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8-Ball Rules And Strategy

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The Most Popular Game
Black ball with the number 8 on it, shot on green pool table. Studio shot, close up, horizontal frame.
Maria Toutoudaki / Photodisc / Getty Images
8-Ball pool (also called "Hi-Low Pool" or "Stripes and Solids") is the most popular pool game, chief pursuit of 30 million American players and millions more in Europe and Asia (where red and yellow colored balls often replace stripes and solids).

8-Ball is arguably the single most played table game in the world. 8-Ball leagues nationwide host millions of players, and giant open tournaments take on thousands or tens of thousands of entrants for a single event.

The rules are simple, the game colorful. Bust the rack apart with a powerful open break unless you want to break safely instead, choose solids or stripes and fire away, pocketing the 8-ball last for the win.

The outer simplicity of 8-Ball, however, belies its sublime strategy. Top 8-Ball demands more creative thinking than a rotation game such as 9-Ball, plus cleverer shot sequencing with precise control of the cue ball, too. You have up to seven enemy balls blocking your paths once you choose hi- or low-balls.

Next, we'll look at combining 8-Ball rules with correct breaking and superior billiards strategy that you can master in minutes. Go get 'em!

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