US Bar Rules

The US Bar rules are those most often observed by someone at Celeris, Inc. (the developer of Virtual Pool). You may not play by these exact rules at your bar, but this was the best we could do. These rules were only supplied because lots of people don't know the real rules. If you want to play by a better rule set, use the World rules.

The object of Eight Ball is to pocket all seven stripes or all seven solids then pocket the eight ball. The table is said to be open at the start of the game and there is no ownership of ball. The first player to legally pocket a stripes or solids is assigned ownership of those balls. After ownership is assigned, you must pocket all your balls before shooting the eight ball.


Fifteen balls in a triangle with the 8-ball in the middle.


No requirement. Making the 8-ball on the break wins the game unless the shooter scratches in which case the game is lost.


On the break, if the shooter pockets only one ball type (stripes or solids), the shooter is assigned ownership of those balls. Otherwise the table is ‘‘open’‘ and the shooter can choose shoot at either ball type. Upon pocketing just one ball type ownership is assigned.

Valid Shot

If the table is open, the shooter may pocket any ball except the 8-ball. If ownership has been assigned, the shooter must hit an owned ball first and pocket an owned ball to continue at the table. Combinations are valid with any ball if the table is open. If ownership has been assigned, an owned ball must be hit first. It is a foul to strike a non-owned ball first. This includes the 8-ball unless all owned balls have been pocketed. The 8-ball shot must be a called shot. The call shot rule varies depending on your local Bar rule. Virtual Pool 4 requires you to call the 8-ball, but, you can call any shot by using the Call Shot option in the In-Game menu or using the Miscall (Ctrl-M) key. Some bars say you must call any kiss, carom, etc. We feel this is a ridiculous rule that is ridiculously hard to implement and therefore do not. The computer opponent does not call shot in US Bar Eight Ball.

Balls Off Table

It is not a foul to knock object balls off the table. Cue ball off the table is ball-in-hand behind the headstring.

Spotting Balls

All balls knocked off the table are spotted.

Ball To a Rail

There is no requirement to hit a rail after the cue ball has hit an object ball.

Penalty for Fouls

Ball-in-hand behind the headstring.

Three Foul Penalty


Loss of Game

The game is lost if any of the following occur:

  • the 8-ball is pocketed before all owed balls are pocketed

  • the 8-ball is knocked off the table

  • the 8-ball is made in the wrong pocket

  • the 8-ball is made on the break and the cue ball scratches

  • scratching when playing the 8-ball

Winning the Game

The game is won if one of the following occur:

  • the 8-ball is made on the break without scratching

  • the 8-ball is pocketed in the called pocket after all owned balls have been pocketed


Determine if a running the table is possible. If not plan on moving balls around and improving the table. Playing safe is okay, but is not as important as the other Eight Ball games because there is no ball-in-hand if your opponent fouls. The main reason to play safe is to prevent you opponent from running the table. Of course it is considered bad etiquette in US bars to play safe so you might want to disguise it as a shot.

If you are breaking you can win by pocketing the 8-ball on the break. Try to break from near the side rail and hit the second ball as full as possible. The 8-ball will tend to go in the opposite side.