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SpiderMan
11-15-2004, 02:12 PM
I'm looking for some suggestions for realistic handicapping rules between two unevenly-matched players. I'd like to be able to play 8-ball with my girlfriend, using some set of rules that will allow the handicap to be "tweaked" to best equalize our differences. The winner should be neither pre-determined nor random. In other words, if she plays a little over her head she should win, likewise for myself.

Here's an example of rules that would not work - If I run out I win, if I miss she wins. Might equalize our chances, but neither fun nor helpful for her.

One thought I had would be to limit myself to 3-ball maximum runs, and she starts each inning with ball-in-hand. I'd like for the game to be good practice to help her improve, so the decision-making needed with BIH could be useful and it would eliminate (for now) the frustration when hooked.

How about it, who's come up with something that both provides fun and preserves harmony?

BTW, the title of this thread merely reflects my own personal situation, I realize that there are others with the tables turned. Nineball Girl, do you have a way to keep him in the game?

SpiderMan

Rod
11-15-2004, 02:48 PM
What I have done is bank balls. Depending on whom I'm playing that might be every other, 2 or 3 or every ball. It's good banking practice and it is a good equalizer.

Rod

RedHell
11-15-2004, 02:48 PM
Spiderman,

That's a tough one. I think it all depends on the difference of skills/experience between the players. I guess stoping yourself at 3 balls would level the game, but at the same time, how different is that from missing on purpose ?

For you, playing that way does nothing. No practice, no improvement, no challenge !!!

One thing you could do, depending on how good you are is bank the last balls.

From banking the 8 to banking them all should produce a range of weight you can use to adjust to the skills.

If you're so good that you run out on banks, force yourself to use 2 rails !!!

At least this way you are working on some skills for yourself as well !

just my 2 cents !

BTW... My wife always insist on playing square with me. I can not use any type of weight. The way I level the game is by using more precise and advance positioning. This increase a lot my chances of missing position and force me to park the rock on a dime !

stickman
11-15-2004, 03:32 PM
One common way is to make the guy have to bank the eight ball. Another is to have the girlfriend tell you what pocket it has to be made in.

gungadin
11-15-2004, 04:02 PM
Another option, similar to banking any number of balls, is to play "nothing straight in." Every shot of yours must be either a carom, a bank, a kick, or something other than a straight in shot. This is a great game that really makes you work and think to set up the next shot. Or if you really want to get crazy, I've played where every shot works "backwards," where to sink a ball you must shoot the object ball into the cue ball and propel the object ball to a pocket. This was known as a hustler's practice game with some people I used to play with in St. Louis.

RedHell
11-15-2004, 04:05 PM
The second option you have described is what we call "Follow" here.

It is played quite a bit in a pool room where I go. Guys uses to practice cueball control !

SPetty
11-15-2004, 04:07 PM
I really liked this idea that Billy_Bob posted:
Equal play with beginning players (http://www.billiardsdigest.com/ccboard/showflat.php?Cat=&Board=ccb&Number=165390&page=0&v iew=collapsed&sb=5&o=2&fpart=1)

It gives you the opportunity adjust the balls in hand as your opponent improves. But if you're running out, no amount of balls in hand will equalize things. No matter how much weight you give her, if you run out she doesn't get to play! I know from experience that playing below your level just to let someone else play doesn't work well either. I think you're just too good of a player for beginners to have fun with. /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif

I also liked the idea that you let her call your eight ball pocket, but it's gotta be when you still have two balls plus the eight.

GeorgeV
11-15-2004, 04:13 PM
Good post. Been thinking of posting something similar myself, coz it's a real problem.

I just got back into the game about a year ago after a 30-yr lay-off. Neither my wife of 15 yrs nor any friends or family play the game. I've got a nice new 9' Brunswick Gibson table at home but nobody who knows how to play to play with. I enjoy practicing by myself prepping for tournaments, but it's no fun winning every game when I play my wife, family, or friends. (I know...get new wife and friends.)

Forget 9-ball. The lesser player just doesn't have any fun if you end up running out when they miss. The game just doesn't make sense to someone who can't run two balls in a row.

8-ball is more fun coz it gives them some feeling of accomplishment as they make balls. The hard part is handicapping myself to even up the game a little without it appearing to be condescending. I'll usually either require myself to bank in the 8-ball (which still seems condescending) or, after making all of my own balls, I help them make all of their balls before I can shoot the 8. Sometimes we'll play that they get to shoot at the 8 as soon as I clear off my balls, but I hafta finish off all of their balls.

