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View Full Version : head ball or 2nd ball 8 ball break


berlowmj
05-15-2007, 07:51 PM
Do you choose between them & use one under all circumstances or do you select one over the other in different circumstances.? For example, bar table vs 9 footer or tight rack vs loose etc?

TR_Frank
05-15-2007, 08:21 PM
If I'm going for the 8 on the break I go second ball. The second ball break has a greater chance of scratching though. If I'm playing safe I use headball. Also if the rack is loose I will usually use second ball.

Deadon
05-15-2007, 10:53 PM
BB 2nd ball, especially with heavy CB.

9' headball on tight table. Maybe 2nd ball on 5" pockets.

dmyroncox
05-16-2007, 05:28 AM
depends
running out hitting head ball opens up the rack better,
playing safe and possibly making 8 ball early, second ball
(no scratch if you draw the q ball off to the rail.

hitting head ball also opens it up for opponent too
hitting second ball keeps the balls tied up better

acedotcom
05-16-2007, 07:18 AM
I use the 2nd ball break on bar boxes only. On 8 or 9 footers, there's an increased chance of scratching, so I prefer hitting the 1st ball.

Snorks
05-16-2007, 09:48 AM
So, I tried the 2nd ball break last night on a barbox with a phenolic tipped cue (new Guylassy).... do you guys that use the 2nd ball break use a playing cue or something able to put more spin on it then a phenolic tip? I did not have much luck with this break with this cue.

I did however have lots of luck with a power break on the head ball.

bsmutz
05-16-2007, 10:53 AM
If you are really going to blast them, then head ball. The second ball break requires more control of the cue ball, IMO. Without control there is the scratch and the possibility of bouncing off the table. I also find that the 2nd ball break will sometimes send most of the balls to one side of the table. Could be beneficial if you aren't able to run out consistently and are playing a strong opponent.

pharaoh68
05-16-2007, 10:55 AM
2nd ball on the break is pointless. Yes, you have better odds of making the 8 on the break but its still so infrequent that its not worth running the risk of scratching over.

Best bet is to pllace the cueball about an inch to either side of the headspot and aim to hit the lead ball head on (no angle) as hard as you can. Do it right and the balls will spread better than aiming for the second ball. This way, you can avoid the scratch, spread the balls better, and have a much greater chance of running out.

Endymion
05-16-2007, 11:46 AM
Best bet is to pllace the cueball about an inch to either side of the headspot and aim to hit the lead ball head on (no angle) as hard as you can. Do it right and the balls will spread better than aiming for the second ball. This way, you can avoid the scratch, spread the balls better, and have a much greater chance of running out.In theory I agree w/this approach, in practice I'm preternaturally good at blowing up the rack and not making a damn thing. I'll keep working on that break in league and use the 2nd ball break when it matters.

rackem
05-16-2007, 11:59 AM
If breaking from the rail does not produce an advantage can anyone explain why the now defunct:p IPT decided to use a break box?:confused:

CreeDo
05-16-2007, 10:09 PM
The phenolic is meant only for getting max speed max speed with 0 english.

The 2nd ball break is just the opposite, you want some english (to avoid the scratch and move the cueball back into the rack) and you DON'T want full force. I forgot who said it, but someone pointed out that you should hit with 50-60% of your usual break power for this break. If you try full speed you're gonna jump or scratch a lot. So you almost NEED a regular tip to do 2nd ball breaks.

I don't agree that it's a waste of time. Some people's mileage will vary, especially depending on the table... but even if the 8 never goes, I always move balls out of the triangle area, and I get a great spread. On my normal break (which is just what pharaoh uses) I seem to end up with a bunch of balls clustered up towards one side rail. It's like half the rack just moves together as one big cluster. On the 2nd ball break I drop more, with better frequency, and they just don't seem to cluster because they're always getting kicked around at these crazy angles. Occasionally I halfass it but if it's done correctly I know it's at least as good as a normal break spreadwise, with the added bonus of the occasional 8-ball.

berlowmj
05-19-2007, 11:32 PM
Thanks to your encouragement, I have been experimenting with the 2nd ball break using the rail bridge. Scratching & miscuing are stil not problems, but CB placement could be better. I had some excitement like 3 & 4 balls going in on the break & even one 8 ball. However, with the additional practice my headball break also improved. I'm still a confused novice.

