View Full Version : What is the BEST strategy in 8-ball?

05-20-2002, 09:42 PM
I am looking for the best strategy in 8-ball?

Also do you play differently if your playing a higher skilled player than yourself?

Note: I have a tendancy to set my balls up, if I don't have an easy table to run, but meanwhile I'm behind on balls, and need to then come back with a big run of balls, which does not always happen?

Thanks, Jim

05-20-2002, 09:54 PM
Block the pockets with your balls. Of course, if we were good enough to do this, we'd probably just run out!!!

05-20-2002, 10:49 PM
on each shot, consider both what your next shot will be if you make the ball, and where the cue ball will be for your oppoent if you miss. sometimes it is better to forego a shot that seems a sure thing if you have nothing after that, when you can leave the table knowing you will have another chance..... Patti

Fred Agnir
05-21-2002, 06:43 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: preacherman:</font><hr> I am looking for the best strategy in 8-ball?

Also do you play differently if your playing a higher skilled player than yourself? <hr></blockquote>

For those that can runout, the best strategy IMNSHO is to go for every runout that's possible on favorable equipment. At any 8-ball tournament, the guys who runout are the guys who win. Yes, there's the occassional safety battle and it's important to be able to play the strategic game, but the run-n-gun is the way to win at 8-ball.

All that being said, I recently played a tournament where by the time the finals came about, the humidity level raised due to the amount of people that came into the bar. Runouts became very difficult compared to earlier in the day. So, my strategy was to miss my first shot regardless of what the table looked liked (very unlike me).The strategy didn't come to me until the 6th game when nobody had a full table runout. By the time my opponent had any idea what I was doing, I was burying him.


05-21-2002, 06:55 AM
preacherman, the best short summary of 8 ball strategy I've seen is the post by Lewie in answer to this same question when you posted it on the playpool message board. Lewie's answer was as follows:

"First of all dont try and run the balls out if you have balls tied up that you cant break up, second if you can break up your troubled balls do it as early as you can, third play the balls out backwards from the 8 ball figuring out each shot to the one before. If you happen to bump a ball while running them,stop and look at the balls and see if it has altered your run out pattern any, if it has you better re-plan your shots, or play a good safety. that is my best summary of 8 ball.


I would second Fred Agnir's comment that almost all players who are consistent 8-ball tournament winners are run out players. First look to run out, but if you aren't reasonably confident that you can run out, no sense making any of your balls--just look to improve your situation by breaking apart a cluster of your balls, moving your balls to block your opponent, or playing a safety to get ball-in-hand.

05-21-2002, 07:12 AM
Don't kill off your soldiers! And follow Bill Porter's advice. Jake

05-21-2002, 09:32 AM
Preacherman, speaking in generalities, the biggest factor in dictating your strategy for any game or match of 8-ball is in accurately assessing your skill level - and perhaps even more importantly the skill level of your opponent. The other major factor that dictates your ideal strategy is the layout of the balls in any particular game.

An agressive run-out from the start stragegy may be fine if you are capable of doing that on a consistent basis and if the layout of the table allows for you to do so and/or your opponent is a weaker player who is not very likely to run out a number of balls even if you make a mistake.

However, IMO the stronger your opponent is (in relation to you) and the shorter the race is, your best chances may be improved by adopting a more conservative strategy - assuming you are a competent safety player and assumming the balls are not in a position for you to have a good chance of running out.

Again speaking in general terms (certainly not always the case), in a game between two strong and fairly evenly matched 8-ball players, if the balls are not laid out very good for a run-out, it is often the best strategy to let your opponent start clearing the table first. Give him/her the tough chance to run out, but if they go far in to the rack and fail, your chances of cleaning up the mess and running out are greatly improved the fewer of your opponents balls that remain on the table. Also, when they are down to one or two balls or the 8-ball and give up the table, for a smart and decent playing safety player, it's usually quite easy to duck and leave your opponent a very tough shot, even if you can't run out. IMO, there is far more strategy involved in 8-ball than is ever needed in 9-ball - which makes it such an intriquing, cerebral game. - Chris in NC

05-21-2002, 12:06 PM
I like the run&amp;gun approach with equally skilled opponents.
&lt;don't scratch on the break
&lt;if your going to try and run'm swing at your problem balls early so you can duck the run with more obstacle balls remaining.
&lt;during your run, if possible w/o risking a miss, try and queer up some of his balls, it's like buying insurance.
&lt;never pass the 'key ball' shot when your on it.
&lt;try and pull shape on the 8-ball where you don't have to run the whiteball.
&lt;being a preacher this one may be against your religion but at least once during your run pretend you got lucky shape. LOL /ccboard/images/icons/smile.gif

05-21-2002, 05:04 PM
What a great question! Never play the opponent, play the balls. Depending on your skill level, their are many ways and strategies to procure a win in eight ball. After you break the balls, survey the table. If it looks like you can run out, try. If the rack does not favor the run out, look at what other options lay before you. Quite often I will play a safe on the very first ball. Eight ball is not a game that favors running out. While indeed their are a great many players that can run out frequently, this does not mean that they will do so every rack.

It is also very important to recognize when you are shooting yourself into a corner. Remember for every action there is a reaction. In short, winning is the best strategy. Know how you play, what you are capable of doing. If you play within your abilities and play SMART, you can increase you winning percentage in a very short time. As far as setting your self up and then falling short, try this. Practice running 5-6-7 balls randomly. Quite often you opponent will run 5-7 balls only to come up short. If you have confidence in your game, and you are able to run between 4-7 balls most of the time, this should increase your overall wins. I am not an advocate of allowing the opponent to the table unless, you have provided an absolute lock. Remember, in most cases they can't make what they can't see.

May the roll's be with you,,always.

Sensei Red.

05-21-2002, 06:50 PM
Thank you for your input. The reason I asked the same question here as on play pool message board, is that there are some people there who do not post here. Just trying to get the most input to my question. But overall I get much more response to a question on CCB.

Thank you, Jim

05-21-2002, 06:54 PM
run out

05-21-2002, 07:44 PM
To show how important your soldiers are scatter 7 balls from one group on the table along with the 8 ball. Then with ball in hand (your opponent just made his 7th ball and scratched, or he was hooked and couldn't hit the 8, anyway he gave you BIH) now run the table. It is not as hard as it sounds and you should be able to consistently do it. After all, your opponent now has no soldiers (obstacles or balls) to block you and with a little planning it is just a matter of making the shots. And if you get too far out of line you can also hide behind one of your soldiers and get ball in hand again. If you can't do this then enjoy the APA and never ever think about gambling on 8-ball. Jake

Ralph S.
05-21-2002, 09:34 PM
If you are a "rack-runner" then the run-n-gun style is fine. If your skill level is not to where you can run the majority of racks, then play a more defensive style. Most importantly though, remember to play the table. If you read the lay-out correctly and play defense when needed you'll be alright. JMHO.
Ralph S.