What are the tricks/patterns to playing runout 8 ball?

Jude Rosenstock

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I'd only say one thing. When making a ball, *PLAY POSITION* for a specific ball. To many players play general position for several balls. Have a plan.

on another note, wow, I haven't posted here in many many years. A lot of old names are starting to pop up. George Fels, sjm, cornerman, Jude... don't you guys have a enough info to start playing by now. j/k

Rick

I agree with this sentiment. The trick to 8ball is to be aggressive and have a good plan. Your plan should address problems. Any unpredictable problems should be addressed immediately. Any predictable ones should be addressed when appropriate. My reason for bringing-up the ticky-shot before was to convey that you can't look at a blocked path as an unmakeable shot. You might have other options that are less obvious.

I often say to APA players, in the beginning, you're always looking to run out. When you get a little better, you learn strategy. When you get really good, you go back to trying to run-out again.
 

ridewiththewind

♥ Hippie Hustler ♥
Silver Member
I play a lot of 8 ball, usually pretty successfully. I always go by what Mizerak wrote in an article I read once. After deciding and claiming a suit, I work from the end of the table farthest from the 8, back towards it, and from the outside in. Works pretty well for me.

Sent from my HTC One V using Tapatalk
 

onepocketron

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Lots of good info here. One thing you DON'T want to do is just shoot balls in the pocket because they are easy shots/or for the sake of making balls. You are taking all of the traffic off the table so if you miss, your opponent has an easy run. Use the easy shots to get position/break out clusters/trouble balls early in the game. Don't just shoot all the easy shots first, leaving the more difficult for last. The worst thing you can do in 8 ball is make 6 or 7 balls and miss. You are done, cooked, beat if you are playing a decent player.

The books referred to in earlier posts are good reads and discuss the strategies of 8 ball, for this game is a real game of strategy. It's much different than playing any rotation game. You can play a good safety by moving an opponents ball into a cluster using one of your balls, leave your ball in front of the pocket, and so forth. There is a ton of strategy in this game. Just making balls and clearing all the trouble off the table for you opponent is not a good strategy.
 

336Robin

Multiverse Operative
Gold Member
Silver Member
Sound Advice

The easiest rule of thumb in 8 ball is to first choose the correct suit that has the easiest run/least problem balls. Then pick the key ball that sets up the 8. Then, start at one end of the table and run them out before moving to the other end...work your run in sets of three. Plot your breakout shots on clusters and don't miss an opportunity to develop the pattern. Then, make it a habit to forget about side pockets...you'd be surprised at how many patterns dead end once you take an easy side pocket off...save them for trouble balls if you must, but think in terms of the corners and you'll stay in line more often than not. I like to use side pockets to transition from one end of the table to the next pattern. It's also helpful to try and get a leave that puts you in the middle of large, loose groupings. It can be a mistake to try and pick off groupings from the outside-in; work from inside the guts of a cluster, it keeps you in line with more choices if you get a bad roll. Move the CB as little as absolutely necessary. This has worked well for me whether on a BB or a 9 footer. :thumbup:

That's some pretty sound advice. 8 ball used to be my game. If I were telling a newbie I would say it this way then develop into everything you said above.


I would say play area position so you can go to different parts of the table and do a few things while you are in each area, knowing which ball to shoot last that lets you move to another area to do the same.

Well said Westpoint
 

robsnotes4u

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Someone asked SVB the same thing at Fargo Billiards and he said at the beginning of the rack put your cueball in a place that gives you options, late in the rack is where precision takes place


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VIProfessor

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
One thing I'd like to add to the great advice that has been given is that no matter how good one is at position play, shot selection, patterns, safties, etc., there is still no subtitute for being able to come with a shot when the situation requires it. Despite your best efforts you will sometimes get in trouble deep into a run, or your opponent may leave you in a situation where your only choices are a low-percentage shot or a low percentage safety. In such cases the ability to play long thin cuts, banks, combinations, kisses, billiards and kicks is extremely valuable. These shots should definitely occupy some small but significant part of your practice routine if you want to play high level 8-ball, and this is particularly true on a BB.

Good luck!
 
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JC

Coos Cues
Gold Member
One thing I'd like to add to the great advice that has been given is that no matter how good one is at position play, shot selection, patterns, safties, etc., there is still no subtitute for being able to come with a shot when the situation requires it. Despite your best efforts you will sometimes get in trouble deep into a run, or your opponent may leave you in a situation where your only choices are a low-percentage shot or a low percentage safety. In such cases the ability to play banks, combinations, caroms, billiards and kicks is extremely valuable. These shots should definitely occupy some small but significant part of your practice routine if you want to play high level 8-ball, and this is particularly true on a BB.

Good luck!

The "key ball" is somewhat over rated. If the 8 ball has several pockets don't run a harder pattern just to save this ball.

JC
 

maha

from way back when
Silver Member
the most important thing hasnt been mentioned. it is planning your table based on how your opponent plays. if he is weak then you tie up his balls before you try to runout unless it is almost certain.
if he cant make tougher shots get his balls on the rails.
if playing with the big cueball dont go up and down the table.
open your balls early against non runout players which despite what they say, few are runout players. meaning hardly anyone you play.
 

renard

Play in these conditions?
Silver Member
I'd only say one thing. When making a ball, *PLAY POSITION* for a specific ball. To many players play general position for several balls. Have a plan.

on another note, wow, I haven't posted here in many many years. A lot of old names are starting to pop up. George Fels, sjm, cornerman, Jude... don't you guys have a enough info to start playing by now. j/k

Rick

Quite a bit of good 8 ball knowledge from that group! But you know that!
 

renard

Play in these conditions?
Silver Member
One thing I'd like to add to the great advice that has been given is that no matter how good one is at position play, shot selection, patterns, safties, etc., there is still no subtitute for being able to come with a shot when the situation requires it. Despite your best efforts you will sometimes get in trouble deep into a run, or your opponent may leave you in a situation where your only choices are a low-percentage shot or a low percentage safety. In such cases the ability to play banks, combinations, caroms, billiards and kicks is extremely valuable. These shots should definitely occupy some small but significant part of your practice routine if you want to play high level 8-ball, and this is particularly true on a BB.

Good luck!
I like this advise. Before an important tourney these are the shots I practice as they aren't used quite as often.
 

renard

Play in these conditions?
Silver Member
What I might add.

Never cross the natural line for position. Always roll up the line for position as it is a larger target zone.
 

JoeW

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
The previous ideas presented are of much use in developing strategy for 8-Ball. I use many of them. However, I think the idea that took my 8 Ball game to the next level was the realization that positional control is the most important element of the game.

Watching the Pros play 9 Ball and 10 Ball I noticed that they were determining the exact position needed to get to the second ball after the current shot. It occurred to me that when playing 8 Ball I used general, sloppy, position because there were so "many" options on the table. Then it occurred to me that this was exactly why I was not running out. I get out of line a little and then things get worse.

I first develop a general strategy, end to end, clusters, key ball etc. and then I emphasize specific position for the next three ball run. This is when I started running racks. I think that what makes 8 Ball a little easier than other games is the idea that when you screw up your position you may have other shots to get you out of failed run.

Play 8 Ball like you play 10 Ball and take advantage of the lucky extra shots when it is presented but do not let yourself be lulled into the idea that there are many options. If you play run out 8 Ball you want a specific series of shots with specific position.

I think if you watch some of the Pros play 8 Ball you too will see that they play very specific position.
 
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