A common question we get asked on Facebook and Twitter is: “how can I get better at 8 Ball Pool?” To answer that question, we’ve put together some tips which will transform you from a beginner to professional potter in no time at all.
Watch your power
The amount of power you use on your shots is almost as important as how accurately you aim them. This is especially true if the object ball is a long way from the pocket. The harder you hit a shot, the more likely it is that it will stay out.
In many cases a soft touch will give the ball a better chance of dropping into the hole. This is particularly vital information when trying to pot in those tricky middle pockets.
Be careful not to use too little power, though! You don’t want to miss a straightforward shot because you hit it too gently. Don’t “hit and hope”; judge how much power is needed for each shot and adjust as appropriate.
The world’s finest 8 Ball players have learned to master the art of putting spin on the cueball. Clever use of spin can avoid those dreaded “oops, I sank the cueball” moments, or, better yet, get you in a good position for the next pot.
You put spin on your shots using the arrow keys or by clicking on the cueball in the corner and dragging the dot into position. The dot represents where the cue will strike the ball: if you want backspin, move the dot to the bottom of the cueball and for topspin, move the dot to the top of the cueball.
Pay attention to the guidelines when lining up your shot – as well as showing where the object ball will go, it also gives you an indication of where the white will end up. Is it heading straight towards a pocket? Add some backspin to the cueball and it should stop in its tracks. Need to get a better angle for your next shot? Think about adding side spin to the cueball and forcing it into an easier position.
The harder you hit your shot, the more spin will be added to the cueball. But be careful, as too much power and spin can send it out of control and into a pocket!
The pros don’t just think about the shot that they’re lining up – they’re thinking one, two, or even three shots ahead. This means that they already know which ball they’d like to pot next, after the one they’re about to pot.
With that in mind, you can start to think about what kind of spin or how much power you need to put on your shot. If you need to get all the way down the table to make your next shot easier, try and leave a good angle and use plenty of spin and power to get the white into position. Don’t leave yourself a longer, tougher shot than necessary!
Know the rules
There are a few basic rules that all 8 Ball players should know if they want to succeed – make sure you’re not making it harder for yourself!
- If you pot a ball with your break-off shot, you can still choose whether you want to be stripes or solids! You might think “great, that’s a solid already potted”, but then realise that the stripes are in a much better position. The choice is still yours, until the next ball is potted.
- If a ball doesn’t hit the rail around the table, that shot is a foul. Lots of players make this mistake: it lets your opponent move the cueball to wherever they want on the table.
- If you pot the black but the cueball also goes down, you lose the game. Don’t forget about the cueball’s guideline when you’re lining up that last shot!
- If you’re playing in the Cairo tier or above, you need to “call” which pocket you’re going to pot the eight ball in. If you call a pocket and then pot the eight ball in a different pocket, you’ll lose the game.
Our final tip is the most important one: make sure you play lots!
The very top players, who have levels in the hundreds and countless tournament wins have become the best because they’ve simply played a lot of 8 Ball Pool and refined their skills. They know how much power to put on their shots, which spin to use and how to plan series of shots.
The best way to join them is to keep playing, practicing and learning! Remember, you can practice 8 Ball Pool offline on your mobile. That way you can be prepared before taking on the rest of the world.
Got some tips to share? Share them with the world in the comments down below.