View Full Version : Good 8-ball players - Your winning strategy?

01-03-2003, 04:50 PM
I enjoy 9-ball more than 8-ball (though I enjoy both), but have more opportunities to play 8-ball than 9-ball.

I'm a relatively new player, and I know I can beat many players in 8-ball but they end up winning!!!

One second I think I have the game under control next thing I know the player has only the 8-ball left to win?

What is a good strategy to help me improve my 8-ball game?

Any advice beyond the obvious to win at 8-ball is appreciated. I'm looking SPECIFICALLY for 8-ball advice.

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01-03-2003, 08:06 PM
I have received one private response recommending
"The 8-Ball Handbook for Winners" by Larry Schwartz.
Which I'm going to get. Do any others have any suggestions.
That will help me now.

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9 Ball Girl
01-03-2003, 08:06 PM
I look for a runout right after the break after the person pockets their called shot or depending on how the balls are spread on an open table. I'll look to see which ball is closest to the 8 ball and work my way from there--backwards if you will. Once I've done that, then I'll look at the runout layout again but from the first ball that I'll shoot to get to the 8 ball. Of course this may not always work as there might be a shot missed or you and/or the person you're playing might bump one of their balls or yours. Then you have to change your gameplan. I also look for problem shots, clusters, the ill-fated 8 ball hanging by the pocket, etc.

The one thing about 8 ball, IMO, in a defensive sort of way, is that you don't always have to try to pocket your balls. If I don't have a shot, I'll shoot at my ball to try to get it close to a pocket. If my ball is locked up with the other person's and they're trying to make me break it up for them, I'll give them ball in hand and let them do it. It usually depends on the skill of the other player and of course it depends on what rules you're playing by.

Wendy~~random thoughts

01-03-2003, 09:52 PM
My personal strategy is to play a very defensive style of game, more specifically, if I don't think I have a decent chance of running the table I leave with my opponent with the toughest leave I can, in 8-ball there are so many balls on the table it is easy to play a really good safety, this in turn should produce a better opportunity for you yourself.

This is just my own style of play, it might not be the style of game you would play very well.

Cueless Joey
01-03-2003, 10:11 PM
Jockey your way to a runout. If you have two or more balls tied up, let the othey guy break them. You can also miss on purpose and leave your opponent long and hard shots and maybe he'll break the clusters up.
Sadly, 8-ball becomes a stinky game because of this. But, if you want to win badly, you just have to do this often.

01-03-2003, 11:15 PM
As a previous post mentioned playing more defensive, which I do, yet have lost at times to a player who plays almost total offense. I might be to defensive?!

Also I do understand purposely missing a shot.
Though it doesn't sound right, I do think that
it is part of the game, and thus sometimes the
right thing to do.

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01-03-2003, 11:53 PM
Hi Preacherman,
You're half way to understanding 8 ball when you realize it's not 9 ball.
In 9 ball there's only one "ball group", so you share the same offensive run out plan as your opponent. In 8 ball there are two ball groups. THIS is why its more of a strategy game.
As long as your ball group is UNrunnable your job is to DELAY your opponent's run. Some call this "stinky" but defense is defense.
Is it "stinky" to defend against the pass in football? Nope.
Is it "stinky" to defend against the bunt in baseball? Nope.
Is it "stinky" to defend against a three-pointer in basketball? Nope.
Defense exists. Folks who ignore it suffer the consequences.
8 ball is essentially 2/3 defensive struggle followed by 1/3 offense. Ignoring defense means that your only "strategy" is an offensive run.
Test for yourself if this strategy of "offense only" is realistic for YOU.
Break an 8 ball rack. Select stripes or solids. Remove all the opponent balls. Try to run the table. Repeat twenty times. Can you run 16 out of twenty racks(80%)?
Yes? Now try twenty racks but this time,leave the opponent balls on the table. Can you still run 16 racks or did your percentage drop like a rock?
THAT'S the problem.
The percentages FAVOR playing SOME defense. When early run outs fail (offense only) you left your opponent an easier table for HIM to run. (That's what you were shooting when we took off all the opponent balls earlier.)
The strategy of eight ball is complex. But understanding how the various defensive tactics work is a good place to begin.

01-04-2003, 08:45 AM
Hi Preacherman. Ive got the exact same problem. Like I played this snooker player the other day. He was so kicking my ass in 8-ball OMG. He could do perfect jumps and englishes. We played about 5 games and I manahed to win only one in witch I pulled off 2 banks and a perfect safety for that maniac. Well anyway I think that one of the main things in 8-ball when choosing solids or stripes or further on, is to get rid of those clusters...theyl just kill u at some point /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif

Later all

Jon from MN
01-04-2003, 11:32 AM
We play a lot of 8 ball here and the best players go for the run most of the time however those same players play dead nut safties. It is most important to get rid of clusters NO NOT MOST while clusters are the biggest problem for a run the most important thing is know when and when not to go for the run. If your not 80% - 100% certain of a run or a break out I recommend playing a safty. imo Jon from MN

Jon from MN
01-04-2003, 11:39 AM
Im sorry I wanted to add this. The talent in our area in 8 ball is so good during a tourny the common rule here is when racing to 5 if you make 1 mistake in a match you probably can win if you make 2 you might win 3 you probably wont win 4 you most likely will lose. so playing the percentages is the most important thing to me jmo ~~Jon from mn ~~

01-04-2003, 11:54 AM
I can testify to the 8-ball play in Minnesota, especially on the barboxes. The top 1/3 of most fields are very strong 8-ballers. I have played many matches where the third inning is never reached in a race to five, six or seven in any game. You have to break big, runout like a spring barn horse, and play dead lock up safties or you can't get in the money. CC knows... /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif