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View Full Version : Strategy for 8-ball (in general) and on bar-table



preacherman
09-12-2005, 05:47 PM
I am going to be playing 8-ball and though I have some common sense ideas for strategies. I would like your (CCBers) input on 8-ball strategies and also 8-ball strategy on bar table. I am used to playing mostly 9-ball on 8 or 9 foot tables. So I am less familiar with these small tables and with 8-ball strategy.

BTW - I am no longer in Atlanta, GA.
I have moved to Kane, PA near Warren, PA and 28 miles from Bradford and St. Marys -
Any of you out here?

Thanks,
Jim "preacherman"
www.christianpoolplayers.com (http://www.christianpoolplayers.com)

vinnie717
09-12-2005, 06:14 PM
well im not by any means a master on bar tables but u should probaly try to break up your clusters asap and dont go for the run out only if your POSITIVE you can run the table with realitive ease. And if you cant get out, save a couple balls to play shape off of for the 8.

vince

Harold Acosta
09-12-2005, 09:06 PM
My experience is mostly last-pocket 8 ball; however, there are several things you have to be on the look-out.

1. How the table plays. There are some fast tables, but I've played in my share of slow tables. This alone could "throw you out" particularly if you are acustomed to playing on 9 ft tables. Many bar room tables are not leveled. This is another factor.

2. Cue ball size. Cue ball is bigger and heavier. You would need to practice more with the cueball and the table, to get a "feel."

3. Watch your opponents. Look at how they play and compare in your mind how you would fare against some of these guys. Some are very good and you may be able to have just 1 or 2 turns at the most. Don't underestimate their skills.

4. Room conditions. Check out the noise level at the room. Sometimes you have jukeboxes playing at high decibels. This could be a distraction. Also if they allow smoking, it would not be a "heavenly" place. Check also how the tables are spread. You could be bumping into other players while at the table.

5. Ambience. This is also important to me. If I don't like any of the things mentioned above, I will not play. I have to feel comfortable in a place with good friends, and a friendly atmosphere.

6. Strategies. Always play your best game, and always make sure you feel confortable at the table; how it runs, etc. Once you have observed the players in the field, you will most probably come up with a "plan" for each player.

This is probably not much, but it works for me..


Harold

Bob_Jewett
09-12-2005, 09:16 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote preacherman:</font><hr> I am going to be playing 8-ball and though I have some common sense ideas for strategies. I would like your (CCBers) input on 8-ball strategies and also 8-ball strategy on bar table. ... Jim "preacherman"
www.christianpoolplayers.com (http://www.christianpoolplayers.com) <hr /></blockquote>
You might consider picking up Randy Givens', "The Eight Ball Bible," which has gotten some good reviews. It's intended especially for bar tables.

Ralph S.
09-12-2005, 11:06 PM
In reguards to what Harold said, the bit about the cueball is true, although many of the tables now use the cb with the Aramith logo or shamrock. They play closer to that of a red circle or what not, but still are just a tad bit heavier.

Harold also mentioned table speed on bar boxes. Most you encounter will play very slow. Should I be on a slower table, I will hit many shots just a slight bit firmer than usual. This helps with the speed factor as well as a slightly off-level table.

Ralph S.
09-12-2005, 11:10 PM
I forgot to mention, be sure to check the rails before you start playing. Bars often tend to keep the maintenance to a minimum. Bad rails are not uncommon on barboxes.

Raz
09-13-2005, 01:42 AM
Jim,

I play alot of 8-Ball on Bar Boxes (Mainly Last Pocket). Similar to you, I was mainly a 9-Ball player playing on 9'-8' pool hall tables before I moved to the North Woods. As others have said, the main things you will notice are slower tables, deader rails, and a strange mix of players with a variety of playing styles.

The best advice I can give you is to get to the bar early, if you're playing leagues. This is a good time to size up the competition. Watch how they play and interact with other people around them. You will be able to notice any shots that they have particular difficulty with or are easy for them to make repeatedly. Also you will learn how they look at the table. Coming from 9-Ball you are used to just looking at the table and knowing the way you have to play your shots but, in 8-ball you have to create your own patterns and more often than not, players get into a pattern repetition. For you this means that if you identify their patterns you can set traps for them to help break up your balls or so that they will hook themselves. The other reason for getting to the bar early is to get some table time. The best wasy to find out how a table plays is of course to play on it. You don't want any suprises coming up during the middle of a money game. Test all of the rails. Test the roll from one end to the other and from one side to the other. There is always roll of some sort on bar boxes, haven't found one yet that didn't have a roll.