I'd like to hear others' inputs as well. I know it's not good for my serious game to goof off with casual players, but I don't know how to play with them without being condescending. If they ain't havin fun, they won't play!

woody_968
11-15-2004, 04:34 PM
Depending on how often you play her you may want to consider shooting opposite handed. This will not only improve your left (or right) handed game, but it will tighten things up between the two of you alot unless you already work on your off hand.

cheesemouse
11-15-2004, 04:43 PM
I've played this game with a girlfriend who was trying to learn the game, she was just beyound the mis-cue level of play.

>general rules
>for everyball she makes you owe one; the owed balls spotted when availiable.
>for everyball you run(minus the runout) she gets to take, by hand, the same number her balls off the table and begin her turn(you could decide on whether she starts with BIH from here or not)

...once she started to run a couple balls this became a pretty good challenge for to me to win; those owed balls being spotted really come into play.

Jimmy B
11-15-2004, 06:08 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote SpiderMan:</font><hr> I'm looking for some suggestions for realistic handicapping rules between two unevenly-matched players. I'd like to be able to play 8-ball with my girlfriend, using some set of rules that will allow the handicap to be "tweaked" to best equalize our differences. The winner should be neither pre-determined nor random. In other words, if she plays a little over her head she should win, likewise for myself.

Here's an example of rules that would not work - If I run out I win, if I miss she wins. Might equalize our chances, but neither fun nor helpful for her.

One thought I had would be to limit myself to 3-ball maximum runs, and she starts each inning with ball-in-hand. I'd like for the game to be good practice to help her improve, so the decision-making needed with BIH could be useful and it would eliminate (for now) the frustration when hooked.

How about it, who's come up with something that both provides fun and preserves harmony?

BTW, the title of this thread merely reflects my own personal situation, I realize that there are others with the tables turned. Nineball Girl, do you have a way to keep him in the game?

SpiderMan <hr /></blockquote>

First off I think you're looking for trouble, the first thing I would do is not let on I am doing anything different, the next thing I would do is not play with her :-D But if you must play with her then I would say you shoot your balls in rotation (in 8-ball) So if you have high balls you start with the 9- on up. Also I'd play last pocket 8-ball. The other thing I would do is just keep drilling her, she'll either get better or stop asking to play with you, either way you win.

JB

Barbara
11-15-2004, 06:19 PM
Hey Marty!

Colleen and I handicapped Allen Hopkins in 8-ball by making him run his pattern of balls in rotation while his opponent didn't have to. Called pocket, too. BIH for a ball that accidentally went in out of order. This could work.

Let me know. My hubby's in the same boat. /ccboard/images/graemlins/frown.gif

Barbara

Sid_Vicious
11-15-2004, 08:30 PM
woody...You grabbed my idea perfectly, play off hand on everything except the unusual stretches for an off hand shot, then use a bridge off-hand, you should find an equal field yourself with that change. As far as 9-ball being a "don't play game"...you can increase a spot of ?-and-out until the weight causes you to play so damn good just to survive, that you really have to struggle, and lose more than you are used to losing. THAT is what I'd elect to do, even if it eventually got to being a 2-out spot. You can always adjust, and she ought to still feel non condensended. The off handed work sounds about equal though...sid

AustinFilAm
11-16-2004, 08:03 AM
Play 1 or 2 balls ahead of ob call pocket depending on skill level difference. If you miss any in your sequence, the ob/s gets returned to where they were. Your gf does not get bih. You also must bank the the game ball. This works well w/ 8 or 9 ball and you get the practice positions, safeties, and banks.
Enjoy and good luck!!!

SUPERSTAR
11-16-2004, 08:07 AM
Considering that i am always looking for my girlfriend to LEARN, but don't PUSH pool onto her. The rules we use for 8 ball are as follows.

She gets 2 shots to my 1. So when she needs to make a ball....she can push the cueball to an easier position for the shot, break out balls from clusters, shoot the ball closer to the hole, or basically do anything she wants with the first shot.
If she scratches on her MISS shot, she gets a ball in hand, and if she fails to pocket a ball in 2 tries, it is the end of her turn.

I on the other hand, shoot normally, but have to bank the 8ball in, and i cannot tie balls up on purpose.
She gets the breaks, and ball in hand after the break.

This used to be pretty one sided, till she learned the tricks of 8ball, and now understands how to play safe, scratching on purpose sometimes, and otherwise playing the game smart.

