View Full Version : Position play differences nineball/strightpool

L.S. Dennis
02-15-2003, 01:32 PM
Someone once asked Nick Varner what the difference is in playing position in the games of nineball and straight pool.

His response was "In nineball you're just playing area position, whereas in straight pool you have to play SPOT position.

What this seems to imply is that straight pool is a much tougher game to play correctly.

Having played both games for some 40 years now I have to say that I agree, any thoughts?

02-15-2003, 04:36 PM
Actually, I think 9 ball is a tougher game, but I agree with Varner's assessment of position play (how could you not?). I don't play much straight anymore due to time constraints, but I think all the length-of-table shots, power draw shots, big breaks, and the powerful and accurate stroke these things require make 9 ball tougher. Straight pool is truely the "chess" of pocket billiards. Once you learn pattern play in straight pool, you can have nice runs rather easily. I do think it's a wonderful game, especially when played well, and I wish more fans and players appreciated it. As far as the position play part of the games, I don't think either is more difficult than the other. They're just different. I think playing CORRECT position in 9 ball is tougher to learn. It's not enough to just get the cue ball where you need it, but get it there via the path that gives you the best margin for error and will yield the most consistent results.

02-15-2003, 09:31 PM
I'm no straight pool player so excuse me if I'm wrong, but I think they are about equal difficulty position wise. While 9 ball has a broader target area, it usually consists of going back and forth across the table whereas 14.1 is in a tight area.

02-16-2003, 02:59 PM
You are all correct in your assertions of spot position versus general position.Straight pool requires closer angle controls over short distance with the neccessity of the break shot to continue.Nine ball requires exceptional shotmaking skill and cueball control to a final angle for the 9.To try and determine which game is tougher is a debate that will continue long after we have passed.
One Pocket and Bank Pool Players will add their input I am sure.
I encourage every player to devote at least 150 balls a week to the pursuit of Straight Pool and a minimum of 10 Races to 9 or 11 each week in intensive training.For the OP/BP players their match-up skills will determine their sets.
As my old friend Rudy W. once said,"It's pool kid,it don't matter to me." /ccboard/images/graemlins/laugh.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif
the bayou banger,
c /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gifajunfats

02-16-2003, 05:23 PM
In str8 pool a player should play more hit and stick as well as hit as slide position; also in str8 pool more short and str8type shots. In 9 ball more general area position as well as playing more angled position thus facilitating easier qball movement necessary in 9 ball. JMHO. Fred

02-16-2003, 07:04 PM
Certainly area vs. spot position is on observation on the differences.

In addition, it appears to me that in straight pool you generally play for shallower angles and proper patterns will tend to include more stop and stun shots.

In nine ball proper patterns tend to require that you leave larger angles so that you can move the cue ball into proper position, generally over longer distances.

02-17-2003, 06:40 AM
i see Straight pool as using more short range positioning, short stun, screw and follow shots. 9ball used more long range positioning, 1, 2 and 3 rail positional shots. In 9ball you are often going back and forth, in Straight pool, you are clearing up an area of the table then moving onto another area of the table.

02-17-2003, 07:25 AM
I find nineball the bigger challenge, and the most gratifying. Typically you are using the whole table on a lot of your shots. I find that I bank more, have longershots, and I use a lot of running English. The latter has taken time to re-learn as the shots are gentler but with more English and stroke. My evening only feels complete after I can take one full table down clean.

02-18-2003, 05:56 AM
While watching some Accu-stats videos last week this topic came up amongst the various commentators like Sigel, Grady, Hopkins, Rempe, and they all pretty much agreed that to get into tournament shape for 9-ball is a matter of hitting balls for a few hours to loosen up. To get into 14.1 tourny condition they all said took ALOT longer. Rempe said during his player review of his match with Ginky that he played 4 hours a day for the week prior to the 2000 14.1 open and he still was'nt even close to where he wanted to be with pattern thinking and high runs. He still ran 80's/90's in the tourny and got beat. I guess the point is it's not the "shot" making that's the big difference. Making shots is making shots.I feel the pattern play in 14.1 is what makes it harder to learn. In 9-ball you have a basic road map once the balls are broken, in 14.1 there are many road maps for each rack and none better than the other, just some are easier than others, and that's where the high runs come from.......IMO...Gerry

02-18-2003, 06:46 AM
add to that positioning for the break shot in straight pool which is so critical for high runs