List Your 2 Favorite Pool Games, In Order, and Why


AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
1 - 9-ball on a 9-foot table. Like most, I'm sure I started with 8-ball my first few years with a home table from age 11-13. After my Dad took me to a Lassiter vs Mosconi exhibition match in Trenton, NJ at age 13 (1969) I started playing 14.1 almost exclusively the next 5 years from age 13-18 (1969-1974). Then, when I went off to college at the student poolroom, 9-ball was the gambling game among the best players. I quickly took to it and have loved it ever since. I've still loved solo practicing 14.1 for the past 50 years and it's hard to beat a good 14.1 match, but there's just not enough players playing it in our poolroom, and of course all our poolroom tournaments are 9-ball. 9-ball is great game requiring proficiency in all aspects - shotmaking, positioning patterns, the need to spin the cue ball with accuracy far moreso than 14.1, defense, and of course strategy - knowing when to go for a shot and when not to.

2 - 14.1 on a 9-foot table. Like I said above, I've loved the game ever since attending a Lassiter vs Mosconi exhibition match at the age of 13, and I played it almost exclusively for the next 5 years from age 13-18. However, most of that was on my home 9-foot table and the tables on campus at the local college (Princeton), against college students that were not very good. I wish I'd had to opportunity at a young age to play with and learn from higher level players, but I didn't, so I was mainly self taught. I did have a high run of 56 around age 17-18. To this day at age 63, I've yet to run 100 balls although coming close, but I have yet to give up hope it could still happen with the perfect storm. These days my 14.1 is pretty much limited to solo practice, which is still my preferred practice game even though the only tournaments and $ matchups I play are 9-ball. Going after that elusive career 14.1 high run is still on my mind and a goal (realistic or not) for every single practice session - something you can't really do when practicing 9-ball. For 9-ball players, 14.1 would seem to be such an easy game, but it's just not. All my 14.1 play is on a tight pocket table which I understand is not recommended for 14.1, but I enjoy the challenge. It's just hard to explain how many things can go wrong in 14.1 to end your run if you don't execute every shot with an exact plan of where to leave the cue ball. Murphy's Law just seems to apply far more to 14.1 than it does for any other pool game - a long run requires the maintaining an incredibly high level of focus over an extended period, perfect planning and near flawless execution.

I've played some one-pocket, but not enough to really get the bug for it like I know a lot of players have. No one around here really plays it that strong, so there would be no one for me to learn from even if I wanted to. As far as 8-ball, yes I know it's the only game for most players, but it is what it is - a game that is just simply not preferred among more skilled players. Just curious to hear others thoughts on this topic, but you have to limit it to your favorite 2 games, and why. - Thanks
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cue accumulator
Gold Member
Silver Member
That is easy

First-bar box 8-ball
I love the game especially especially when the other guy misses.
When I get an open shot even if I don't get out, I have confidence I will win.
Right now I'm out of stroke and might miss an easy shot, but when I'm in stroke BB 8B is my fav.

Second-big table 9-ball.
I feel that 9-ball is a great big table game.
Since I'm so out of stroke I need to practice big time but I like big table 9-ball.
Fun to play, good gambling and multi-player game, ring games, etc.

Honorable mention games:
  1. Straight pool
  2. Bumper pool (I hate bumper pool)
  3. One pocket


AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I gamble with a buddy about every other week. We play a set of each 9b, 8b, 10b (call safe) and banks. I would say for me I like...

1) 9b: I just happen to be strongest at shotmaking, moving the cueball with expressive cueball control, playing safe, and kicking out of safeties.

2) Banks: I love playing with someone near my ability. We both get lots of turns at the table. And then suddenly one of us with crush 1, 2, or 3 in a row and the tides shift. And some banks feel quite artistic. Plus it sharpens up banks for my arsenal in other games.

3) 10b: Same reason as 9b but all things being equal, I might as well be playing 9b.

4) 8b: I should like it. I play it the most in competition (leagues and tournaments). I also know I have a lot to improve in this area. I know I don’t pick the best patterns. I also know I don’t control the cueball as well with small movements in tight quarters. Unlike 9b, positional errors don’t mean you need to come with a big 8b they mean your run is over. Again, I should like it more for that reason but it just doesn’t play to my strengths.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro


Silver Member
1. 9-ball. IMHO, it's a shooter's game and has great emphasis on cue ball control.

