What's the best break ball here?

daphish1

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I had the following come up at the end of a rack. The shot prior to this broke up a 5/9 cluster that was located close to where the cue is.

Which ball would you use as a break ball/key ball?


qhXtVGM.jpg
 

Bob Jewett

AZB Osmium Member
Staff member
Gold Member
Silver Member
I like 5-13-9 but since I'm right handed I want to either be down close to the 9 with a relatively thin cut or about even with the side pocket and right on the rail. On a table with tough corner pockets I might go for either of the other two balls into the side, so 9-13-5 or 5-9-13. Those sequences are tougher to play than 5-13-9.
 

Side Pocket

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
5, 13, 9

Leave the cue almost where it's at now and it doesn't matter if you're right or left handed.
 

daphish1

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
5-13-9 was how I ran them but thought I might have had a better break ball going for one of the balls in the side. Ultimately decided 5-13-9 since I didn't have to move the cue ball much.

I didn't get the cue on the rail and had an even shallower angle going into the rack. Had buyers remorse after not getting better position on the break shot :eek:
 

sjm

Sweating it at Derby City
Silver Member
Yup, 5-13-9. The nine is less than ideal, but with key ball as good as the 13, you should be able to get tight on the break shot.

Access is the key principle here, and its greatest advocate was none other than Steve Mizerak. On average, Steve always said, take the break shot for which access is assured over the one where access is uncertain, even if the iffy one is a better break ball.
 

rikdee

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Yup, 5-13-9. The nine is less than ideal, but with key ball as good as the 13, you should be able to get tight on the break shot.

Access is the key principle here, and its greatest advocate was none other than Steve Mizerak. On average, Steve always said, take the break shot for which access is assured over the one where access is uncertain, even if the iffy one is a better break ball.

You beat me to it, Stu. Part of a good break shot is always the ease or certainty to get on it.
 

SpiderWebComm

HelpImBeingOppressed
Silver Member
There is no definite answer to your question. It completely depends on the level of the shooter and what you're looking to get out of the break shot.

For instance, from where you're at, I feel totally comfortable shooting 5-9-13 because I know I can get on the 13 with a very steep angle. From there, you cut it in and load-up on low and fire away. The result is something similar to an 8-ball full-speed break with few balls touching. It's "absolute annihilation" from that 13-ball.

Now, before someone chimes-in and says, "Yeah, but you can scratch off the side of the rack - so it's too dangerous." I'll say that every single time I've had a ball where that 13 sits and I think I can get to it -- that's what I'm shooting for. In addition, out of ALL the times I've shot it, I can't remember the last time it scratched. If you remember to zip the low, the ball hits the side of the rack and warps to the side rail - the scratch literally never comes into play unless something unforeseen happens. I recommend setting this up and shooting it 10x or so. You want to sit on that break ball in a way that isn't a paper-thin cut nor is it a thick cut. 1/2 ball to a hair thinner is ideal.

5-13-9: Most people chose that because it's literally stop-stop-stop. Therefore, to many, it seems like "THE ANSWER" to the question. HOWEVER, you really have to pay attention to a few things, in my humble opinion:

1) The CB must sit where the 13 sits. Too much offset to the center of the table and you'll never have enough energy to break the rack open effectively. You must have a thinner cut on the 9 to do any damage from there.

2) The end result, even with a well-executed break shot, will result in a much larger muck that what the 5-9-13 delivers. Therefore, it requires the shooter to be able to setup for secondary and tertiary break shots throughout the rack. So for everyone that defaulted to 5-13-9, you have to ask yourself in an honest manner if you're the level of player who has the CB control to do that kind of stuff at will.... i.e. the "chip-away" style of play. If so, perfect... if not, what seems like "book style of play" probably isn't the best answer for you.

For me, if I see an opportunity to annihilate in a way that isn't super risky, I take it. Although I can chip-away, I prefer to incinerate the muck when I can and tap-tap-tap-tap the balls in at my leisure as if I'm just clicking them in for fun. That's a LOT less stressful that sweating getting on a secondary or tertiary break shot 3 or 4 balls after my initial break.

Just my humble opinion, of course.
 

michael4

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
For instance, from where you're at, I feel totally comfortable shooting 5-9-13 because I know I can get on the 13 with a very steep angle. From there, you cut it in and load-up on low and fire away. The result is something similar to an 8-ball full-speed break with few balls touching. It's "absolute annihilation" from that 13-ball.

Agree, 13 is a great break ball, but I dont feel confident getting from the 9 (into the lower left corner pocket) back around the table for the 13, what is your plan to go from the 9 to the 13 ball?
 

SpiderWebComm

HelpImBeingOppressed
Silver Member
Agree, 13 is a great break ball, but I dont feel confident getting from the 9 (into the lower left corner pocket) back around the table for the 13, what is your plan to go from the 9 to the 13 ball?
A few ways:

- Roll forward a few inches to a thinner angle on the 9. Use low right to pull the CB below the side to bring the CB to the opposite rail.

- Draw back to a very shallow angle and use low right hitting the rail where the 9 sits and sucking back into the kitchen

- Draw back to straight in and just suck straight back

- Draw back to a point where you have to cut the 9 to the right and use low left to come to the left rail and spin back to the right quadrant of the kitchen.

Any get the job done and it all depends on what one's strengths are. Personally, I'd stop the CB or roll forward a tad ans pull the CB 1 rail below the side because I'm highly confident on not scratching in the side and it allows me to stroke with conviction.

If you get nearly straight, you can even follow with high inside and snap it.

Is the above tougher than stop stop stop? Of course...but the result is worth the extra effort for me as it results in me moonwalking through the following rack.
 

pdcue

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I had the following come up at the end of a rack. The shot prior to this broke up a 5/9 cluster that was located close to where the cue is.

Which ball would you use as a break ball/key ball
...............................................................................................................

Is it just me?

Roll the 9 in.

Stick on the 13.

Fire the 5 in the side with draw - at warp speed.
(because you don't get the chance to play this kind of break ball very often)

Dale
 
Last edited:

sfleinen

14.1 & One Pocket Addict
Gold Member
Silver Member
I had the following come up at the end of a rack. The shot prior to this broke up a 5/9 cluster that was located close to where the cue is.

Which ball would you use as a break ball/key ball

Is it just me?

Roll the 9 in.

Stick on the 13.

Fire the 5 in the side with draw - at warp speed.
(because you don't get the chance to play this kind of break ball very often)

Dale

I wasn't going to say anything, but that's how I'd play this as well, Dale. I love side-pocket break shots like this -- with the proviso that one either A.) ensure a solid hit on the first two balls; B.) apply some draw to ensure that solid hit, or to pull the cue ball to one of the long rails if it glances the pile (as you and Dave S. mentions a couple posts above).

"Sticking" on the 13 might be a misnomer, depending on the angle you get after tapping the 9 in. (That is to say, the picture above might be a bit deceiving, and that 13 might be far enough away from the side pocket that a "sticking hit" on it might not be possible, and thus a rolling tap would be the way to go.)

Either case, I'd choose the 5-ball as the break ball here.

-Sean
 
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