Common mistakes a lot of average players make.


Active member
Some of the comments depend on what we consider to be an average player. If you count all people who play pool several times per year, I think we're talking under 200 FargoRate. The average player in the APA, who plays in competition every week, is about a 400. (Almost by definition, the average APA player is a 4 in the APA by the way teams are constructed.)

The first "average player" has never run out a rack of eight ball. The APA average player runs out maybe one in 20 racks of eight ball on a bar table.

Here's a good video about how the various ratings stack up.

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AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
only seeing the object ball, meaning the whole flipping ball and not the tiny pin head spot that must be struck in order to pocket the object ball.

when I see a high potential player that goes straight to banks or super draw shot before building the foundation and tools needed to actually understand and command what they are doing... 🤦‍♂️


AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I agree that on a wide-open rack all players should "believe" they can run out. I mean, if you don't believe you can something then you're not even giving yourself a good chance to do it in the first place.

I'm simply talking about playing smart and realizing your current limitations. That means if you have a rack with multiple trouble issues that need dealt with, and you have no idea how to deal with the trouble, you should not be looking for a runout.

For example, if you have to fire a bank shot in and draw the cb off 2 rails for a breakout and position on the next shot, and you know your chance of making the bank (without considering position play) is very slim, you're probably about to sell out. If that's the only option, then go for it. But most of the time there is always a better option, and it requires kicking your ego out of your head. Lol.
Yes, I agree with that. I think that players who can run out easier patterns should always go for it - but the ego certainly needs to be managed if those players are to improve their all round game.

Willowbrook Wolfy

Going pro
Gold Member
Everyone kept any little bit of insight into the game close to the vest. Owners of the Pool
Hall where I worked during the time I was a High school Student, were very sparingly giving out tips, tricks, training, and you had to observe and ask just a simple question and then observe again over the next month or so to pickup everything that you were curious about
Yep. Where I played too
With all due respect. I was thinking about this. It’s the wrong idea. We all started off pretty weak as players, some of us have achieved huge success and became champions others never make it to a C+ level.

Having a bit of fun because someone can’t play isn’t a positive way to encourage new players. We need to encourage the weakest players to keep at it and realize their potential-where ever that might land.

Poking fun or making fun of a weaker player could discourage them at the cost of pool in general. I think that’s just bad form.

There are better topics to discuss.

Fatboy<———can’t play at all anymore(but I might go to work and fix that)

Let’s do what’s best for pool, together
I’m sorry Fatboy. The thread was meant to help players out not intended hurt them. What I was kind of looking for was something like let’s help some out and have fun like this.

#1 hesitating on a hard shot

#2 glancing at my feet when I tell them I’m on the hill

See one helpful, one joking around.

Even some of the worst players would find humor in some things. And most of us can relate to a few of the jokes. AZB members have pretty much stuck to a more serious note too.

I wrote you back an essay initially and then deleted it. There were a few other things, But that is the gist of it.

Good luck with your game!
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Many beginners have an underlying problem that causes that. They don't know how to chalk. Then they miscue on spin shots. Then they learn that spin shots are not for them. It becomes psychologically impossible for them to hit the cue ball more than a little from center. I've seen this problem over and over in students who have played for a few years on their own.
However equally i have seen many players miss shots by hitting with left and right side(spin) when it wasn't required. Both Steve Davis and Stephen Hendry two of greatest snooker players and cueists ever, warned about the dangers of using side spin when it was not required. I see many shots where the player could get desired position while still hitting down the centre vertical axis, rather than putting right/left side spin on ball.


AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Trying to learn how to play on forums instead of the table....😂 Just messing, I've been called out more than once in this thread, keep em coming haha


Billiards Improvement Research Projects Associate
Silver Member
reseting when something distracting happens

shooting is not a one way ticket. at any moment you can stop, and reset.


King of the Meadow
Silver Member
1- Not knowing (or wrongly thinking they do) of the affects of even small amounts of English on the cue/object ball.
2- Going on offense all the time, even when the shot has very small chance of dropping (a teammate of mine thinks safeties are "dirty pool") lol
3- Just "practicing" 8 ball and think that will make them better (no drills or working on anything they are bad at)


AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
“Gamble’ Vs. ‘Sport’. Because money is often bet, people confuse the concepts (and thus leave too much to chance).


I would say the most common is they don't know their own timing. When shot is out of the norm, they tend to wack with the cue and you can see it in their last stroke that they either jerked or swang the cue at a very high speed......The last stroke timing should be the exact same regardless of the power you want out of the cueball, i.e. if you shoot soft, or shoot hard you must have the exact timing with the last swing/stroke. Newbies don't know this, and I feel even some old players don't know this. And it is the reason why they miss when they change the last stroke/swing timing.


AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
One of the biggest tips that helped me was hearing a pro (think it was Archer) say something along the lines of “the reason people miss a lot of the times is because they hit the cue ball not where they were aiming at”. Meaning people have way to much distance between the cue ball and the cue tip during the back stroke. I think that’s why you’ll see some pros nowadays have very little movement in the back swing. Try to bring the tip as close to the cue ball during the practice strokes. It’s also why I found that using really tiny diameter shafts did not help me at all.

Bob Jewett

AZB Osmium Member
Staff member
Gold Member
Silver Member
Death grip is the best grip, most pro's in the 80s and 90s used death grip and they played wonderfully.
All of their fingers may have been wrapped around the cue -- that would be visible to anyone watching. How do you know how tightly they were gripping? There is a big difference between a light all-fingers-touching-and-no-daylight grip and a squeeze-the-life-out-of-that-damn-piece-of-wood grip.


AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
All of their fingers may have been wrapped around the cue -- that would be visible to anyone watching. How do you know how tightly they were gripping? There is a big difference between a light all-fingers-touching-and-no-daylight grip and a squeeze-the-life-out-of-that-damn-piece-of-wood grip.