Possibilities for English remain limited by my phenolic tip, but perhaps this will be overcome as my stroke improves.

I suppose that my rail bridge from the rail on the 2nd ball break means that my practice can be generalized to the 9ball break. This seems like an advantage. But there are more clusters. More confusion, but increasing skill.

Tonight I attended a party in a luxurious basement where I knew the host had a 9' table. I brought my weapons (Sledgehammer & Universal Smart Shaft) & felt anti-social until a French guy challenged me. He was impressed. The quest for mastery in this game is changing my lifestyle. Ordinarily, I would have spent the evening engaged in political discourse.

Excuse the ramble. Your sage comments always welcome.

berlowmj
05-19-2007, 11:42 PM
The phenolic is meant only for getting max speed max speed with 0 english.

The 2nd ball break is just the opposite, you want some english (to avoid the scratch and move the cueball back into the rack) and you DON'T want full force. I forgot who said it, but someone pointed out that you should hit with 50-60% of your usual break power for this break. If you try full speed you're gonna jump or scratch a lot. So you almost NEED a regular tip to do 2nd ball breaks.

I don't agree that it's a waste of time. Some people's mileage will vary, especially depending on the table... but even if the 8 never goes, I always move balls out of the triangle area, and I get a great spread. On my normal break (which is just what pharaoh uses) I seem to end up with a bunch of balls clustered up towards one side rail. It's like half the rack just moves together as one big cluster. On the 2nd ball break I drop more, with better frequency, and they just don't seem to cluster because they're always getting kicked around at these crazy angles. Occasionally I halfass it but if it's done correctly I know it's at least as good as a normal break spreadwise, with the added bonus of the occasional 8-ball.


CREEDO has a point. But,2nd ball breaking with the phenolic would be the best of both worlds. Is it a feasible objective?

cuetechasaurus
05-20-2007, 01:46 AM
You've got to find a spot where the table is "leaking" from. That's the sweet spot. I don't like to use the 2nd ball break, because you lose the cueball with it. If I play a soft safety break, I like to try to make the headball in the side, so at least I might get a chance to choose the superior group (which of course can change anytime during a game, especially with lots of clusters) of balls. Another downfall about using the 2nd ball break if the head ball is not frozen to the first two balls, is that if the back row of balls are loose, the rack will be a slug no matter what. Alot of people fail to look at the back row of balls. I just got home from Vegas and I found the back row of balls loose quite often when inspecting the rack.

UWPoolGod1
05-20-2007, 02:12 AM
Being a big guy I usually cram the head ball in local bar tourneys. For the Open in Vegas this past week I side breaked every break. If I made a ball I could usually get through the clusters, If not make a ball then my opponent has to try to get through the clusters. Usually resulting in them not clearing the whole table but leaving me usually an open out after they made a few balls.

VIProfessor
05-20-2007, 06:32 AM
I tend to stick with the traditional hard square hit on the head ball. I find that the spread is just vastly superior compared to when I hit the second ball, and I therefore have a much better chance of simply running out after the break. The only times that I use the second ball is if I'm just not making balls hitting the head ball square (a wide open but dry break can be really painful when you're playing other runout players), or if I'm robbing someone and he's giving me bad racks. After all, I'm a firm adherent to the principle, "Never argue when you've got the nuts!"

renard
05-20-2007, 06:43 AM
Being a big guy I usually cram the head ball in local bar tourneys. For the Open in Vegas this past week I side breaked every break. If I made a ball I could usually get through the clusters, If not make a ball then my opponent has to try to get through the clusters. Usually resulting in them not clearing the whole table but leaving me usually an open out after they made a few balls.

This is a good quote here guys pay attention.

The side break gives you a higher percentage chance of making a ball on your break and continuing your inning. How much higher? Not much, but there is a noticeable difference. The catch is more clusters. How much more? Not much, but there is a noticeable difference.

