View Full Version : Pattern Play
05-24-2006, 02:53 PM
In the article on Efrin they memtion Pattern Play. What is this a strategy or tactic?
05-24-2006, 03:17 PM
I guess you could say both. After you've played for awhile, you begin to recognize patterns or groupings of balls that are familiar and you know from shooting them many times how to get the cue ball in the right place for the next ball. The easiest way to explain it would be from a straight pool or 8-ball perspective. Let's say you are playing 8-ball just after the break and your cue ball is in the middle of the table. The balls are spread nicely with a few balls on each end of the table. You would look for ways to pocket all of the balls on one end of the table with a way to transition to the other end of the table after pocketing the last one. There are usually several different ways to get shape. When someone discusses pattern play, they are usually refering to playing in a way that naturally lends itself to both making the balls and getting shape on the next ball without a lot of cue ball movement or fancy shot making (not to mention unnecessary movement of the cue ball from one end of the table to the other).
05-24-2006, 03:23 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote kevinkins:</font><hr> In the article on Efrin they memtion Pattern Play. What is this a strategy or tactic? <hr /></blockquote>
The video demos under "Chapter 5" (http://www.engr.colostate.edu/~dga/pool/normal_videos/index.html) should give you a feel for some of the basic tools of pattern play. Many books also give good coverage of this topic.
05-25-2006, 04:48 AM
"you begin to recognize patterns or groupings of balls that are familiar and you know from shooting them many times how to get the cue ball in the right place for the next ball."
Thanks. That's what I thought. Is there any published instruction on how to pocket common groupings?
I notice that the run the rack feature on this site has been discontinued.
05-25-2006, 11:00 AM
See Dr. Dave's post above. I'm not familiar with the books he is referring to, but I'm sure he would elaborate if asked.
05-25-2006, 11:56 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote kevinkins:</font><hr> ...Is there any published instruction on how to pocket common groupings?... <hr /></blockquote>
The things which helped me the most was first Dr. Dave's DVD which shows 30 and 90 degree rules. (This taught me how to avoid scratching and that I have options of how to shoot the cue ball to get it to go where I want after it hits the object ball.)
Then Jimmy Reid's No Time for Negative and Art of Eight Ball videos (He takes you through run outs and tells you what he is about to shoot, how he is going to shoot it, and why he is doing this - for each shot).
Then someone mentioning not being able to "run 3 friggin' balls". That is the thing. Being able to run 3 balls in a row. To leave the cue ball in a good spot after shooting the first ball so you have an easy shot on the second ball *and* the cue ball will come off of that shot to give you an easy shot on the 3rd ball. Thinking about the second and third balls when shooting that first ball. Then if you can do this with 3 balls, it is easy to do this with 6 balls.
Things which help me are...
Before I shoot any balls... say if I shoot that ball in the corner, where will the cue ball go after the shot?
If I shoot that other ball into the side, where will the cue ball go after the shot? If I shoot that same ball into a corner, where will the cue ball go after the shot?
I may be able to shoot a ball into the side or into a corner pocket. I will shoot it into the pocket which will leave the cue ball where I want it after my shot.
Is it a thin cut? If yes, then the cue ball will go "flying off into outer space" after the shot. Where will it go? Can I hit it a little harder so it hits the far rail and then returns up table?
Is it a full ball hit? Will I need to hit the cue ball fast and with follow to get the cue ball to continue forward?
In general ask yourself; Where will the cue ball go after this shot?
This stuff is not easy, but over time you learn where the cue ball will go after certain shots. So maybe 3 balls near a corner pocket. Which ball should I shoot first? Where will the cue ball go after that shot? If I shoot a certain ball first, will the cue ball naturally come off the rail to leave me a shot on another ball? Can I shoot a ball slowly and leave the cue ball in line to shoot in another ball?
Two balls near the long rail near a corner pocket. One ball is further away from the rail than the other. Which ball should you shoot first? Where will the cue ball go after that shot? Will this leave me a shot on the second ball? What if I shoot the other ball first?
My favorite is a stop shot pattern. You can shoot in several balls using stop shots and after each shot, you are lined up for the next shot. No mess, no fuss!
