Winning 8 Ball Tip #3: Stipes and Solids
Winning 8-Ball Tip #3: Stripes and Solids. DO's and DON'Ts
In this edition of Winning 8-Ball Tips, we will uncover the Dos and Don’ts when choosing the game-winning suit. Often times when we don’t complete an 8-ball run out due to bad position or getting hooked, it could have easily been avoided. Many times when we don’t get out of a rack we always remember the final few shots and not the big picture. Often times the difference between winning and losing the game could be as simple as starting with a different shot, or even a different suit. When the table is wide open and every ball has a pocket, it may not matter if you take stripes or solids. But often times there’s an ideal suit and the player that ends up with it will most likely win the game.
When deciding on solids or stripes, consider these DOs and DON’Ts:
DO check to make sure all the balls of your chosen suit have a ‘home.’ Does your suit require you to move or break out any balls or clusters? Make sure you have a plan for how you’re going to do that. Are there any tricky balls that require pinpoint position? Work backwards in the rack to ensure you have a way to get on that ball.
DO compare the number of problems that need to be addressed between the two suits. Are there more stripes tied up than solids? Determine which suit has fewer trouble balls by picturing the complete run out, not just the first few shots.
DO ensure there is a route or at least a plan to get to your final ball, the 8 ball. Don’t forget the 8 ball! Which suit has the more natural path for position to the 8? It’s common that all the stripes end up on one side of the table and the solids on the other side. Will there be a pocket for the 8 ball if you don’t clear the solids? These are all things to consider.
DO, always, make the opening shot. Once you’ve selected the ideal suit, you’ll need to weigh the odds and make the best decision for your ability. The only way you can win is to stay at the table. If you miss the opening shot you’ve given up the table. How difficult is the opening shot? Is it worth risking the possibility of missing? Is it tougher than choosing the other suit? Overcome your weaknesses. Practice those ‘tester’ shots, the ones that make you uncomfortable. Get comfortable making them under pressure.
DON’T choose stripes because you like them and always choose stripes. Superstition does not trump skill and logic.
DON’T just get down and start shooting without checking out every ball of that suit. This is how you get into trouble at the end.
DON’T forget about the 8 ball. If you’d like to win the game, remember it is one of the balls in your suit, the most important one.
DON’T choose a suit solely because the opening shot is easier. Weigh the risk vs. reward for the more difficult shot.
So remember, the next time you’re not sure if you should pick solids or stripes, DO what the pros would do and DON’T make silly mistakes. When you’re in the mile high area and looking for a Denver billiard instructor, please look me up.