8 Ball Tattoo Meaning, Designs & Ideas

The classic eight ball tattoo is one that is worn by many. The game of pool, classified in the category of ‘cue sports’ is one of the most popular games to play, especially in the ‘bar scene’. Although there are many different games amongst the cue sport category, the game that ranks highest throughout America is the game of ‘8 ball’.

In this particular game, you can have an upwards amount of four people, two on each team. You can also play with just two people, one for each side. Fifteen balls are placed on the billiards table, each ball has a number on the side. These balls also have two different patterns on them. There are the stripes, and the solids.

Stripes and solids are both set up inside the frame of the triangle, as they are arranged, they display a pattern. This is to even the playing field when you take the cue ball and break up the triangle of balls. Typically, there are five balls at the base in the pattern of stripe, solid, stripe, solid, stripe. Above the five balls, there are four more, above those, three, etc. In the middle of this triangle of billiard balls, on the third line, slap dab in the middle is the famous eight ball.

The eight ball is very crucial in this game. This ball can either make or break you. The eight ball is the last ball that is to be put in one of the pockets. As each player takes their turn hitting the cue ball against either the stripe or solid billiard ball (depending on which player hits which ball in first. Example: player one hits striped ball in hole, player one is now stripes and cannot touch any of the solids) they dwindle down to the last ball that is on the table.

The eight ball is then to be called out in which pocket the player will hit it in. If this ball is hit inside the pockets any other time during the match, the player who knocked the eight ball in, loses. Rules of the game vary on who is playing the pool game, if playing competitively in a league however, the rules can be very strict.


The eight ball symbol itself has become a logo for the billiard community. The eight ball is what would be called the most important ball out of the rack, this is because it determines whether you win or lose. The image of the eight ball can both be a symbol of luck, and a symbol of bad luck. This being said, the eight ball is kind of a mysterious, black figure that keeps people wondering ‘what will happen?’

This tattoo is also for those who enjoy to gamble. Along with many other graphics such as a fan of cards, dice, money signs, the eight-ball tattoo fits right in place. This tattoo can signify that you are a great pool player who loves to take risks. It can also say you live your life on the edge, no matter what, be prepared to talk pool and answer questions by outsiders.

Eight Ball Designs

There are numerous ways that the eight-ball tattoo can be designed and displayed. All of these tattoos however have the same thing in common, they show the image of the eight ball in one form or another. Since the eight ball is such an iconic logo for the billiard community, it is important for you to come up with a representable graphic that will show your love for the sport.

The classic, simple image for the eight ball is just the eight ball itself, which is a cool graphic, but with the tattoo artists that are around these days, adding onto this graphic can make for a really neat and eye-catching tattoo. Down below are examples of what others have gotten to pay tribute to the game they love.

The Eight Ball of Fire Tattoo

In the sports world, especially in basketball and baseball, the image of the ball on fire can signify that whoever, or whatever team has the ball, is ‘on fire’ or ‘on a roll’. This simply means that the player is doing a great job and they are in a sort of winning streak. In the billiard community, this is particularly true with the eight ball. In the game of eight ball itself, once one of the players knocks one of their billiard balls in, they continue to push the balls in without giving up a turn to the other player.

Some games even go as far as one person knocking all their balls in without giving the opponent a chance. When this is done, the individual is said to be on a streak, the ball is so hot, it cannot be touched! A common tattoo for the eight ball is to have the eight-ball engulfed in a flame, whether this flame is displayed as bursting, or in a kind of flame streak is up to you. Either way, the symbolism of the flames and the eight ball remains the same.

King of Eight Ball Tattoo

When you think of a king, the first thing that probably comes to mind is jewelry, gold, and diamonds. The one piece of jewelry that should be worn by no other than the king himself, would have to be the crown which sits upon his head. The crown is a symbol that shouts royalty. For thousands of years images of kings sitting upon their throne with gold and diamond plated crowns on their heads have been an iconic symbol of power.

\A tattoo of the eight ball with a crown on top can signify that you are the king of the eight ball. This tattoo represents pure dominance, it says that you are the best at the game and that is all there is to it.

Lucky 8 Ball Tattoo

All of these examples of the eight ball tattoo are very popular and respected in the billiard community. Having a banner draped across the tattoo as a finishing touch is always a good idea. What better word to have next to an eight ball than the word ‘lucky’? Angel wings sprouting from the sides of the eight ball is another way of signifying good luck.

Soaring high is basically just another way of saying that you are on a roll, or on a streak. Although this is the same meaning as an eight ball on fire, angel wings in place of the flames give a ‘purer’ feeling, but then again, to each their own.

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