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8 ball strategy

8 ball strategy

I've always heard the phrase: "don't run 7 if you can't run 8".

I understand that for each ball you pocket, that's one less obstruction for your opponent. My question is, if I analyze the balls and I know I can't run the rack because of one or two problem balls, how many balls should I pocket? Should I pocket any at all to leave more obstructions for my opponent? or just bang the problem balls to get them to a better location.

8 ball strategy

Replies & Comments

  1. guestdlabout on 2/19/2010 11:52:32 AM

    My best advice is to play the open balls to get you in a position to either break out the problem balls or play a safety to then get ball in hand and break out the problems. Only after the table is either free of problems or you have a path to fix the problems should you start running out.

    Just my 2 cents. -Doug

  2. guestMitch Alsup on 2/19/2010 1:06:37 PM

    If you don't see a way to run all the way out, the rule of thumb is to duck befor you run out of things to duck behind.

    So, when a difficult cluster is on the bed, to take your shots trying to get in a position where you can break up the cluster AND duck at the same time. If you can't duck, here (for whatever reason), duck so that you have at least two shots leading up to the cluster. This helps ensure that when it is your turn again, that you have enough shots to get a position to alter the cluter. You have to assume that your opponent will attempt to screw your position, so when you get another shot, it will not be an ideal one. Thus, you need at least 2 shots in order to break up the cluster.

    The second rule of thumb is: that if you don't break up the cluster and your opponent does not break up the cluster, you cannot win. Thus, at some point in time, if you want to win, you will have to be agressive. I've seen a lot of games lost when player A never broke up a cluster/shot interfereing ball because that was indering player B. At some point you have to be agressive. Balancing agression and safety is done on a case-by-case basis.

  3. guestguest on 3/8/2010 1:13:45 PM

    Dont run 7 if you cant run 8 made me play my game to achieve the goal of every shot I take must accomplish something to help me win the game. Sometimes the table lays to play safe and not pot a ball until all your balls are runnable. Sometimes the table lays with having to make 1 ball to get a breakout on other balls and then play a safe. Maybe it entails a 4 ball run before a lock down jam up safe. I think the point is to take care of problems early before they cost you the game and dont blindly begin to run balls without having a plan for every ball on the table. Running 6 of your stripes and leaving the other tied up can drastically swing the table advantage to your opponent. They and pick and hide all day long as you are stuck kicking at balls.

  4. guesttitan5 on 3/28/2010 9:53:02 AM

    Decide why you can't run out...Balls tied up...no pocket for certain ball...etc..etc.. After all that, Try making a plan to improve your chances. I.E. bump balls so cluster is easier, play safe to get ball in hand, play safe and only leave a shot, where your opponent moves there ball for your benefit.

  5. guestFXBilliards.com on 9/14/2010 6:52:27 PM

    Don't forget that as you move around the table (early in the game) you can at times play position with the intention of playing a strong safe. You are not always looking to make a next shot. As long as you know you will be able to play a strong safe at some point, it's OK to get some of your balls off of the table.

  6. guestsophie hart on 11/25/2010 4:38:10 AM

    I think defense is a better strategy when the competitor is smarter than you and 8 ball strategy works well, if you keep the focus on the medium paced break shot and steer away from the full powered ones.

  7. guestFenwick on 12/2/2010 2:16:57 PM

    I would rather make a hard break and pocket a ball in order to continue shooting. I used a soft break once playing in the masters division and it totally went south. I've learned a lot playing with these players. One thing is play backwards from the 8 ball and another is don't kill all your soldiers. The only good of making all your balls without being able to get a shot on the 8 is a lower score against you. You still lose. Played some good shot makers whose weakness was shapes. They would pocket all their ball and either have a low percentage shot on the 8 or snooker themselves. That allows me 7 shots to either make my balls or play a good safe.

    Just my 2 cents.

  8. guestzpele on 2/11/2011 8:57:57 AM

    I generally do not run any balls until I know I can get all of them in one inning. This usually involves playing breakouts the result in safes until I can see all of the balls. Occasionally, I will pocket a ball if it will result in one of two scenarios : 1. A breakout with a leave that will allow fo a strong safe or 2. A breakout that will result in a leave that allows for another breakout.

    If you play in the APA more often then not you see 4s and 5s forget this basic rule and start getting rid of easy balls before it is time.

  9. guestSteven94stang on 6/24/2011 11:42:29 AM

    Generally if I can't find a good breakout early for my trouble balls and my opponent dosen't have a good run out either I will try to push one of my balls near a pocket that I can use later to break the balls out. If giving up a shot is too risky I will try to create a problem usually by blocking a pocket that has a lot of my opponents balls near it. If my opponent does somehow get this ball out during his turn at the table then Im clear to break the cluster thats giving me problems apart.

  10. guestNursey1313 on 7/26/2011 3:41:28 AM

    That is what our team captain tells us. If you have your balls tied up, get them out 1 ball at a time, bump them closer to a pocket so you can use them to your advantage to break a ball out if you need to. You dont always have to make a ball. Good advice guys.

  11. guestguest on 9/18/2011 12:33:56 AM

    Don't listen to these people to much. ALWAYS make as many balls as you can first and then try to break out your shot to win. That way when you lose it won't be a big loss at least. and you might get luckey. This is the strategy I use and I will usually win at least 3 out of 10 games but my loses are only by a ball or two. A good rule of thumb is to play your game so you don't lose too bad and then hope your teamates win to cover your loss. And at the end of the night if your teams wins you can still pretend that you had something to do with it.

  12. guestFenwick on 9/18/2011 10:27:26 AM

    3 out of 10 and we should listen to you why? Those numbers sound this close to being shut out; skunked. "but my loses are only by a ball or two." Impressive!

    There people who play not to lose, then there are others who play to win. I'm the latter.

    Why don't you sign up instead of hiding behind the guest handle? Just saying.

  13. guestMitch Alsup on 9/18/2011 12:59:38 PM

    I am going to break this response into two sections dedicatd to differing groups of 8-ball players.

    For those that could not run a rack: just shoot your shots, getting all mental won't mater to you one way or the other.

    For those that can run a whole rack: you will find the players holding back until the rack is runnable winning more often. Safety play can be the key to winning and lossing, here. Knock one of your balls out of trouble and into the opponents ball path while ducking behind another ball is a good double safety play. Then when the rifraff is off the table, run through the 8-ball for a come-back win.

    At any level of play, it is NOT the length of the run that maters, but the final ball dropping (that won the game.)

  14. guest2ballrun on 1/1/2012 4:08:54 PM

    I hope he was just joking?

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8 ball strategy

  • Title: 8 ball strategy
  • Author:
  • Published: 2/18/2010 2:16:57 PM