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In an ideal world, the black ball would be the last ball that you pocket when you are playing pool. As you may well know, there are several fouls in pool that can influence the number of shots you can take when it is your go. Here, we want to definitely answer the question on the number of shots you can have on the black ball in pool.
So, can you have 2 shots on the black ball in pool? Well, a lot of this will be dependent on the type of pool that is being played. If you are playing 9-ball pool, then you will never be allowed two shots on the black ball. If you are playing by WPA rules (i.e. the main competitive rules for 15-ball pool, sometimes known as blackball pool) then you may be allowed two shots if the opposing player has committed a foul.
Our experts want to go over these rules in a little more depth for you. That way, you will know everything you need to know about fouls from your opponent and how they will influence the number of shots that you can have on the black ball.
Can You Have 2 Shots on the Black Ball in Pool?
Whether you are entitled to 2 shots on the black ball will be dependent on the type of pool that you are playing.
Since there is no ‘two-shot’ rule in 9-ball pool, there will never be two shots on the black.
If your opponent fouls, you are allowed to pick up the cue ball and place it anywhere you wish on the table. However, this will only entitle you to one shot.
There is one exception to this rule, however. If there is no clear shot of the black, perhaps because the cue ball has been pushed up against the rail, you are allowed to state that this is a push out shot. In this situation, you do not have to hit the black ball. Your opponent may allow you to take a second shot, but this is going to be incredibly rare in 9-ball pool. They will only ever grant you a second shot with the other balls on the table.
It doesn’t matter which variant of the rules you are playing, the rules will remain the same. If the opposing player commits a foul and you are on the black ball, you are allowed two shots on it. Of course, the variant of pool that you are playing will dictate what is classed as a foul or not. In many cases, it will be one of the following:
- Failing to hit a rail with at least one ball. Pocketing a ball negates the need to hit a rail.
- Missing the balls
- Hitting one of your opponent’s balls before you hit your own.
If your opponent commits a foul in blackball pool, then you will be given 2 shots. These shots are allowed to ‘carry over’. So, for example, if you have one ball left on the table and you pocket this using your first ‘free shot’, then you will have 2 shots on the black.
It is important to remember that on your first shot, you must still hit a legal ball on the table. If you fail to make a shot on that first shot, then you will not have the second shot. The play will pass back over to your opponent, who will now have 2 shots.
In short; in nearly all cases, you will have 2 shots on the black ball in pool whenever your opponent commits a foul.
We do want to point out that the rules for both of these variants of pool can change dependent on where you are playing. It seems as if rules can vary from pool hall to pool hall. Honestly, outside of competitive pool, there are no real ‘fixed’ rules for the game, outside a couple of things. Always ask your opponent so you both know what to expect from the game.
What Happens to the Cue Ball if your Opponent Commits a Foul and You Are on The Black Ball?
The same rules as normal apply.
If you are playing blackball pool, you will likely have two options available to you:
- You can play the cue ball from where it currently sits on the table.
- You can position the cue ball however you like behind the baulk (the line that you break from)
In some variants of pool, you will be allowed to position the cue ball wherever you like on the table. However, this is incredibly rare when you are playing most competitive versions of the game. If you are unsure, then feel free to ask your opponent.
What Happens if You Pot the Black Ball Accidentally?
If you pocket the black ball accidentally, that is an instant win to your opponent. Simple as that. It doesn’t matter when the black ball goes in the pocket. If the black ball is not the next ball that needs to be pocketed, then it is game over.
Of course, there is nothing to stop you from setting up a ‘chain reaction’ shot. For example; if you are playing 9-ball pool and you are on ball 8, you can pocket both the 8 and the 9 ball in the same shot, assuming the number 8 ball goes in first. If the 9 ball (i.e. the black ball) goes in the pocket first, then you will have lost the game. Therefore, it is important that you set your shot up properly.
What happens if the black ball is potted during the break in a 15-ball pool game?
This is an automatic loss. There will be no exception for the black ball being potted during the break, even if the player’s colors have yet to be selected.
Where can a player position the cue ball in the event of their opponent committing a foul?
In most pool variations, the cue ball can be placed anywhere on the table. However, in a competitive pool game, the rules state that the ball must be placed anywhere behind the baulk. This is the lower line from where the break is made.