Eight-ball is a cue sport, which is one of the most popular variants of pool. Like many other cue sports, eight-ball requires a table with pockets, cue sticks, a cue ball, and other colored balls. The game uses 15 colored, balls each carrying a number from 1 through 15, of which, seven balls have striped colors, seven balls have solid colors, and one solid black colored ball carrying a number 8.
At the start of the game, balls are racked at one end of the table, with the black ball in the middle and other balls randomly placed in the rack. One player breaks the rack to begin the game. A player who pockets either a stripped or a solid ball first, has to continue with the same type, and the other player gets to pocket the other type of balls. Players continue to strike as long as they keep pocketing and alternate turns on a miss.
The objective of the game is to legally pocket all the balls of one type and finally pocket the black eight ball. The player is required to call which of the six pockets they intend to pocket the eight-ball at. The player who pockets all the balls and the eight-ball legally is declared as the winner. A player is also declared as the winner if an opposing player, pockets the eight-ball out of turn, or pockets the cue ball.
Eight-ball is extremely popular in the United States, where several international professional tournaments are conducted annually.
- Pocket Billiards — also known as Pool, it is the name for a range of cue sports played on a table with six pockets along the rails, into which the main aim is to hit balls into the pockets.
- Nine-Ball — a version of Pocket Billiards played with nine balls, numbered 1 through 9. A player who legally pockets the nine-ball is the winner. Most professional tournaments are conducted for the nine-ball format of pool.
- Snooker — played on a table with six pockets. It is played using a cue and 22 snooker balls: one white cue ball, 15 red balls and six balls of different colors. Points are awarded for using the cue ball to pot the red and colored balls.
- See Cue Sports (Billiards)