End of Rack Pattern Puzzles?

FeelDaShot

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
After years of playing rotation, I'm just now venturing into straight pool and I'm doing all of the research I can to get up to speed. So far, it seems like the end of rack patterns are my biggest challenge. So I was wondering, has anyone ever released a puzzle style book which presents hundreds end of rack layouts along with solutions that show the best runout pattern? I think this would be quite helpful.

I see that Phil Capelle has a book/video combo called Break Shot Patterns which I haven't bought yet since it's $90. Anybody know if it's worth the money?
 

Bob Jewett

AZB Osmium Member
Staff member
Gold Member
Silver Member
For developing a good pattern at the end, here is an exercise from Alex Lely:

0. Set up a good break shot.

1. Break the balls.

2. Remove all but five of the object balls remaining on the table, and leave the cue ball in place. (Behind the line if you scratched.)

3. Run four balls leaving yourself a good break shot.

4. Go back to 1.

This forces you to find a pattern in the 14 balls after the break. Every rack will present different problems.

There may be racks where you need to move a ball to have a good break shot. You will need to plan a path to the carom.

After you get comfortable with playing for standard (side of the rack) break, try to work in some other types: under the rack, side pockets with ball in hand, side pockets from the side, into a head pocket.

This drill removes all of the start-of-the-rack problems, such as having a makeable shot (you can remove blockers), breaking apart clusters, clearing balls on the cushions, etc., but it really helps with end of rack planning. In normal games or practice, you can then pick out your last five (often three is enough), and simply clean up the trash leaving yourself at the start of the end sequence.

In doing this practice, see how many you can make with a total of five misses. Also, record your high run. My current high run at it is 25 from a couple of hours of practice.
 

kaznj

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Capelles book only shows the last few shots at the end of the rack. Allan Hopkins has an interesting drill. Break the rack like 8 ball. Smash then open. Take ball in hand and start running balls. You must shoot the last 5 balls in numerical order.
 

DynoDan

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Capelles book only shows the last few shots at the end of the rack. Allan Hopkins has an interesting drill. Break the rack like 8 ball. Smash then open. Take ball in hand and start running balls. You must shoot the last 5 balls in numerical order.
#11-thru-15? Or just low-to-high#?
 

measureman

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Learning 14.1 patterns is pretty hard.
I've played 14.1 for 60 years and sometimes the end of rack patterns just jump out for me.
But sometimes it's what am I going to do here?
If I do this this then is bad and if I change and do this then this is bad.
Sometimes you have to decide on the lesser of the two evils.
Then there are times when your opponent leaves you a table with no good break shot in that case I play my final position on the new rack to play a solid safety.
Good luck in your journey.
 

Dan White

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
After years of playing rotation, I'm just now venturing into straight pool and I'm doing all of the research I can to get up to speed. So far, it seems like the end of rack patterns are my biggest challenge. So I was wondering, has anyone ever released a puzzle style book which presents hundreds end of rack layouts along with solutions that show the best runout pattern? I think this would be quite helpful.

I see that Phil Capelle has a book/video combo called Break Shot Patterns which I haven't bought yet since it's $90. Anybody know if it's worth the money?
Capelle's book was excruciatingly detailed, down to the tip position used by the player. I found the book to be rather unhelpful. I certainly would not spend $90 for it. Just to be sure we are talking about the same book this one shows what various pro players did at the end of the rack and included a DVD so you could see the actual play. I'd have to look at the book again but my recollection is that this was not a book that shows good end patterns and how they are executed. It seemed more to me like a random collection of pro players playing the end game and not necessarily good patterns. They are just good position players so they get on the next break shot not matter what strategy they use (or lack thereof).
 

Ratta

Hearing the balls.....
Silver Member
Not sure I understand that drawing. Did you post the right one?
Hi Dan,

it s a pdf file with several "typical End patterns". Someone posted here on AZB longer ago. Imo helpful for beginners, or people who just start with straight pool. I just clicked myself on the link- and yes- the correct file opened.
 

Bob Jewett

AZB Osmium Member
Staff member
Gold Member
Silver Member
Not sure I understand that drawing. Did you post the right one?
This is a handout that Tom Kollins used in a School for Straight Pool that he offered in the 1970s. I took the course about 1978. I might even have this handout but I don't remember it. Here is one of the pages:

CropperCapture[798].png

The point of the diagrams is to give examples of end patterns that work with a series of stop shots. With these four balls for your end pattern, you can get onto the 1 ball from nearly anywhere and then 1-2-3 will put you at the ghost ball shown on the 3 ball for the break shot on the 4.