Not to mention that she has improved a tremendous amount, so there are times, where we play, and she runs the set out.(race to five is our weekly game) She has gotten so good, that sometimes, she just runs out normally.
and should i ever bank an 8 and HANG it in the jaws...that is basically the end of the game, cause now i have to get it OUT.

In 9 ball, we used to play that she gets ball in hand, whenever she comes to the table. (so i can't play safe unless i tie something up)
She has to make 2 in a row, before she gets another ball in hand and starts the process over. But she has since moved to ball in hand every 3 shots. I feel that this method at least gives her incentive to learn HOW to get from point A to point B. Which she does better and better.
I shoot every other shot, opposite handed. So i'm switching back and forth between hands.


SUPERSTAR

Chopstick
11-16-2004, 08:11 AM
You can take the opportunity to develop skills you would not normally practice. Play left handed. Shoot with a bridge. Shoot every shot jacked up over a ball. Once upon a time I could draw the ball one handed with the cue suspended in the air not laying on a rail or anything. All of these skills are valuable and girlfriends are a good way to practice them.

Fred Agnir
11-16-2004, 08:19 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote SpiderMan:</font><hr> I'm looking for some suggestions for realistic handicapping rules between two unevenly-matched players.

SpiderMan <hr /></blockquote> One thing I've done with my wife is to not play against her, but instead play Scotch Doubles as a practice game. 8-ball or 9-ball. Nobody loses, and I have to play sharp in order to keep it fun.

Fred

SpiderMan
11-16-2004, 08:24 AM
9-ball is just too difficult for someone without basic position play skills. They may win some games if you give up enough spot so that they make a money ball when you miss, but they won't have much fun because they can't run 2 or 3 balls. We did try that once, adjusting the spot until she started winning, but I have to give her the 4 or 5 out. She either didn't make any balls, or made one ball and won. Barring a break &amp; run, in 8-ball even the loser usually shoots in several balls.

SpiderMan

SpiderMan
11-16-2004, 08:27 AM
Fred,

That's not a bad idea for a changeup, playing together instead of against. We have had fun with Scotch doubles before.

SpiderMan

Eric.
11-16-2004, 09:24 AM
Spidey,


Rule #1: Do not play competitive Pool against your girlfriend.

Rule #2: See rule #1.


But...if you must, I think it all depends on how far apart, skillwise, you guys are. Personally, I would start by giving the breaks and allowing her to remove one or two or three problem balls before starting her run. If that doesn't work, you can start shooting your balls in rotation (like a couple of people have mentioned). Maybe you need to combine both such as; she breaks, removes two trouble balls and you shoot the last three in rotation. Or something like that.

Either way, good luck. I've never dated a Poolplaying girlfriend so I can't speak from experience. Maybe I should try it.


Eric

Chris Cass
11-16-2004, 09:41 AM
Hi Jimmy,

I also have shot my balls in rotation. It's fun and it's challenging too. Can't do it with the wife and son anymore but it was fun for the few times we did play it that way. The problem with doing something like tis is that it make the opponent feel like they can't compete and brings them down. Especially if you do win.

I'm thinking it's better off setting them up withsomeone of their own speed or just a bit better. That's always the best thing anyway. I used to play a old friend of mine 9 ball. Everytime I won a game I'd have to give up one ball wild. I'd get the same if he won. Only a few times did I get him down to the 0 ball. They also count on the snaps too. So, it is definitely challenging to me.

Anyway Regards,

C.C.

Deeman2
11-16-2004, 09:50 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Chris Cass:</font><hr> Hi Jimmy,

I also have shot my balls in rotation. It's fun and it's challenging too. Can't do it with the wife and son anymore but it was fun for the few times we did play it that way. The problem with doing something like tis is that it make the opponent feel like they can't compete and brings them down. Especially if you do win.

I'm thinking it's better off setting them up withsomeone of their own speed or just a bit better. That's always the best thing anyway. I used to play a old friend of mine 9 ball. Everytime I won a game I'd have to give up one ball wild. I'd get the same if he won. Only a few times did I get him down to the 0 ball. They also count on the snaps too. So, it is definitely challenging to me.

Anyway Regards,

C.C. <hr /></blockquote>

Spiderman,

I started playing Tori 14.1 me to 100 her to 5. Over the last two years, she has learned much and we now play like 100-15. It's good for both our games and she wins sometimes. Went we started, she went a couple of weeks with no wins but it makes them think of the value of each ball.