When it comes to 8-ball you are also going to want to learn how to create your own patterns and also learn to adapt, too often a person will get locked in on a certain pattern and end up hooking themself right out of a win because the shot they have their mind set on just won't allow the leave for the next ball on their aggenda.

A few notes on last pocket, look for which ball is closest to the 8, more often than not that is the ball you will want to be your last ball before the 8 but, pocket orientation does play a key in this as well. Also remember that it always as important to attempt to make the 8 ball in your pocket as much as not leaving your opponent a shot on their pocket. More often than not I have won games simply by not leaving my opponent a shot on their pocket therefore when they attempt the shot, they end up leaving me lined up perfectly for my pocket.

And a few last bits of advice; Don't drink to much if playing in a bar (No Brainer), Don't get cocky, always be humble and congratulating of other players (it's easier to make money off of someone who likes playing with you, also it's just good sportsmanship), and most of all, remember, it's a bar, people are out to have fun that should include yourself.

~Raz

cycopath
09-13-2005, 07:23 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Bob_Jewett:</font><hr>You might consider picking up Randy Givens', "The Eight Ball Bible," which has gotten some good reviews. It's intended especially for bar tables. <hr /></blockquote>

Excellent book! I would highly recommend it to anyone of any skill level to pick it up if they are going to be playing barbox 8 ball. It's a bargain at the $30 price tag.

Billy_Bob
09-13-2005, 07:28 AM
-You have an advantage if you leave all of your balls on the table and let your opponent run in most of his balls. Then chances are that one or more of your balls will be blocking one or more of his final shots. Think of your balls as "soldiers" guarding the pockets. Then when it is your turn, you have a clear path to run-out. I like it when my opponent has only one ball left and I have 7 left on the table. I have a big advantage!

-If your opponent only has one ball left on the table and you have many left. It is easy to leave him without a shot. it is easy to make one of your balls and at the same time leave him without a shot should you miss (shot safety).

-It is a good idea to leave 3 balls scattered around the table if you can't run-out. Then your opponent will have a difficult time leaving you without a shot.

-Might want to arrange your last 3 balls for an easy run-out. If one is in a cluster, break that out first and leave your opponent without a shot while doing so.

-If you have one ball left, your opponent has one ball left, and they are both in the same cluster, the first one to break out the cluster is doomed! If it is your shot, it might be a good time to intentionally miscue and totally miss the cluster! (Let your opponent break out the cluster first.)

-This is the most important if you ask me... If you do not have a shot, think about the cue ball only. Where can you leave the cue ball so your opponent will not have a shot? With BCA rules, you must hit one of your balls and drive a ball to the rail, but which of your balls can you hit, and hit in a certain way and certain speed to leave the cue ball in a nasty place? Don't even try to make your object ball into a pocket. Your only concern is where the cue ball will stop after your shot. Read following note...

Note: When playing in bars, there will be intoxicated persons, bangers, and people who get easily frustrated and mad. So far as leaving them without a shot many times in a row, some of these people will get quite upset. Might be a good idea to not do this too much if the person is getting too ticked off.

If it is a tournament with top level players, then you can spend endless amounts of time leaving them without a shot. These players are good sports and accustomed to long "safety battles".

Fred Agnir
09-13-2005, 08:59 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote preacherman:</font><hr> I am going to be playing 8-ball and though I have some common sense ideas for strategies. I would like your (CCBers) input on 8-ball strategies and also 8-ball strategy on bar table. <hr /></blockquote>

Break 'em hard, and run 'em out.

Fred

raodwarior
09-13-2005, 09:11 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote preacherman:</font><hr> .

BTW - I am no longer in Atlanta, GA.
I have moved to Kane, PA near Warren, PA and 28 miles from Bradford and St. Marys -
Any of you out here?

