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Choosing a Shot When the Table is Still Open

This is a little strategy tip for when you are facing an open-table e.g. after your opponent's break shot, and you are trying to figure out which group of balls to shoot at.

Choosing a Shot When the Table is Still Open

There are a number of factors to consider when facing an open table and trying to figure out what ball to shoot at first.

The number one most important factor is knowing your own strengths and weaknesses when it comes to shot making. Using this knowledge, you can try to choose the group which has the most balls in positions you are very comfortable making.

Next, factor in which group of balls blocks the most balls of the other group. For example, if solid balls are heavily positioned close to pockets and striped balls are heavily clustered near the center of the table, you might want to try and take the solids as your group... since your path to the pockets would be relatively unobstructed. In this scenario, make sure you have the skill the be able to move the cue ball up and down the table past the cluster of striped balls as needed.

If you are familiar with your opponent's strengths and weaknesses, you can factor that in also.

If you are a highly skilled player, you will likely be planning your run-out strategy at the same time, so this will certainly play a role in choosing the group of balls. If you are planning to run-out, you should be thinking through all 8 shots you'll be making, in order, including how you'll be controlling the cue ball. This type of billiard shot planning is sometimes called "pattern play" and "planning a runout". More on that in a future article.

I am interested in your thoughts on choice of group when shooting on an open table. Comment below if you use a different strategy for choosing group of balls at an open table.

Choosing a Shot When the Table is Still Open

  • Title: Choosing a Shot When the Table is Still Open
  • Author: (Billiards Forum)
  • Published: 3/26/2010 12:37:00 AM
  • Last Updated: 3/11/2017 7:39:45 PM
  • Last Updated By: billiardsforum

Choosing a Shot When the Table is Still Open

The Choosing a Shot When the Table is Still Open article belongs to the Billiard Fundamentals and Basics category. Pool playing tips for the beginner. Get started with these fundamental billiard drills

Choosing a Shot When the Table is Still Open Comments

  1. jhoffman871985jhoffman871985 from Austin, TX on 8/26/2010 1:32:17 AM

    When you are up at the pool table and the choice of group / choice of balls is still open, how do you choose which group of balls to shoot at e.g. solids or stripes?

    Follow this simple formula in your mind, like a sort of checklist when planning your shot at an open table:

    Look what balls are "open" and what balls will give you problems. For example lets say that all solid balls are open expect one is frozen with your opponents ball.

    In a situation like that, shoot at any solid ball but position an angle shot for the next ball of yours so that you have an angle to hit your ball and it will drive in an angle to break your problem away.

    That way you have 50/50 chance of running out.

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