Deeman

Rich R.
11-16-2004, 10:00 AM
The original post only asked about 8-ball, but if you are playing 9-ball, you can always use the APA's handicap system, where the winner of a match depends on the number of total balls pocketed and not on putting in the 9-ball.

Consider your GF a skill level 1, needing to pocket 14 total balls to win.
Then, depending on your skill, make yourself something between a level 6, which needs 46 balls, to a level 9, which needs 75 balls.

On the rare occassion that my wife wants to play, we use this system and it is challenging for both of us. She doesn't feel the pressure of having to make the 9-ball to win and I still have the challenge of running a lot of balls, if I am going to win.
My wife also likes this a lot more than playing 8-ball.
It works for us. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Here is the link for more information. Just scroll down to the section on 9-ball.
http://www.poolplayers.com/equalizer.html

SpiderMan
11-16-2004, 11:50 AM
That's the point I was making to Sid about 9-ball. It's just too hard for a beginner to pot several balls in a row because of the need to shoot in rotation (come to think of it, maybe that's why I don't like nineball either /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif). Even if you handicap it so that she can win, she still doesn't get to sink balls, so the win doesn't come with much feeling of accomplishment. It's less fun than 8-ball, which can be enjoyable at either a high or low level.

Anyway, learning 8-ball will probably have more useful application, as that's what will be played almost everywhere we go.

SpiderMan

Rod
11-16-2004, 02:56 PM
I guess it's safe to say one pocket is out! LOL

kyle
11-16-2004, 05:32 PM
play left handed or use one hand.

bsmutz
11-16-2004, 05:41 PM
My wife and I play rotation. She can shoot at any ball on the table, I have to shoot at the lowest. We keep score and first one to 61 wins. She gets ball in hand, I get ball in kitchen. When we first started, she lost most of the time. Now I lose most of the time. It's great practice for getting out of snookers and for playing position. It really depends on how competitive you both are. My wife doesn't really care if she wins or loses, it's more about spending time together. I hate losing, so for me, it's more about the competition. (Don't tell her, but I've been thinking about changing the rules so I have a better chance.)

Sid_Vicious
11-16-2004, 05:49 PM
She must not have a winning desire, else she would slobber over all the money balls she had, regardless of her run abilities. A 4-out spot with adjustments when winning or losing with you getting the breaks(you don't B&amp;R many 9 racks), would create wins for her, so if that doesn't get her kick started, the I feel she's not in this game for the winning reasons. Maybe she just wants to play and have fun, be with you as a date, which equals "Don't play against her, it a doom scenario"....sid

marek
11-17-2004, 05:44 AM
Hi Spidey!
I got a suggestion for you:
Your girlfriend should have 2 or 3 (or more) innings compared to your one - if she makes a mistake she continues to play until she runs out of her innings, then you play your inning. If you make a mistake she has her number of innings again. This way she gets more table time and this kind of handicap is very adjustable.
Good luck! /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif

Harold Acosta
11-19-2004, 06:42 PM
Play opposite hand against the girlfriend or the lesser skilled player. That is what I did many years ago. Now, whenever I need to shift sides to make a ball, I don't feel uneasy about it.

Williebetmore
11-20-2004, 10:29 AM
My wife is a terrible player, and our favorite game is regular old rotation (except that she can shoot any ball, and I must contact the lowest numbered ball first, first person to 61 wins. Unfortunately, she is so bad that she even loses this way; but my rotation/9-ball skills have improved by leaps and bounds.

smfsrca
11-21-2004, 09:17 AM
Contrary to what a lot of players think. A persons enjoyment of the game has much less to do with winning and losing then with playing the game. Players get bored when they never have the chance to play. There's very little enjoyment in only being at the table 10 percent of the time and spending 90 percent of the time watching the other player. Giving someone a lot of weight (games on the wire) does not provide balance as you still are at the table most of the time. The better player has to do something that raises the difficulty of their shot. Examples are:
The better player shoots opposite handed.
The better player is given fewer legal pockets.
The better player must bank.
The better player must shoot combinations.
Some combination of these.
The object here is to balance the amount of time each player spends at the table. I have found that lesser skilled players don't mind losing as long as they felt they have had the time at the table to play.
I have a friend with whom I play 9 ball, one-pocket, and 14.1. I usually win at all 3. His perception, however, is that he plays me better at one-pocket so he enjoys that game the best. This is because, although he usually loses, he spends more time at the table, when the game is one-pocket.