"
www.christianpoolplayers.com (http://www.christianpoolplayers.com) <hr /></blockquote>

Yup we're out here although a bit north of you in Erie and the outskirts. If you figure to get up this way drop me a line and I will give you directions to our room up here.

preacherman
09-13-2005, 06:39 PM
Thamks for your input, I think it will help - I will put it to use Thursday.

Jim "preacherman"
www.christianpoolplayers.com (http://www.christianpoolplayers.com)

mworkman
09-14-2005, 09:33 AM
If you are a good player, I would spend a lot of time working on your break. The better the players, the more important the break becomes. If you can make a ball and pick your group, you have a huge advantage. And as allready mentioned, solve your problems early. If you can get your problems solved, go ahead and try to run out. If you can't conceive of a plan to get out, don't just pocket your balls because you will have less solutions for your problems with less balls to shoot at. Good luck

Ronoh
09-15-2005, 07:56 AM
Everything mentioned here is good advice. One more thing to remember; Never force your shot. Don't try to make something happen because you got out of shape. Just re-analyze and adjust accordingly.

I've seen some good shooters loose because they thought of only one pattern, just to get out of shape and force a shot to loose.

You have to be more flexible in 8-ball, and you'll want to play some straight pool too so that you can see all the billiard(carom) opportunities that comes up during the game.

MacGyver
09-16-2005, 11:26 PM
I know I'll sound like an idiot, but really after reading this thread and spending much time thinking about 8ball and adjusting my play, I have gone from 3rd/4th at my college to 1st/2nd in 8ball just by playing safeties like every other shot.

Just about all of us can run out 4-5 balls(obviously the top 5 or so can run the rack every now and again), but I found that many would always find a shot and go for it, even if the shot was only a 40-60% chance of making it(kicks, banks and tight long cuts).


Anyway, I found myself doing the same, always finding the best possible shot and going for it, and then I would come up about 50/50 against the other top players.

However once I began to break up clusters and then safety off that at the beginning of the game, and then setup my shots while safetying, I SERIOUSLY improved my game to 95-100% win rate(undefeated for about 5 hrs today), just by playing a safety behind my balls when I didnt have a sure shot, and without getting any better at actually aiming, stroking, ect..

I must have been dense for just trying to pure skill win this long and not using strategy, but I find it will seriously improve your game if you never take a shot you aren't 100% on, unless you are forced to.

poolturtle
09-17-2005, 08:40 AM
Good advice from everyone....

One thing that's helped me is studying clusters, combination, and carom shots.

As already mentioned, bar tables are smaller(usually 6 1/2-7ft long) and clusters are more frequent. Learning to read clusters will allow you to see shots you wouldn't otherwise notice.

Carom shots are also a great strategy. With all the congestion on the table, being able to kiss off another ball to get "around" a problem cluster is an invaluable weapon.

Just my opinion...

Oh yeah, one more thing.... If you're going to play in an actual bar, be sure you know the "bar rules".

Most bars don't play by BCA rules. Hell, most bar patrons never heard of BCA rules /ccboard/images/graemlins/confused.gif ALWAYS check the rules before playing anyone for anything. No use in getting a stick upside the head over a minor rule!

Also, at least in my experience, most people don't understand the concept of a safety. It's like a foreign language to them. So if you shoot safe (or intentionaly screw them up), you're likely to upset someone. One way around this is to call a shot and then shoot the safety anyway. It works best if you call the ball you're going to hit first, of course.

Fast_Eddie
09-18-2005, 06:05 AM
Always keep in mind. One or two chances. If you see a posible run take it. Always plan all the way through the game on a 6'er Look at what shot you will need to use to break any cluster. And look to save that cluster that hides their until the end. Pretty simple really. <font color="green"> </font color>

onepocketfanatic
09-18-2005, 08:49 AM
Play safe when possible to get ball in hand. Playing safe and getting ball in hand will win a lot of games for you. It also will affect you opponent mentally sometimes.

wolfdancer
09-19-2005, 09:20 AM
Jim, i went up to Everett,Wa this past weekend, to watch an annual 8-ball tournament.....9 ft tables, and some very good players....Mike Vidas, Dan Louie, Rich Guiler, Paul Pottier,
Mike Zimmerman, and Stan Tourangeau...who's won the last two, and three of the last four.
In one match involving Rich and another player...they ran the first five tables....and that was the norm for the tournament...runout pool. Pretty generous 4 3/4 corner pockets helped though, and there seemed to be minimal clusters after the breaks.
So I didn't learn any new strategy, but did see some good shotmaking.

