I am a beginner pool player and just recently joined the APA.
I am wondering the best technique to getting a good solid break to drop a ball. I have tried moving the cue along the head string but I can't consistently pocket a ball. Any suggestions?
- Ginger on 4/27/2007 8:27:52 PM
To ensure a good break shot there are a few things that one should consider. Firstly, I prefer a nice tightly racked set of balls to shoot at. Once this is taken care of, you can try the following:
- shoot from off-center, either to the left or the right...
- Try hitting the cue ball slightly (but only slightly) above the center line.
- The one other thing that I always try is to make sure that I'm following through the shot, almost like a pushing motion. Just be sure that when you do this, you are still maintaining control over the cue ball.
- guest on 4/28/2007 9:01:35 AM
Thanks for the advice!
- kellystick on 5/5/2007 7:45:44 PM
What I see from new players often is a desire to hammer the ball harder than they are able to control. If you ever played baseball you know that a solidly hit ball goes much farther and takes less effort than a hard hit but off center ball. So, hit the cue ball square. Don;t stroke so hard that you become innacurate hitting the cueball. Don;t place the cueball so far away from you that you become innacurate. On the other hand don't be so close that you can;t get any speed without trying really hard (which will make you innacurate)
Chalk before your break. Chalk b4 u break. I said that twice. Hmmm?
Aim. Yes actually aim you break. Shoot accurately enough to hit the rack where you aim. Once again a hard hit that glances of a ball in the rack imparts much less energy to the racked balls than a easier but more accurate shot. Try it. Break the ball with a moderate but deadly accurate shot. You can oftern get more break from hitting the rack square and accurate and moderate than hard and not square.
As for making balls. I break fairly hard and accurate and get a lot of ball movement most of the time. A lot of times I make nothing. IT;s the luck of the break if you ask me. In APA by the way if you make a ball and those balls are **** you are stuck with them. So don't worry so much about the break and making balls. Learn table management to win. The break is just a start of the game in most cases. You can make 3 of your own balls on the break but easily lose if you don't manage the table.
- Plumb on 5/19/2007 8:40:59 AM
also, something to think about is how your stance might change from your normal one.
kellystick's point about aiming and controlling the break are very good, you should never be trying to put your all into the break or you'll lose control, but you will still need power to break up the pack effectively.
I find I stand a lot more upright when I break, it makes it harder to achieve a really precise aim, it takes a bit of practice, but it can really help for using the whole body and body weight to generate a nice satisfying smack into the balls.
I also spread my legs quite a bit lengthwise, but being careful to keep my hips square at the shot through the hit.
I recommend keeping the feet planted through the hit. Lots of players let the back foot come up trying to bring their body weight into the hit but you can do that just as effectively and with more control over planted feet.
I totally agree with Ginger about the follow through of the cue, go completely through the cue ball like it's not there. When I break well almost 2/3 of my cue length ends up past the contact point.
- beanyman on 5/27/2007 10:23:28 AM
Interesting... but I was wondering when, or if there is a reason to hit the one ball off centre? and what about spin preferences?!
- Plumb on 5/28/2007 1:59:13 AM
not hitting the ball off-center, rather hitting the ball from off-center,i.e. from the left or right side of the table, maybe about a balls width out from the rail and using a rail bridge to control the cue.
In terms of spin, the goal of any break is to control the cue ball through the break, trying to keep the cue ball somewhere in the center of the table.
So, the hit is a stun, to stop the cue ball dead in is tracks after impact.
I have a 4 point goal for breaking, assuming it is a 9ball break, here they are in order of importance:
1)pot a ball
2)control the cue ball so it stays in the middle of the table, this maximises your chances of staying on a ball to stay on the table
3)control the hit so that the 1 ball skids off the side rail and down towards your end of the table, hopefully resting somewhere near a corner pocket. If the 1 ball doesn't go down off the break it's the first ball you're on.
4)pocket the 9 ball :D this one is just icing on the cake, with good power and timing you get a few of these but it's not something to try to specifically do for a consistent break that keeps you on the table.
- beanyman on 5/28/2007 11:19:46 AM
...control the cue ball so it stays in the middle of the table, this maximizes your chances of staying on a ball to stay on the table
Yes very good advice, I will practice these... Interestingly I didn't think so much about keeping the cue ball in the center so much, now I will!
- kellystick on 5/30/2007 10:28:11 PM
Don't try to be cool. Like some people think that hitting lots of follow which hits the rack then runs back into the rack again is real cool. Well ok. It's kinda cool. BUt it is not a control shot and sacrifices control for looking cool. Don't fall victim to looking cool over control. Well controlled pool is often not very cool looking, especiall to those that don't really understand the game.
Let the cool players look cool while they wait to play again as you hold the table by winning. I break pretty hard but there seems to be times where making a ball on the break just eludes me. I have a few breaks, probably not enough. Each table, each night seems to break different. Accept that and don't expect any one break to produce all the time.