In this particular case, some might prefer the order 2-3-1. This allows easy movement to a point half way between the 1 and the 4 for the break shot position. Because it's a little harder to start with the 2 and it requires movement on the final shot, it has a slightly higher risk than 1-2-3. The reward is being closer to the break ball and a thinner cut on the 4 which some players prefer.

Here is an ad for Tom's school from the January 1978 National Billiard News. He also wrote a column for the NBN around that time. He did go to other rooms if there were enough students for a class.

CropperCapture[799].png
 

TheBasics

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Dan White, Howdy;

Those diagrams are good for giving your mind's eye something to relate to,
a reference point so to speak. Capelle also has a book titled "Play Your Best
Straight Pool" (no DVD), but covers the game from start to finish rather then
just Break shot patterns. The "Shortstop" book is also a great reference as well.
Not much really about this, end of the rack bit, sadly but most likely due to
just how many variants there are for 3,4, 5 & 6 ball positions. A lot of folks will
mention that you want to find a triangle with the last 3. Of course with 3 spots
you will always have a triangle. I think (?), that they may mean to find the triangle
you need before you get to the final 3. If you know your Break Ball then figuring
out your Key Ball should be next then which of the remaining Balls will be your
best one that gives the BEST position for shooting the Key ball to align you
for the Break Ball. Look for that 3 ball triangle from when you first decied on
your Break Ball. The sooner you 'see' it then you can eliminate all the unnecessary
balls. Hope this helps.

hank
 

justnum

Principal Investigator of Magic Trick Shots
Silver Member
One of the exercises I have been trying is to leave a break ball in the standard spot and try to get position on it just by practicing a pre-break ball situation.

Falling on to a break ball looks easy, but there are more shots where its easier to get off line.
 

Dan White

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Hi Dan,

it s a pdf file with several "typical End patterns". Someone posted here on AZB longer ago. Imo helpful for beginners, or people who just start with straight pool. I just clicked myself on the link- and yes- the correct file opened.
Hi Ratta. I see a table with a 1 ball and a 2 ball both with arrows to the corner pocket. There is no 3 ball as mentioned in your message. What is the drawing attempting to illustrate?

Edit: Nevermind. I was looking at this in a hurry and didn't see that it was a 15 page pdf. Sorry! (First page is still confusing, though, lol)
 
Last edited:

Dan White

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Dan White, Howdy;

Those diagrams are good for giving your mind's eye something to relate to,
a reference point so to speak. Capelle also has a book titled "Play Your Best
Straight Pool" (no DVD), but covers the game from start to finish rather then
just Break shot patterns. The "Shortstop" book is also a great reference as well.
Not much really about this, end of the rack bit, sadly but most likely due to
just how many variants there are for 3,4, 5 & 6 ball positions. A lot of folks will
mention that you want to find a triangle with the last 3. Of course with 3 spots
you will always have a triangle. I think (?), that they may mean to find the triangle
you need before you get to the final 3. If you know your Break Ball then figuring
out your Key Ball should be next then which of the remaining Balls will be your
best one that gives the BEST position for shooting the Key ball to align you
for the Break Ball. Look for that 3 ball triangle from when you first decied on
your Break Ball. The sooner you 'see' it then you can eliminate all the unnecessary
balls. Hope this helps.

hank
Thanks Hank but I am not the original poster on this thread. I was just responding to a confusing (apparently only to me) drawing that Ratta posted.
 

TheBasics

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Thanks Hank but I am not the original poster on this thread. I was just responding to a confusing (apparently only to me) drawing that Ratta posted.
Dan, Howdy;

Well, it is Friday and my post was the 13th. Karma is a twichy bitch ain't she? chucklin'

hank

PS. I reckon that end play to get to the Key ball and the Break Ball is like the answer the Log Carver gave when he was asked how he managed to create such beautiful art from logs. He answered "I just cut away anything that doesn't look like a Bear/Eagle/ Wolf etc." We just eliminate what doesn't work for our Key & Break Balls...

hank
 

justnum

Principal Investigator of Magic Trick Shots
Silver Member
The puzzle idea gave me an idea.

A billiard aptitude test would require someone actually knowing what a keyball is and how it applies to a break shot indicated in black.
Would you rate them as bad ideas or only shots Hall of Fame Pros can make?

BreakBallPuzzle.png
 

Dan White

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
The puzzle idea gave me an idea.

A billiard aptitude test would require someone actually knowing what a keyball is and how it applies to a break shot indicated in black.
Would you rate them as bad ideas or only shots Hall of Fame Pros can make?

View attachment 617325
Best to worst EFDACB give or take depending on exact position.

Good idea for a post!
 

justnum

Principal Investigator of Magic Trick Shots
Silver Member
Best to worst EFDACB give or take depending on exact position.

Good idea for a post!

The next level is to practice getting good position for each keyball.

Thanks 14.1 is an adventure
 
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