Wally_in_Cincy
10-22-2005, 06:04 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote wolfdancer:</font><hr> ....Mike Vidas, Dan Louie, Rich Guiler, Paul Pottier,
Mike Zimmerman, and Stan Tourangeau...who's won the last two, and three of the last four.
In one match involving Rich and another player...they ran the first five tables....and that was the norm for the tournament...runout pool. Pretty generous 4 3/4 corner pockets helped though, and there seemed to be minimal clusters after the breaks.

<hr /></blockquote>

and you will see that more often on 9-ft tables. 7-ft ers almost always have clusters

I don't have much to add to all these good acviices except one....if you are playing ball-in-hand rules and you have clusters, when you get BIH don't be afraid to play safe and break a cluster out while doing so. If you get BIH again after that you're home free

wolfie, was "Downtown" Ken Brown there? Whatever happened to him? Not that I care /ccboard/images/graemlins/cool.gif

Sid_Vicious
10-22-2005, 09:11 AM
Watch the side pockets on some bar tables, Cougars in particular. You'll cough up a seemingly gimme shot by surprise, so take them seriously. I am not opposed to slow breaks to create traffic for killer opponents, and even playing safe on an open table to allow myself to get the suit I see as ideal. Early safes are superior many times, but you have already heard that. Lastly, you might consider packing your own Arimith CB along for use. Most knowledgable players will welcome the changout.

If you are indeed playing bar rules, I have one statement to add, "Creative misses". If you piss someone off, get the hell out of there. Oh yea, DO NOT leave your personal cues in harm's way. Nuff said..sid

Cornerman
10-24-2005, 10:36 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Wally_in_Cincy:</font><hr>
and you will see that more often on 9-ft tables. 7-ft ers almost always have clusters<hr /></blockquote> Just as a note, the Masters players at the BCA Vegas 8-ball (all on 7' bar tables) is filled with runouts after runouts. And the Grand Masters, forget about it. It's really a match of which of the players break and runs the least amount. I watched one match where 8 racks in a row were B&amp;R (four by each).


[quotewolfie, was "Downtown" Ken Brown there? Whatever happened to him? Not that I care /ccboard/images/graemlins/cool.gif


<hr /></blockquote> I see Ken Brown just about every year at the BCA Vegas Nationals.<hr /></blockquote>

Fred

stephen_joyce
10-26-2005, 03:29 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Fred Agnir:</font><hr>
Break 'em hard, and run 'em out.

Fred <hr /></blockquote>
I could not agree more.
regards
SJ

HALHOULE
10-26-2005, 04:29 AM
IF YOU DO NOT MAKE ANY OF YOUR BALLS, YOUR OPPONENT WILL HAVE A FIT TRYING TO WIN, AND THEY USUALLY WILL NOT.

DickLeonard
10-26-2005, 05:06 AM
Preacherman here is my secret for playing on a Bar Table always play to leave your cueball in the middle of the table that way no shot is longer than 4 ft.####

Wally_in_Cincy
10-29-2005, 06:46 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Cornerman:</font><hr> ,,,,,the Masters players at the BCA Vegas 8-ball (all on 7' bar tables) is filled with runouts after runouts. And the Grand Masters, forget about it. It's really a match of which of the players break and runs the least amount. <hr /></blockquote>

Fred,

I believe you. There are a few players in our measly little APA league that play that well. They know how to break clusters and will B &amp; R at least half their games

supergreenman
11-02-2005, 04:05 PM
Hey preacherman, I find the best strategy on a bar box it to:
-pick a lead ball to the 8ball then plan a run out from there
-eliminate any clusters as early as possible
-try not to bump any balls while playing your pattern.
-kill
-kill
-kill
-shake hands and smile /ccboard/images/graemlins/laugh.gif