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1Time
10-23-2007, 12:34 AM
I've heard of a game called "Hook" that involves shooting safeties. Can anyone here tell me how it's played? Thanks

bsmutz
10-23-2007, 11:30 AM
I'm not sure about the game "Hook", but Nick Varner has a safety game here: Safety Exercise (http://www.billiardsdigest.com/current_issue/apr_07/April07Feature.pdf)

Ralph_Kramden
10-23-2007, 03:34 PM
There is a game called Hooked on pages 184-186 in Byrne's Wonderful World of Pool and Billiards.
Nine balls are racked and it is played like nineball because you must hit the one ball first. The scoring is different because instead of pocketing balls you must hide either the cueball or the one ball and 'Hook' your opponent to earn a point.
The first player to earn 9 points wins the game.
I find the hardest thing to do in the game is to hit the one ball and hook the opponent if he already has you hooked.

av84fun
10-28-2007, 10:01 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Ralph_Kramden:</font><hr> There is a game called Hooked on pages 184-186 in Byrne's Wonderful World of Pool and Billiards.
Nine balls are racked and it is played like nineball because you must hit the one ball first. The scoring is different because instead of pocketing balls you must hide either the cueball or the one ball and 'Hook' your opponent to earn a point.
The first player to earn 9 points wins the game.
I find the hardest thing to do in the game is to hit the one ball and hook the opponent if he already has you hooked. <hr /></blockquote>

I modified that game to include the crucial skill of leaving your opponent tough if no hook is realistic. I call it Tennessee Hook 'Em and it has improved my safety play dramatically. It can be played for practice or competitively. The following rules assume you have an opponent.

1 Flip for break. After break, all balls sunk are spotted on either the head spot, foot spot or center spot in a way that achieves the most balanced spread i.e. use head spot if there are fewer balls on that half of the table etc. If 4 balls are sunk, re-break and don't hit so damn hard.

2. Breaker gets ball in hand on the 1 ball and must play a shot that results in a ball lying between the CB and the 2 ball (or the next highest ball than the OB as play proceeds)
3. A hook is determined by a straight, line of sight jusgment with no jumps or swerves allowed. If the opponent doubts that a hook has been accomplished he/she can CHALLENGE the hook by shooting a center ball shot in an effort to make direct contact (no kicks etc.)with the OB. If contact is successful, challenger wins rack. If contact is not successful, challenger loses rack.
4. Play proceeds until shooter fails to leave a hook at which point shooters inning is over and opponent comes to the table with ball in hand.
5. Since play ends with the 9 Ball left on the table, a total of 8 points are available and the first player to 6 points wins the rack. If the score ends up 4-4 with means that the 9 Ball left then the shooter whose inning it is at the 4-4 score must BANK the 9 Ball. If shooter misses the bank, the inning is over and the opponent attempts to bank the 9 playing the balls where they lie (not BIH). Play continues until one player banks the 9 Ball successfully and wins the rack 5-4.
6. Three Ball Rule. Since hooking an opponent can be unrealistically difficult with only 3 balls left, at that point shooter can elect to "leave the opponent tough" instead of playing for a hook. The opponent can Challenge the "tough leave" but then must play a shot that either pockets the OB or leaves the opponent hooked. (No leaving a tough shot back is allowed since that could go on too long). If the challenge fails, the rack is lost.

COMMENTS

For good safety players, running six points is not very difficult (I run 6 points 80% of the time) so a winner breaks format could result in a shut out of the opponent in short races.

The game, of course, forces you to play for hooks (until the 3 Ball rule kicks in) and you will begin to develop an arsenal of different types of hook shots...such as "CB Roll Up" hooks, "OB hides" (controlling the OB behind blockers). "CB hides" (controlling the CB behind blockers) "Carom hooks" where you carom the CB off the OB in order to direct the CB on its intended path and "Passing Hooks" where the CB stikes the OB...and the CB passes the blocker ball while the OB strikes a rail and passes the blocker coming back in the other direction. AND MANY MORE types that you will discover.

Tough Leaves. The 3 Ball rules requires you to learn this critical skill since hooks are not always realistically available. Say the CB is near the head rail...the OB is center table and another ball is frozen to a long rail. It would be VERY hard to leave a hook from that position and a sell out if you attempt to pocket the OB and miss. So, you might attempt to control the OB 2 rails back to the head end of the table and leave the CB on the foot rail. Doing so would require the opponent to play the long bank or concede the point to you.

In my experience, the break shot and safeties are the least practiced skills and this game...which I use to start all my practice sessions...has elevated me from a C safety player to at least a B+.

Enjoy.