Object of the game9-Ball is played with the nine object balls numbered with 1 to 9 and the cue ball. On each shot the first ball the cue ball contacts must be the lowest-numbered ball on the table. The object balls need not be pocketed in order. A player remains "at table" as long as he legally pockets object balls, doesn't commit a foul or wins the game by legally pocketing the 9-ball .
Legal break shotTo execute a legal break, the breaker (with the cue ball in hand behind head string) must either
(1) pocket an object ball, or
(2) drive at least four numbered object balls to the cushion.
If he fails to make a legal break, it is a foul, and the incoming player has the option of
(1) accepting the table in position and shooting, or
(2) having the balls reracked and having the option of shooting the opening break himself or allowing the opponent to rebreak.
It is a foul if the cue ball is pocketed on the break. The opponent then has "cue ball in hand".
9-ball pocketed while committing a foulIf the 9-ball is pocketed while the current palyer commits a foul the 9-ball is respotted on the foot spot. If this is not possible, e.g. because of another object ball, then it is placed on the foot string as close as possible to the foot spot.
Legal object ballsThe object ball with the lowest number is the only legal object ball.
Three consecutive foulsIf a player fouls three consecutive times on three successive shots without making an intervening legal shot, he loses the game.
End of gameThe game ends at the end of a legal shot which pockets the 9-ball; or when a player has three consecutive fouls.