Who Are You? (An 8 Ball Affair)

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  • A common Latin American variant of "" is that each player is allowed either one (or even two) cue ball scratches when shooting for the 8, which be pocketed in the same pocket as the shooter's final object ball. Such fouls simply end the shooter's turn at the table and give the opponent ball-in-hand behind the head string; only the second (or third, respectively) such scratch is a loss of game (though scratching the 8 ball itself off the table or into the wrong pocket is an instant loss). This version is common even in US pool bars that are frequented by recent immigrants. This requirement has a profound effect upon game strategy – it is effectively 5 times harder to – and most North American (and British, etc.) players are completely unprepared for it, unless they are last-pocket players. Players must be very mindful what they do with their last few balls, and common failure to get that allows for the last object-ball shot to set the player up for an easy 8 ball shot into the same pocket leads to long games with many , and shots on the 8.

    The ed balls are often loose, crooked and/or not exactly on the (it is not considered to matter), and the itself may be made of rubber, and flexible, making a tight rack physically impossible to achieve. Other than the 8 ball, other balls may be placed far more randomly than players in other areas would tolerate, with large clusters of solids together, and stripes with each other.

  • If a scratch or other foul occurs while playing the 8 ball, as long as the opponent has at least one ball of his group present on the table and the 8 ball is not pocketed, the game continues. In both cases of this foul-on-the-8 situation, the opponent gets two chances (regardless of whether any balls are potted on the first chance) before the fouling player may shoot again. In these circumstances, treatment of the cue ball depends on the type of foul. If the cue ball had been scratched, the cue ball must be placed behind the break line.[] If it was some other foul which had occurred while playing the 8 ball, the cue ball is not moved. If the incoming opponent scratches,[] the player who originally fouled now receives two chances. When the 8 ball is the only ball on the table, any kind of foul ends the game, and the opponent of the fouling player wins.

    Once all of a player's or team's group of object balls are pocketed, they may attempt to sink the 8 ball. To win, the player (or team) must first designate which pocket they plan to sink the 8 ball into and then successfully pot the 8 ball in that called pocket. If the 8 ball falls into any pocket other than the one designated or is knocked off the table, or a foul (see below) occurs and the 8 ball is pocketed, this results in loss of game. Otherwise, the shooter's turn is simply over, including when a foul such as a scratch occurs on an attempt to pocket the 8 ball. In short, a World Standardized Rules game of eight-ball, like a game of nine-ball, is over until the "" is no longer on the table. This rule is unusual to some bar and league players, because in American, Canadian and many other varieties of , and in some leagues, such as , such a foul is a loss of game. This is not the case in World Standardized Rules, nor in some other leagues that use those rules or a variant of them, e.g. beginning with the 2008/2009 season, , and .

  • Most commonly of all in American , it is sometimes required that all shots be , as to what balls and bank/kick cushions will be involved in the shot, with the shot considered a turn-ending (but not ball-in-hand) foul if not executed precisely as planned (and a loss of game if the "foul" shot pocketed the 8 ball). Contrariwise, some Americans hold that nothing other than the 8 ball has to be called in any way – i.e., that "" counts.

8 Ball Pool’s level system means you’re always facing a challenge

In 1950, Brunswick Billiards hired Alabe Crafts to make some of its fortune telling balls look like pool balls as part of a promotional campaign. Alabe responded by encasing its fortune teller cylinders into an oversized 8 ball sphere and thus, the Magic 8 Ball was born.