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Eight Ball Tattoos Ideas, Meanings, and Pictures

Updated on February 1, 2016
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Richard Hale is a tattoo enthusiast who studies and researches tattoo symbolism, meanings, and history.

Eight balls are symbols of both good and bad luck, perfect tattoos to reference the idea of "chance.'
Eight balls are symbols of both good and bad luck, perfect tattoos to reference the idea of "chance.' | Source

When it comes to highly symbolic tattoos, the eight ball ranks with the best. Designs can include anything associated with gambling, and since it is also a good luck symbol, you can also include other lucky symbols in your design. Sinking this ball is the winning play in a variety of pool games!

It is believed that the eight ball tattoo first appeared in prison and became a popular symbol among inmates and gang members. Even today, you can find inmates or former prisoners with them. The image is also popular among drug dealers who sell cocaine. In this context, the design became a bad luck symbol.

Since it can represent both good and bad luck, it is an appealing tattoo design to emphasize the idea of "chance." It can be a reference to take the good with the bad, or of balance. The eight ball tattoo is perfect for anyone who lives life on the edge or presses their luck.

What Do Eight Balls Symbolize?

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Eight ball tattoos behind the ears.An eight ball tattoo on the forearm with other gambling items.
Eight ball tattoos behind the ears.
Eight ball tattoos behind the ears. | Source
An eight ball tattoo on the forearm with other gambling items.
An eight ball tattoo on the forearm with other gambling items.

There are several different symbolic meanings—both positive and negative—associated with eight balls. But remember: In the end, your tattoo represents what you want it to.

  • Bad luck
  • Misfortune
  • Torture
  • Good luck
  • Good fortune
  • Loss
  • Victory
  • Success
  • Lady Luck
  • Prison
  • Balance
  • Chance
  • Free will
  • Risk
  • Magic Eight Ball (fortune-telling toy)

Items to Include With an Eight Ball

There are several different symbols that work as part of a theme:

  • Anything that is associated with gambling, such as dice, playing cards, cherries, or Lady Luck.
  • Items associated with good luck, such as the four leaf clover or horseshoes.
  • Flashy images, such as flames, fire, diamonds, and money.
  • Other symbols often found with eight ball tattoos include stars, skulls, music notes, and hearts.
  • Images associated with pool, including other numbered balls, pool tables, ball racks, or pool sticks.
  • Magic 8 Balls and other fortune-telling toys like Ouija boards.


Galleries

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Click thumbnail to view full-size
Eight ball inside a rose.An eight ball with a skull and pool cue cross-bones.
Eight ball inside a rose.
Eight ball inside a rose.
An eight ball with a skull and pool cue cross-bones.
An eight ball with a skull and pool cue cross-bones.
Click thumbnail to view full-size
Eight ball as part of an Americana scene.Eight ball and dice.Eight ball shoulder tattoo.A colorful eight ball arm tattoo.
Eight ball as part of an Americana scene.
Eight ball as part of an Americana scene.
Eight ball and dice.
Eight ball and dice.
Eight ball shoulder tattoo.
Eight ball shoulder tattoo.
A colorful eight ball arm tattoo.
A colorful eight ball arm tattoo.

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    • profile image

      Rachel 2 years ago

      I have the 8 ball 21 years old n Bern in prison jail juvie detention boot camp so yea I'm female I.also have hatchet girl an also gd on my hand

    • thelyricwriter profile image
      Author

      Richard Ricky Hale 4 years ago from West Virginia

      Thanks for the comments Gypsy and Max. Gypsy, some do have that effect. Max, I am glad you liked them. A big thank you to you both.

    • BeyondMax profile image

      BeyondMax 4 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      Wow. I have never ever seen anything like these ones! It's so impressive (to say the least!).

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 4 years ago from Riga, Latvia

      Wow these are something else. Some of those balls appear to be rolling right at you.

    • thelyricwriter profile image
      Author

      Richard Ricky Hale 4 years ago from West Virginia

      Alocsin, thanks for the visit, your time, comment, and votes. Yeah, there are several variations and designs that portray the eight ball with associated symbols. I like it alone, but some of these designs are really artistic. Thanks again.

    • alocsin profile image

      alocsin 4 years ago from Orange County, CA

      Interesting the examples you chose, because the eight ball is surrounded by other images. I've often seen this by itself, which I think improves the impact. Voting this Up and Beautiful.

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