his balls, pockets one of his opponent’s balls by accident or commits a foul, it becomes the opposing player’s turn.

If at any time a player accidentally pockets the cue ball, it becomes the other player’s turn and by rule he has two shots.

Start of the game

The game starts with all the balls (except the cue ball) placed in the shape of a triangle, at the point the 8-ball is placed.

The player who is going to “break”, will make the break, place the cue ball anywhere in the kitchen area.

If during the break, the player pockets a ball, he must continue to pocket that set of balls for the rest of the game (yellow or red).

Blackball or English Eight-Ball

Open table and choice of ball groups

The table is said to be “open” when the players’ ball groups have not been decided.

The table is open after the break and remains open until the shooter pockets balls from a single group on a normal legal shot.

This means that it is neither an opening shot nor a free shot.

The shooter is then assigned that group of balls to pocket and the opponent is assigned the other group.

Call “Snooker”

A player is said to be in snooker when the cue ball does not have a straight and direct trajectory to hit at least part of a legal cue ball.

Snooker must be declared by the referee to take effect or in a normal game with your opponent.

Fouls in Blackball

Blackball Rules


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