Except when clearly contradicted by these rules,the General Rules of 8-ball and other pocket billiards games apply.
1. OBJECT OF THE GAME
Nine-Ball is played with nine object balls numbered one through nine and a cue ball. On each shot, the first ball the cue ball contacts must be the lowest numbered ball on the table, but the balls need not be pocketed in order. If a player pockets any ball on a legal shot, he remains at the table for another shot, and continues until missing, committing a foul, or wining the game by pocketing the 9-ball. After a miss, the incoming player must shoot from the position left by the previous player, but after any foul the incoming player may start with the cue ball anywhere on the table. Players are not required to call any shot.
2. RACKING THE BALLS
The object balls are racked in a diamond shape, with the 1-ball at the top of the diamond and on the foot spot, the 9-ball in the center of the diamond, and the other balls in random order, racked as tightly as possible. The game begins with cue ball in hand behind the head string.
3. ORDER OF BREAK
Winner of the lag has the option to break. In 9-Ball, the winner of each game breaks in the next, unless otherwise agreed by the shooters or specified by the tournament organizer. Other options are as follows:
Players alternate break.
Player trailing in game count breaks the next game.
4. LEGAL BREAK SHOT
The rules governing the break shot are the same as for other shots except:
The breaker must strike the1-ball first and either pocket a ball or drive at least four numbered balls to the rail.
If the cue ball is pocketed or driven off the table, or the requirements of the opening break are not met, it is a foul, and the incoming player has cue ball in hand anywhere on the table.
If on the break shot, the breaker causes an object ball to jump off the table, it is a foul and the incoming player has cue ball in hand anywhere on the table. The object ball is not re-spotted (exception: if the object ball is the 9-ball, it is re-spotted).
5. CONTINUING PLAY
On the shot immediately following a legal break, the shooter may play a "push out." (See Rule 6). If the breaker pockets one or more balls on a legal break, he continues to shoot until he misses, fouls, or wins the game. If the player misses or fouls, the other player begins an inning and shoots until missing, committing a foul, or winning. The game ends when the 9-ball is pocketed on a legal shot, or the game is forfeited for a serious infraction of the rules.
6. PUSH OUT
The player who shoots the shot immediately after a legal break may play a push out. This is a tactical shot usually employed when there is no clear shot on the lowest numbered object ball. On a push out, the cue ball is not required to contact any object ball nor any rail, but all other foul rules still apply. The player must announce the intention of playing a push out before the shot, or the shot is considered to be a normal shot. Any ball pocketed on a push out does not count and remains pocketed except the 9-ball. Following a legal push out, the incoming player is permitted to shoot from that position or to pass the shot back to the player who pushed out. If a player scratches on the break shot, the incoming player cannot play a push out.
When a player commits a foul, he must relinquish his run at the table and no balls pocketed on the foul shot are re-spotted (exception: if a pocketed ball is the 9-ball, it is re-spotted). The incoming player is awarded ball in hand; (See rule 8). If a player commits several fouls on one shot, they are counted as only one foul.
8. IN HAND
When the cue ball is in hand, the player may place the cue ball anywhere on the bed of the table, except in contact with an object ball. The player may continue to adjust the position of the cue ball until shooting.
9. BAD HIT
If the first object ball contacted by the cue ball is not the lowest numbered ball on the table, the shot is foul.
10. NO RAIL
If no object ball is pocketed, failure to drive the cue ball or any numbered ball to a rail after the cue ball contacts the object ball on is a foul.
11. OBJECT BALLS JUMPED OFF THE TABLE
An un-pocketed ball is considered to be driven off the table if it comes to rest other than on the bed of the table. It is a foul to drive an object ball off the table. The jumped object ball(s) is not re-spotted (exception: if the object ball is the 9-ball, it is re-spotted) and play continues.
12. THREE CONSECUTIVE FOULS
If a player fouls three consecutive times on three successive turns at the table without making an intervening legal shot, the game is lost. The warning must be given by the opposing player (or the referee if present) between the second and third fouls.
13. END OF GAME
The game ends at the end of a legal shot which pockets the 9-ball, by:
Pocketing the 9-ball off the break.
Pocketing the 9-ball having first contacted the ball on (combination or carom shot).
Pocketing the 9-ball after all the other balls have been pocketed.