The 7 essential rules of Blackball
1. The Break
Players must lag for the break using same size balls. Both players must lag at the same time. If a player hits a side cushion, crosses over to opponents half of the table or commits a foul then the player loses the lag. Closest to the bottom cushion wins. Winner has choice.
You can break from anywhere behind the baulk line. If the black is potted from the break it is deemed a re-rack with the same player to break again, no penalty.
Once the balls are broke, 2 balls must fully pass the middle pockets or a ball must be potted for a legal break. If they fail to do this the opponent is given 3 choices – 1: play from where the ball lie 2: have ball in hand 3: restart the frame and take the break with a free shot.
2. Deciding Groups
Groups are never decided from the break or from a free shot following a foul. They are decided by the first legal pot. If a player breaks and pots a ball the table is still open until they pot on their 2nd visit. All balls potted on the break are disregarded.
3. Cue Ball in Hand – unique rule to Golden 8 Ball
During a ‘ball in hand’ situation, visiting player can EITHER request a referee move the cue ball OR ask their opponent for permission to move the cue ball. Visiting player must make their intention clear to their opponent, so there is no confusion. Failing to ask or get permission to move the cue ball will result in a foul (not loss of frame). If in doubt of the situation, always ask a referee.
4. Frozen Ball
When a ball is touching a cushion this is deemed a frozen ball. It is up to either the player, opponent or referee to point out if the ball is frozen or not. If the ball is frozen the player must still hit a cushion after contact with another ball.
5. Legal Shot
On all shots players must a) cause the cue balls initial contact with a ball to be a ball on, and then pot a ball on. Or b) cause the cue ball, or any ball to strike a cushion following a legal shot.
6. Total Snooker
If you cannot see either side of any of your balls then you must call a total snooker. When you call a total snooker you don’t need to strike a cushion to perform a legal shot. If you fail to call a total snooker and don’t hit a cushion after striking your ball it is deemed as a foul stroke.
If there is a gap, you must play the shot. However, if you believe the only shot is a foul, then a senior referee must be called. Referee decision is final.
7. Skill Shot
If a player pots their ball and then an opponent’s ball, it is deemed as a legal shot as long as they strike their own ball first (except following a foul).
A player can pot their remaining ball and the black in a skill shot to win the game as long as they strike their own ball first (except following a foul).