8-Ball pool is a game of mental and physical agility, requiring both patience and concentration. It is played indoors using a table, balls, rack and cue stick. Generally, it can be played with two or more people. However, the preferred game involves two teams, each having two or four players. The most important thing to remember is that if you pot the 8th ball, which is black, you lose the game. The following points will give you the basic guideline for the rules and strategy of playing 8 ball pool.
1) A coin should be tossed in order to find out which team breaks the set of balls.
2) Rack the balls on the table.
3) The first ball to be potted will be the deciding factor of which team plays stripes and which team plays spots. Sometimes the teams agree this before the game starts and so know if their team will aim for the stripes or the alternative.
4) Choose your cue stick. Test it by ''sighting it'' or looking down the length of the pool stick to see if it has any bumps and is straight. Hit a ball with your cue stick to see that it is comfortable, solid and hits straight. It is important to use the correct cue stick for your body and so you need to know that it is the right length.
5) Hold the end of the cue stick in your right hand and stand close to the table. Place the white cue ball on the table and aim to pot a ball with the aid of this white cue ball. Make sure that your left foot is a couple of feet in front of your right foot.
6) Place your left hand, palm down and flat on the table. This hand should be between five and ten inches from the cue ball. The shaft of the cue stick should rest between your thumb and the creases on the finger next to it. Raise your thumb a fraction. Then slide the stick back and forwards in this gap. This should feel smooth and comfortable.
7) Imitate the shot, without actually touching anything, to make sure that you are course to pot your ball. Then hit the cue ball in the centre, so that the ball will drop in to the hole.
These are the basic rules and strategy in playing a game of pool. There are many more creative strategies to use, when you have gained some experience. I fully recommend that you take this game up, because it really is a lot of fun and can be challenging.