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Defensive 8 Ball Strategy

Defensive 8 Ball Strategy

If you find yourself up against a player who is considerably better than you are, you may want to consider a defensive 8 ball strategy to help improve your chances of winning. There are a few different defensive 8 ball techniques that we'll focus on in this billiard tutorial, including winning the break, shot speed, choice of group, and pocket holding.

Defensive 8 Ball Strategy

Winning the break is an essential part of a defensive 8 ball strategy. You must devote yourself to winning the break, and focus on never letting your opponent take the first break shot. When you are executing your break shot, focus on a medium-paced break shot, and avoid full-powered break shots. Concentrate on pocketing the two solid balls on the wide ends of the triangle. (wing balls) You'll also want to try and leave the 8 ball entangled with several balls from the striped group.

If you have accomplished the above defensive 8 ball strategy successfully, you will note that the solid group of balls will always have the advantage. Strive to pocket a few more solid balls in the inning. When preparing to shoot, consider where the cue ball will end up after the shot plays out. Try to ensure that if you miss your shot, your opponent is snookered or does not have any easy plays and open shots.

To accelerate your defensive 8 ball strategy, try shooting with a lower level of power. This will help to ensure that if you miss your shot, the object ball will still hang out very close to the intended pocket. Not only will you be set up for an easy shot, but you'll also be effectively blocking that pocket for your opponent. This is called holding the pocket.

Finally, when playing out the game, observe where most of your opponents balls are clustered, and implement a pocket holding strategy in that area if possible. Of course, you'll want to delay pocketing those balls holding the pockets until absolutely necessary.

Using a combination of these defensive 8 ball strategy techniques, you can increase the chances of winning against an opponent who is generally a better player than you are.

Defensive 8 Ball Strategy

  • Title: Defensive 8 Ball Strategy
  • Author: (Billiards Forum)
  • Published: 4/7/2008 2:01:00 PM
  • Source: Internet

Defensive 8 Ball Strategy

The Defensive 8 Ball Strategy article belongs to the Safety Play and Defensive Billiards category. Pool playing tips for safety play and defensive billiard play.

Defensive 8 Ball Strategy Comments

  1. xxstickmanxxxxstickmanxx from Sterling, VA on 5/22/2008 2:09:49 PM

    Some pool players feel that defensive pool takes away from the essence of the game and almost turns it into a whole other game.

    I play both ways now, but only because I want to shoot against the better players in the area. This is the game they play but to switch back and forth has hindered my game. But, I still go for the shot even though it might not be a high percentage one because my opponent has played a safety. And I love it when they do. It gives me a chance for my artistic side to come out. Now they know I play like this and are scared so now I have to conform with my friends ways of playing or continue to play both ways. I have since grown to love playing the game both ways.

  2. gabigabi from Amsterdam, North Holland on 10/3/2008 6:41:40 PM

    I often play pool against Filipinos and old semi-professional Americans players who are all much better and more constant than I am. I tend to have a higher percentage of wins against them if I am playing a defensive games.

    If you open up the table by pocketing 6 of your balls but miss your last shot against guys who are so accurate, then you lose. This makes it literally impossible to win against players like them even if they have six or seven balls left on the table. You think you are winning and you get very happy having only one ball left but it will stay on the table until the end after your opponent has finish the game, and you lose again.

    But if those guys have one ball left, then you start to play a defensive play against them with your seven balls left. If you do this, then you start to have a good chance. Especially against pool killer, who knows his superiority. I mean a nasty player of the game who have the best opening break shoot. I try to immediately recover with a nice safety. Usually they really enjoy to have to give you your first ball in hand (but not your last) of the game. But then some of these guys are also poor losers. especially when they have to shake your hand after losing a game when they had gave you "ball in hand" three times because you played safe and they never see this fucking last ball really clearly. This is a nice win against a much better player than you, and I find this to be fun for me than a table run.

    Anyway, I play a lot of pool and I play every day but I don't make many table runs. But those guys who are better than me, the guys who run more tables than me... I beat them with good percentage, when they give me a chance to do it. I do this by using a "pocketing safe strategy" in that I don't give them an easy shot after I pocket a ball. Same goes for a case where I miss pocketing the object ball. This way you leave your opponent with only a hard shoot to do.

    I also sometimes take a pure safety call, pocketing one object ball then give the table to the opposition. You can also play a standard a safe play, by hiding the cue ball (just be sure to touch a rail because if you don't, you foul, and giving ball in hand to your opponent is not safe!

    What fun it is to kick their ass.

  3. AleksAleks from Tacoma, WA on 9/18/2009 3:51:24 PM

    The whole "breaking softly" concept hinders good players as well. But it can backfire for the weaker player as well due to the fact that nothing may go in. Then the stronger player would take solids (in the same way the weaker player wanted to take solids initially). But if you put the proper English on it you may always break apart the rack and cluster.

    I know this from experience. My brother and I have been playing pool for 9 years. I am 18 years old and I am in an APA league.

    Those good pool players who know their English can always handle a soft break left by the first player and fix it. Because of this, hitting a hard is something you might wanna do. Just think about your English while you play, but don't always shoot just to give them a bad leave. Try to come up with a cunning way of giving you a leave but not them, or at the very least, give them a difficult leave.

  4. gibsongibson from Kenosha, WI on 5/18/2010 9:10:29 AM

    Performing well in an 8-ball tournament or a money game of 8-ball requires a significant amount of defensive skill.

    The essence of eight ball is that you are seeking the same objective but through a different route. If your route is impeded by the opponents ball set-up, you must do all you can to deny an easy route for your opponent. Blocking a crucial pocket and improving your table setup while denying access to your opponent on his shots should be part of every player's arsenal of pool playing skills. It is quite possible to defeat a person of greater shooting ability by using a superior strategy.

    The reason eight ball is so popular is that it is easy to be competitive even if you are not as strong a player.

  5. oldpoolplayeroldpoolplayer from Glastonbury, CT on 2/24/2016 2:20:28 PM

    The first paragraph really doesn't make any sense if you play and rack by BCA rules.

    First, the balls are racked in a random fashion as per current Billiard Congress of America rules with a stripe and a solid occupying the 2 wide ends of the triangle. This would not allow the weaker player to "Concentrate on pocketing the two solid balls on the wide ends of the triangle" and prevent him from "leaving the 8 ball entangled with several balls from the striped group." So, under the assumption that you have no control over where the balls are positioned, this whole strategy goes out the window.

    Second, on a break shot you cannot "concentrate on making balls". Sure, there are some balls that may have a statistically higher chance of going in, but it's not like you can aim them in or control it in any way. Theoretically, all balls should reside in the same spots from rack to rack (though not in the same spot they were on the previous rack).

    It seems like this one needs to be edited or re-written by an actual pool player.

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