I break the head ball now days but if I really need to make a ball I'll break from the side.

If the table I'm playing on is unfamiliar and I don't know where it's "leaking" from (thanks saurus ;) ) I'll break from the side. But if I watch others having luck from a certain area with a head on break I will exploit that "leak" as well.

By the way I have seen some pretty hard breaks from the side, you would be surprised.

Cornerman
05-20-2007, 09:09 AM
Do you choose between them & use one under all circumstances or do you select one over the other in different circumstances.? For example, bar table vs 9 footer or tight rack vs loose etc?
I use the one that seems to be making balls. If both are making balls, then I choose the one that seems to be giving the better spread. Normally, that's the head ball break.

Fred

Cornerman
05-20-2007, 09:14 AM
The 2nd ball break is just the opposite, you want some english (to avoid the scratch and move the cueball back into the rack) and you DON'T want full force. I forgot who said it, but someone pointed out that you should hit with 50-60% of your usual break power for this break. If you try full speed you're gonna jump or scratch a lot. So you almost NEED a regular tip to do 2nd ball breaks..

I never use any english on the 2nd ball break. I don't scratch with any regularity. With a full hit, you can it the 2nd ball wtih centerball or even with top. I scratch in the side with the head ball break more often than I ever scratch with the second ball. It's just important not to clip the head ball.

I used the 2nd ball break on almost every break at the recent BCA 8-ball Nationals (Open Singles). I scratched clipping the head ball once and I miscued on the break once. That's it. I broke and ran approximately a third of my breaks.

Fred

CreeDo
05-20-2007, 02:40 PM
maybe my problem is just that I feel like I need low outside to avoid the scratch, but I'm actually just increasing the odds and I should stick to center, which should send it to the foot rail instead of towards the hole.

Russ Chewning
05-20-2007, 03:02 PM
maybe my problem is just that I feel like I need low outside to avoid the scratch, but I'm actually just increasing the odds and I should stick to center, which should send it to the foot rail instead of towards the hole.

Creedo,

Multiple good players on here have told you that using low outside is perfectly acceptable. If you are scratching, and are using a consistent stroke, then change your aim line slightly. That's it. It's not rocket science.

If really good players are telling you a really good way to break, and you are having problems with performing this break, there are two options...

Get someone to show you the proper way to use this break, then practice and make it your own, or... resign yourself to the fact that you'll never get it, quit, and find something else to try. Then when that does not work.. Quit...Rinse and repeat.

I'm sorry if I am being a little blunt, but the guys on here are not expecting you to step up to the table and hit the break like Johnny Archer. They are, however, giving you different methods for hitting the second ball break.

Saying to yourself "Well, I just can't hit the break the proper way, I'm just gonna quit trying and do it my own way." is being rather unappreciative of the help they are trying to provide you.

To put it another way... NEVER tell yourself you "can't" do something. Negativity is a poolplayer's worse enemy. You need to step up to the table with a cocksure attitude like you never missed a ball in your life.

It has been said about Cornbread Red, that he was one of the best at putting down the money ball. When confronted with a long, hard, tough shot for the money, he would derisively snort "HAW HAW HAW!" and bang the ball in a hundred miles an hour. This is the attitude you need to have about pool. An utter distain for doubt.

Now go out there and learn to own the second ball break..... Don't lemme hear anything that even sounds like "mebbe I jsut can't do it."

And when I come into your town to play some pool, and I hear a loud "HAW HAW HAW" and a ***THWACK*** coming from the back of the room, I'll come over and say hi..

Russ

dabarbr
05-20-2007, 03:03 PM
maybe my problem is just that I feel like I need low outside to avoid the scratch, but I'm actually just increasing the odds and I should stick to center, which should send it to the foot rail instead of towards the hole.
I use the low and outside english to keep the cue ball from going to the back rail which will limit my options if I make a ball. The tables in vegas this last week were playin easy for the break. I can't remember not pocketing a ball on the break through out the whole tournament. I scratched once. We came in second in the team open, meaning we played many games. To keep the ball from going air borne and leaving the table I try to use a level cue. These days I don't have a good break so I consider this last week was a success regarding my breaking.