From the Billiards Rule Book

We’ve noticed a lot of questions around ball in hand fouls and are shedding some light on the situation this week. When these types of fouls are committed, the player must give up his/her turn. The opponent is now allowed to place the cue ball anywhere on the table to start his/her own turn. A few of the most common ball in hand fouls:

Cue Ball Fouls

  • Touching the cue ball
  • Touching a moving object ball
  • Touching a still object ball: If a still object ball is moved, it can only be moved back to the original position if the opponent gives permission. The opponent may also choose to keep the ball in the new position. If the player who committed the foul touches the disturbed ball without the opponent’s permission, it results in loss of turn with ball in hand to the other player


  • If you pocket the cue ball or send it off of the table, that’s a ball in hand foul. Scratching on the 8-ball is not a loss if the ball is still on play (it was not pocketed or hit off the table).

No Rail

  • If neither the cue ball nor any other balls hit the rail after the cue ball has hit a legal ball.

You can find the full set of rules for 8-ball and other games at the UPA tour website. And as always, if something is puzzling to you, Ask Ewa!

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