05-25-2006, 12:18 PM
P.S. I run a small local 8-ball tournament and saw a guy scratching a lot and not always leaving himself good position for his next shot.
I had the opportunity to teach him the 30 and 90 degree rules about 6 months ago. He now rarely scratches and leaves good position for his next shot on most of his shots.
The other day he won 1st place (for the first time) in our local tournament. He was beaming! Actually he was glowing so much, I almost needed sunglasses!
It was learning the 30 and 90 degree rules which elevated him from never getting into the money to being able to win 1st place. (Also a bit of safety play [BCA rules tournament].)
These rules are *powerful* stuff when mixed with understanding, practice, and time.
05-25-2006, 02:06 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote bsmutz:</font><hr> See Dr. Dave's post above. I'm not familiar with the books he is referring to, but I'm sure he would elaborate if asked. <hr /></blockquote>
Most pool books cover position play and strategy fairly well. I didn't have specific books in mind. "The Illustrated Principles of Pool (http://www.engr.colostate.edu/~dga/pool/book/book_description.html)" (my book) has a chapter (43 pages) dedicated to this topic. Phil Capelle's books also seem to do a pretty good job with this topic. For other book recommendations, see the thread links under "books" here (http://www.engr.colostate.edu/~dga/pool/threads.html).
05-25-2006, 02:48 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote kevinkins:</font><hr>... Thanks. That's what I thought. Is there any published instruction on how to pocket common groupings?
... <hr /></blockquote>
Yes. I think George Fels' discussion (in Mastering Pool?) is perhaps the most organized. He sets out categories of balls with suggestions on how to approach them in general. You will need to modify anyones suggestions for your own game depending on which shots you can make reliably.
A lot depends on which game you're playing.
05-25-2006, 07:01 PM
Thanks guys. I am really happy about the 3 ball run comment above because I have been practicing various three ball set-ups a lot. So I came to this conclusion on my own /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif As a long time chess player thinking ahead is natural .. if this, then that, then that, etc. I have over 25 books on chess that teach how to set-up and solve positions. I read Dr Dave's wed site all the time (thanks Dave!) I think a "run this rack" type book is what I am missing for pool. Three, four, five+ ball position set-up with instructions on how to execute the shots. I could see long practise evenings trying to replicate the runs. But at least you would know there was a solution to the position and it was up to you to execute. The book could even have "famous" positions solve by famous players just like in chess books. Imagine trying to replicate a famous player's run - could be a fun way to practice.
05-25-2006, 11:30 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Bob_Jewett:</font><hr> You will need to modify anyones suggestions for your own game depending on which shots you can make reliably.<hr /></blockquote>
Excellent point Bob. I frequently listen to good players tell people what the correct shot is and while I know they are technically correct the advice is often misguided because the player being advised doesn't have the skills necessary to execute the "correct" shot.
05-25-2006, 11:53 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote kevinkins:</font><hr>...I think a "run this rack" type book is what I am missing for pool. Three, four, five+ ball position set-up with instructions on how to execute the shots...<hr /></blockquote>
I'll give you a few titles and you may or may not find these books. Might be out of print, they will not be at your local new bookstore. Might try amazon.com or used.addall.com or google.com with just the title in quotes.
These books have patterns set-up shown on a pool table...
8-Ball Handbook for Winners - Schwartz
Shots, Moves, and Strategies - Robin
How Would you Play This - Fels
05-26-2006, 06:22 AM
Kevin I have mention numerous times of playing straight pool with Joe Canton 1951 National Champion and how he would play the same last 5 or 6 shots 60% of the time. Then the dawn and I realized he would billiard the balls into that position making running balls as easy as falling off a log.
The secret is controlling the object balls as well as the cueball. I would listen to commentators on AccuStats Videos preaching stay away from going into balls when billiaring into the balls was the correct play. You just have to add straight rail billiards into your pool vocabulary.####
05-29-2006, 08:34 AM
Thanks guys. Will look into those classic books. My barber gave be a copy of Pool & Billads magazine and I ordered Capelle's "Practicing Pool". I think it's new (?). Also found out the world straight pool champinships are taking placr next weekend in a hotel I pass on the way to work in NJ! Will have to check it out.
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