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A blackball kick shot in action.

Blackball (sometimes written black ball or black-ball) is a pocket billiards (pool) game that is popular in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia and several other countries. In the UK and Ireland it is usually called "pool". The game is played with sixteen balls (a cue ball and fifteen object balls) on a pool table with six pockets. Blackball is an internationally standardised variation of the popular bar and club game eight-ball pool (or 8-ball pool), closely related to the originally American and now professionally internationalised game of eight-ball. The two main sets of playing rules are those of the World Eightball Pool Federation, normally referred to as "World" rules, and those of the European Blackball Association, known as "Blackball" rules.


Eight-ball pool (and thus its standardised form blackball), like American-style eight-ball, is derived from an earlier game invented around 1900 and first popularized in 1925 under the name B.B.C. Co. Pool by the Brunswick-Balke-Collender Company. Like blackball and eight-ball pool today, this forerunner game was played with seven yellow and seven red balls, unnumbered (in contrast to the American-style numbered stripes and solids, occasionally called kelly pool balls in the UK), a black ball, and the cue ball. The game had relatively simple rules compared to the modern game.[1][2][3][4]


  1. ^ Shamos, Michael Ian (1993). The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Billiards. New York, NY: Lyons & Burford. pp. Page 85. ISBN 1-55821-219-1.  
  2. ^ Jewett, Bob (February 2002). "8-Ball Rules: The many different versions of one of today's most common games". Billiards Digest Magazine: Page 22–23.  
  3. ^ Ralph Hickok (2001). Sports History: Pocket Billiards. Retrieved December 13, 2006.
  4. ^ Billiard Congress America (1995–2005) A Brief History of the Noble Game of Billiards by Mike Shamos. Retrieved December 13, 2006.

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