2. 8-ball. Requires more thinking and shooting is a tad less important, as you have patterns that may (or may not) change during the course of the game.

I don't have anything against any other game. I play 10-ball, 14.1, 1-pocket. I just favor games that don't drag on too long.



AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
1 pocket. There are so many variables to every shot/move. It is a game of percentages like no other.

Ring games of money ball. Either 9 or 10 ball version. You have to step up and execute some really incredible shots....or sh×+ something in😉


It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that ping.
1. One pocket. I'm not any good at it and am a ripe beginner but I love safety play and thinking outside the box. It's just such an interesting and strategic game. It's one of those games that you can get really deep in, I just wish someone around me played it. I might go to the city an hour away some weekend and take a couple hundred to donate to better players. Maybe someone would play me a couple bucks a game or something.

2. 8 ball. Fun game, strategy, plays much different on different size tables, everyone know how to play. House rules and variants often lead to interesting choices.

If I had one more, I'd say straight pool. I've been practicing equal offense, but I've not really dealt with break shots yet. I hope to get more into it one of these years.

Nomination for stinker: 9 ball. It's an ok game and I play it a lot, but it's so boring to watch. The break is wired, no matter what they try to do to fix it, something always drops. I think my dislike for it is how it's pretty much pushed out any other kind of pool game. Not all rotation games bother me. 61 rotation is pretty strategic and rewards interesting shots, not just good position play. I don't hate 9 ball, but I think it's severely over represented.


1. 9-ball

2. 8-ball / Straight Pool

It is easy to become acquainted with other people playing 9-ball and 8-ball, and perhaps even become good friends over the years. I like straight pool as much or even better than 8-ball, but I never made one friend playing straight pool -- instead, a good friend (already made) taught me straight pool after we met over a game of 9-ball.


Ace in the side.
Silver Member
9-ball and 10-ball, because I'm good at them. (Well, okay, I used to be good at them).

David in FL

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
9 ball on a 9’ table and 8 ball on a bar box.

The former is fast and favors the better shot maker, even though it’s seldom me. The latter is more strategic and I can beat much better players through guile.

I hate 1 pocket...

...ok, I’m learning to enjoy it, but if you repeat that, I’ll deny it!


AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
If ‘Billiards’ then it’s definitely Snooker.

However if ‘pool’ in the narrow sense then:

Chinese 8 ball...challenging

Stalingrad...a local game we play. Involves long potting ( sharpshooting snipers) and moving small groups (your platoon) of balls around the table. Lots of safety play.

Nothing against 1 ball...I just don’t know it.


AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I play them all.
Doesn't matter to me.
14.1, 9 ball, 8 ball, 10 (ball must be call shot call safe though otherwise it's 9b)
1 pocket, 8 ball, back pocket 9 ball, 3 cushion.
Doesn't matter to me. I let my opponent call the game.
Never ever play on a barbox except at the Expo.
14.1 is the most difficult game in my mind.
You need to use every variation of a bridge.
The most difficult thing in pool is staying at the table in 14.1.


Multiverse Operative
Gold Member
Silver Member
One pocket-great all around skills to be learned game where you learn the importance of placing the cue ball on every shot.
You have banking, speed control, travel distance and it calls for superior shot making skills and makes you learn the strokes of Pool
from the smallest in a bottom up approach which works for better cue ball control. To me this is the best all around game in Pool.

Eight Ball- Great game for learning strategy and its also people friendly and widely played, brings in the importance of breaking clusters in order to get out.

Rotation games- 3rd choice


AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
1 pocket-you need all pool skills and you have think!
Back pocket 9 ball- you get to shoot and move the cue ball like 9 ball and at the end its one ball one pocket.......easier to get people that hate onepocket to play


AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I love 8-ball and 14.1. I also like 1P and 9-ball. But given the chance and right opponent(s), my favorites are:

1) 3-Cushion (I'm only ok, but love the game.)
2) Golf on a 12 foot tight snooker table (I aspire to "average" but love the trash talk and cruel twists.)



AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
1. Straight pool. Because it takes the skills from
every game to be competent.
2. 1 pocket. Same reason to a lesser degree.

Bar table 8 ball should get an honorable mention.
When played at a high level it is a great game.

Nick B

This is gonna hurt
Silver Member
In reverse order.

99. Anything on a barbox
98. Anything on a barbox

1. One Pocket
2. 10 ball
3. 14.1