When a particular ball is given as a handicap in nine-ball , designating that ball in turn means that it must be made in rotation , when it is the lowest numerical ball remaining on the table, and cannot be made to garner a win earlier in the game by way of a combination , carom or any other shot . For example, if a player is spotted the 8 ball, he only wins by making that ball after balls 1 through 7 have been cleared from the table. The phrase is not common in the U.S.