Poolhead 8-ball: A game where your most ridiculous rules are combined

Poolhead 8-ball: A game where your most ridiculous rules are combined

– Follow up on 8 Eight ball ‘pool tourist’ rules

Two weeks ago I’ve shared an article about ridiculous 8-ball rules from pool tourists who sometimes play a game of pool in a pub and don’t know anything about the official rules. I’ve received a lot of comments from readers about the most crazy rules they’ve heard and I decided to collect them to create a new game: Poolhead 8-ball.

Poolhead 8-ball is a no-safe, and call-everything game. When you play an intentional safety, your opponent gets a ball in hand, also if it was a two-way shot. Any doubtful situations about this will result in a foul as well. All ball in hands should be played from the kitchen. Just like in normal 8-ball you’re not allowed to shoot any ball behind the head string. The cue ball has to stay exactly where you’ve placed it, when you have a ball in hand, when it has touched the table. You can’t change your mind.

Call everything

In Poolhead 8-ball you have to call every movement on the table. Like in any other call shot game you should indicate the intended ball and pocket. Next to that, you’re obliged to call what rail(s) the cue ball will hit, what other balls are going to move in which order and which rail(s) they’re going to hit. Any deviation from your plan will results in a loss of turn, because you just should know what’s going to happen, you know.

All shots has to go clean. When the object ball hits any other ball it’s a loss of turn. It’s allowed to move and pot other balls as long as it’s not via the object ball that you’re trying to make. If you make the opponent’s ball while pocketing yours as well, it’s a loss of turn, even though you’ve hit your ball first. However, if your ball falls into the pocket before your opponent’s ball does, then it’s a legal shot and you’re allowed to continue your run. Obviously, you should call this before taking the shot.

The break

There are also a few rules that differ from normal 8-ball regarding the break. The 8-ball need to spin in the middle of the rack when you break. You should break from the side, just like in the World Pool Series. When you scratch on the break you lose the rack. When you pocket the 8-ball on the break and no other balls go in, it’s a loss of turn and the 8-ball is spotted. If you make the 8-ball on the break and another ball is pocketed, you lose the game. You are what you make on the break. If you make as much solids as stripes on the break, you’re the one that went in first, obviously.

On the 8-ball

Poolhead 8-ball wouldn’t be Poolhead 8-ball if there weren’t any additional rules for pocketing the 8-ball. Calling the 8 is done by patching the pocket. It has to be banked in the same pocket where you made your last shot. It doesn’t matter how many rails you use. Every rail has to be called, though. From the first turn where the 8 is the only ball left on the table, both players only get one shot. When both players fail to make the 8 in their first turn, a re-rack is played. A foul on the 8-ball results in a loss of game.


When you shoot the wrong category balls, you can continue if your opponent doesn’t say anything. Poolhead is a no-safe game, but sometimes you end up in one of those unlucky situations in which you snooker yourself. In this case it’s not foul if you don’t make contact with your ball as long as the cue ball hits 3 rails. You can miss it by a hand’s distance. Don’t forget to call it. If you miss the intended ball by more than a hand’s distance, it’s not a legal attempt and results in a foul.

When the cue ball is frozen to the rail you can use the butt end of your cue to space it away from the rail. It’s just too hard when it’s frozen to the rail! When the cue ball is frozen to another ball, it doesn’t matter how you shoot it, it will be a foul anyhow. It’s being judged as an automatic double hit.

Good luck!

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About Pepijn de Wit

I’m an adventurous 30-year-old from the Netherlands. I started playing pool as a nine-year-old standing on an empty Coca-Cola crate to be able to reach the cue ball and grew out to a hobbyist with 15 national titles on his name. Now, I consider myself a one pocket enthusiast and push for one pocket to electrify the Netherlands and Europe. I therefore started the One Pocket Series, a national tour to promote the game. Next to that, I've studied cultural anthropology, I currently work at a casino, and truly love the outdoors. My ambitions are big, my dreams even bigger.