PUB RULES: Free pool at The Shaft Tavern on Sunday

Pool is ‘on the house’ every Sunday at The Shaft Tavern in Elermore Vale. There’s no doubt that free pool is awesome, but there’s always that one guy at the pub who feels it’s his job to enforce “the rules” and argue about the whole “one shot or two” question. Well, we’re here to help to put an end to that. 

Below you’ll find the official Australian “one shot” pub rules sourced from According to them, the “one shot” rule is the most popular way to play Pool in NSW. This should sort out any arguments.



8-Ball is a Call Shot game (the ball and pocket must be nominated) and is played with a cue ball and fifteen coloured balls, numbered 1 through 15. One player must pot balls of the group 1 through 7 (solid colours), while the other player has the group 9 through 15 (stripes). The player potting his or her group and then legally potting the 8-ball wins the game.


In Calling a Shot, obvious balls and pockets do not have to be indicated. It is the opponent’s right to ask which ball and pocket if he is unsure of the shot. Doubles and combinations are not considered obvious and both the object ball and pocket must be called. When calling the shot, it is never necessary to indicate details such as the number of cushions, doubles, cannons etc.


The balls are racked in a triangle at the foot of the table with the 8-Ball in the centre of the triangle, the first ball of the rack on the spot, a striped ball in one rear corner of the rack and a solid ball in another.


The Winner of a coin toss or lag has the option to break. During individual competition, players will alternate break in each subsequent game.


To execute a legal break, the player (with cue ball behind the baulk line) must either

1) pot a numbered ball, or

2) drive four numbered balls to the cushion.

If he fails to make a legal break, the incoming player has the option of

1) accepting the table in position and shooting, or

2) having the balls re-racked and having the option of shooting the opening break himself or allowing the offending player to break again.

The opening break is not a Call Shot. If any object ball is potted on a legal break, then that player continues his innings at the table and the table is open.


If a player goes in off or forces the cue ball from the table it is a foul and the table is open. All balls potted remain potted (exception: the 8-ball refer rule 7).

Note: The incoming player has the cue ball in hand behind the baulk line and may not shoot an object ball that is behind the baulk line, unless he first shoots the cue ball past the baulk line. If the base of the object ball is on the baulk line it is deemed to be in play and forward of the baulk line.


If the 8-ball is potted on the break, the breaking player may ask for a rerack or have the 8-ball re-spotted and continue shooting. If the breaking player goes in off while potting the 8-ball on the break, the incoming player has the option of a re-rack or having the 8-ball re-spotted and begin shooting with the cue ball in hand behind the baulk line. If the 8-ball is to be re-spotted, it will be placed on the spot or as close as possible to the spot along the string line.


Selection of a group is not determined by a ball(s) potted on the break shot. The first legally potted ball after the break shot determines the groups. While the table is open it is legal to first hit any ball, (but not the eight ball) in the process of potting the called object ball.


On all shots (except the break or when the table is open) the player must hit one of his group of balls first and

1) pot an object ball, or

2) cause the cue ball or any object ball to contact a cushion.

Note: It is legal for the shooter to double the cue ball off a cushion before contacting his object ball. However, after contact with his object ball, an object ball must be potted or any ball must contact a cushion.

* In The event of a team not being able to start at the designated start time…30 minutes is allowed…after this time a forfeit can be called or the team must start with existing players….matches that are missed are counted as 10 nil and are NOT to be replayed by a late arrival.


Safety play is defined as a legal shot. The player may choose to pot an obvious object ball and discontinue his turn at the table, or just play safe ( by doing a legal shot on his object ball )you don’t have to pot a ball. Prior to the shot, he must declare a safety to his opponent. If this is not done, the player will be required to shoot again.


A player is entitled to continue shooting until he fails to legally pot a ball of his group. After a player has legally potted all of his group he shoots to pot the 8-ball.


The following infractions result in fouls:

a) Failure to execute a legal shot as previously defined.

b) Going in off (shooting the cue ball into a pocket or off the table).

c) Shooting without at least one foot touching the floor.

d) Moving any ball in any fashion by a means other than legal play.

e) Shooting a jump shot by striking the cue ball below centre, therefore causing the cue ball to miscue or scoop the cue ball.

Note: Hair and clothing that touches a ball is not deemed a foul, UNLESS the shot has been witnessed, and the ball or balls have moved.


The penalty for a foul is for the opposing player to have the cue ball in hand anywhere on the table (except going in off the break, see rule 6).


Combination shots are allowed, however the 8-ball or opponents ball cannot be struck first by the cue ball.


Illegally potted balls are not respotted (except the 8-ball on break, see rule 7).


At all times, if any object ball is jumped off the table, it is a foul shot. The ball(s) is respotted and the incoming player has the cue ball in hand. If the 8-ball is jumped off the table it is a loss of game.


This rule applies when the player’s object ball struck first by the cue ball is frozen to the rail. After the cue ball contacts this object ball the player must:

1) pot the frozen ball or any other object ball, or

2) drive the frozen object ball to another cushion, or

3) drive the cue ball or any object ball to any cushion. Failure to do so is a foul.


When shooting at the 8-ball, going in off or a foul is not a loss of game unless the 8-ball is potted or jumped from the table. The incoming player has the cue ball in hand.


When a player has ball in hand he may place the white ball any where on the table, the usage of a cue is permitted to manoeuvre the white. The cue or hand is only allowed to touch the white and no other ball.


A player loses the game if he commits any of the following infractions:

a) Fouls when potting the 8-ball (exception: refer rule 7).

b) Jumps the 8-ball off the table at any time.

c) Pots the 8-ball in a pocket other than the one nominated (exception: rule 7).

d) Pockets the 8-ball when it is not the legal object ball.

e) Starts to pack up whilst his opponent is on the black.

f) breaks his cue in anger at any stage of the game.

Get down to The Shaft Tavern in Elermore Vale for FREE POOL this Sunday.

Written by Newcastle Live

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  1. These rules are all well and good if you’re discussing American 8-ball.
    This is Vastly different to what is played as “pub pool” throughout the majority of Australia.

    There is not a single venue in Newcastle with a legitmate American 8-ball table.
    The ball size, rail alignment and cloth type differ.

    It would be brilliant for the local game to be standardised, but that is a big ask due to the way it has been bastardised by all and sundry for so many years.
    The NSW Pocket Biliards Association has been working with this goal in mind for years.

  2. I think the shaft tavern need to maybe get rid of there old pool tables and put the diamond tables in that were offered to them for free a few months back had so many incentives and also a very good league twice a week and yes 7 ft but true american 8 ball everything else just nkt 9 ft
    And they need to get a pool comp goin again draw so many more people in
    I for one love pool and would love for it to make a come back to newcastle but we need the pubs to take a chance give there good buddy for 30+ years the flick
    Sorry just to many times been told there a mates table known him for years good deal
    The way i see it is there mates are making more money then wat they are so whats the point these days placing want to give you half if not more of the profits with free maintence

  3. When you are playing nominating a pocket for the black ball is it done at the beginning of the game or after all the coloured balls are sunk?

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