View Full Version : Your average 8 or 9s on the snap in a match?

phil in sofla
03-12-2002, 02:29 PM
I'm breaking slower (in my setup) and much harder than before. Last week I made the 8 in an 8-ball game twice in a row, directly back down to the head end corner pocket (an unusual place in my experience, since it mainly rolls towards the side pockets). This Sunday, I made the 9 on the hill to close out a tournament match, and then again the next set as part of my late set comeback attempt (fell short in that one).

RJ's cousin was hitting them about as hard as I've ever seen, and he made 3 9s in 3 matches (whether one per match, or a couple in one, I don't know).

If you're breaking well, are you good for one on the snap per set, on average, or more or less? In the past, I normally can go an entire night, 5 sets, without a single 9 going on the break, so probably, I was making the 9 maybe once per 50 breaks or so. Obviously, if I could realistically make that maybe 1 in 7 times or better, that would be a major plus for my game. What do you think is a reachable goal for frequency of that happening (not that you know my break, but for an average 'good' breaker)?

Jay M
03-12-2002, 02:53 PM
Making the 9 on the break is overrated as a statistic. If the 9 falls on the break, it's normally because the rack wasn't frozen or you get a lucky bounce.

It would be a better use of time to work on leaving the cue in the center of the table and making a ball or two.

The advantage of the break is that the other player isn't shooting, keep control of the table after the break and you have half the battle won.

Jay M

phil in sofla
03-12-2002, 03:00 PM
I understand what you mean about not thinking that much about making the 9 on the break. However, it isn't that hard to do what you say to concentrate on (middle table leave on the cue ball, other ball or balls made on the break) AND at the same time moving the 9 toward the foot corners, and sometimes, since it is moving that way, having it go. (Sort of like with the 2nd or 3rd ball 8-ball break-- it doesn't go that often, but it moves in the right direction most of the time, and you get more 8s that way than not).

03-12-2002, 03:09 PM
"Control" is the "KEY" Jay.. glad you made that clear. And, about the making of the 9 on the break, I do not know of any player that counts on it happening at anytime.
I like making the 9 on the break.. but I just don't count on it.
Average "Good" players might be able to expect it happening about every 25 or 30 breaks. Better than average players are going for 'control', pocketing the one in the side and keeping the cue ball in the center of the table for a chance at the next shot, or well played "push" or easy safety. All are 'control' factors that keep your opponent from running out.

Jay M
03-12-2002, 03:34 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: phil in sofla:</font><hr> I understand what you mean about not thinking that much about making the 9 on the break. However, it isn't that hard to do what you say to concentrate on (middle table leave on the cue ball, other ball or balls made on the break) AND at the same time moving the 9 toward the foot corners, and sometimes, since it is moving that way, having it go. (Sort of like with the 2nd or 3rd ball 8-ball break-- it doesn't go that often, but it moves in the right direction most of the time, and you get more 8s that way than not). <hr></blockquote>

The center ball in the rack moving has more to do with the gaps between balls in the rack than it does with the breaker. With a truly frozen rack, the 9 won't move unless it is hit by another ball.
The 8 ball break you are referring to is accomplished by the center ball on the bottom row bouncing off the end rail and coming up to kick the 8 in the side. I've only seen the 8 run into a pocket on it's own a few times in all of the years I've been playing the game.

Trying to accomplish all of the things at the same time would be tough. To make the 9 move towards a pocket consistently, you'd have to deliberately throw the cue ball into the 9 (I used to use a break that did this, but the cue was out of control and I'd end up with no leave at all) or find a break that sent another ball caroming into the 9. Stick with the basics of the break and you'll do better in the long run.

Jay M

03-12-2002, 03:45 PM
i'll make the 9 on the break once out of about 30 attempts. I don't play nine ball much. And in 8-ball i can pocket the 8 on the side or even in the upper corner (which you said is strange) when I hit the second ball as opposed to the head ball.

Chris Cass
03-12-2002, 03:49 PM
Hi Phil,
Sounds like RJ's cusin should break for me.LOL If Scott Lee rack's than the average is 1 9 on the snap in a life time. LOLLOLLOL
C.C.~~Scott Lee's rack is evil.....LMAO

03-12-2002, 04:12 PM
For a while I experimented with the type of break that Jay is talking about, cutting the 1 ball and having the cue ball go off the side rail with siding, back through the middle of the pack. After fooling around with it for some time these are the observations I made;

-The amount of 9's made on the break went up, but it is still only luck. This break just seems to give you extra potential to make the 9.
-Impossible to control the cueball, once it starts hitting other balls it has a mind of it's own.
-By cutting the 1, you send the 1 ball to the top of the table. In sending the cueball after the 9 you send it to the foot of the table. Even if you make a ball the next ball your shooting at is often at the other end of the table.
-I had to hit this break so much softer to avoid flying of the table.
-This break probally ended up losing me more games than it ever won for me. Reason being is I could never consistently pocket a ball off the break with it. Also half the time that you do make contact with the 9 it ends up hanging over a pocket. 9 over pocket + no ball on the break = one unhappy pool player.

After a while I happily gave up on this adventure and went back to trying to make a ball other than the 9 and in turn play shape on the 1. Mastering this will win me a lot more games than the occasional 9 ball snap ever will. That's if I ever master this.


03-12-2002, 08:04 PM
Jay is right of course. To extend his thought, you would be better suited to concentrate on controlling the table after the break. More specifically by rearranging the 1 near the 9-ball &amp; playing safe if you don't have a clear 1-ball shot (at least in the game of 9-ball). This strategy will win you more games than trying to make the 9 on the snap.

The Cuemage

03-12-2002, 08:25 PM
If the balls are racked properly, then the 9 is only going to go in by chance, when something happens to knock it in. If the 9-ball is going into a corner frequently, then that usually indicates a racking problem.

In rack-your-own 9-ball tournaments, I will start checking my opponent's rack if I see a 9-ball head straight for the corner pocket on one of their breaks.

03-13-2002, 09:28 AM
Phil's played me enough to know that I'll go months without making a 9 and then make bucketloads at a time. My cousin hits the balls with tremendous velocity and balls just go bouncing around for a few minutes until something falls in. Break probably in the 26-28 mph range. I figure that cue ball control is basically nil with this break.

Kato~~~Capt 20 mph break

phil in sofla
03-13-2002, 04:24 PM
Judging from the replies, y'all don't make 'em on the snap with any frequency at all, and you prefer it that way (only perhaps after trying to get snappers and seeing what that got you). I take it that those of you who didn't answer the question directly are around the 1 in 50 or so range-- once in a blue moon?

Or could you be more vague in your responses, LOL!

Yeah, Mike (RJ's cozzin, doncha know?) crushes 'em, with 5 balls made on the break against me, the most I can recall anyone doing (AND no shot on the low ball left, despite middle third of the table position for the cue ball).

One and only one time in my life, I snapped 3 nines and had 2 early ball/nine combinations (on my first shot after the break), getting out of a race to 5 in all of about 3 minutes. My opponent decided to change the rack spot or something on me after that set, and I didn't cash another one the rest of the night, nor move the nine toward the hold for any early combos, either. So maybe that was a semi-rigged spot where it was that magical set (although the nine went in or toward different pockets each time, so maybe not). Despite that legend in my own mind set (and winning double, with the schneid), I ended up losers overall at the end of the night.

So I agree that making the 9 is maybe pretty variable. But I'm still looking for estimates, either in your own game, or as to the better known breaking pros. Someone must have catalogued the pros' nine on the snap success rates (maybe Phil Capelle or Henning?), and if you know, or have a reference, please let me know.

Thanks to all.

03-15-2002, 08:23 AM
Hahaha, it is just luck how the balls are racked and how you hit the 1 ball to make throw transfer differently inside the rack.
It is no skill to make the 9-ball in the break, it is luck. It is only skill if you can make the 9 every time. If you are smart enough you can look at the gaps in the rack and calculate every ball.


03-15-2002, 05:13 PM
A private e-mail from Phil Capelle reminded me that in his survey of 500 pro games, about 1 in 45 racks found the 9 going without a scratch on the cue ball, just over 2%. He cautions that the sample of 500 may be too small, but thinks the actual frequency would be around that figure, somewhere between one in 40 and one in 50 racks.

03-15-2002, 09:22 PM
Phil, that % sounds reasonable to me. I'd think it's closer to 40-1 in real life, not pro's, but just a guess. I play for control not a 9 ball, but during that i've had plenty of 9 balls drop. I feel like my breaking power is about 80% of my limit, there is more in reserve that I don't use.
Not long ago in a tournament I made 4 nines in one set, and 2 more each in two other sets. I do make nines but that was unreal. One guy asked where it was going next. Anyway the conditions, and how well your hitting the balls all play a part, and sometimes better than others.
Having confidence in yourself and technique is what counts.