What are the best strategies for breaking in 9-ball?
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Vol. I of the Video Encyclopedia of Nine-ball and Ten-ball (VENT) covers all 9-ball breaking strategy, effects, and techniques in great detail. This resource is strongly recommended. For a good overview of 9-ball break strategies, for all types of breaking rules, see “9-Ball Break Strategy” (BD, January, 2021), “How to Rack and Break 9-Ball Like a Pro” (BD, March, 2018), and the following video:
The most important strategy is to have good break technique. This is covered in detail on the break technique resource page and in “How to Break Like a Pro” (BD, September, 2016).
Generally, as shown below, the goal on a 9-ball break (either by breaking from the side rail or with a cut break from the “box”) is to pocket the “wing ball” and get a shot at the 1 after the break. For the “wing ball” to go, the four balls in the “L” or “hockey stick” path must be frozen. If they are not, the wing ball will generally go too high.
If the 9 is racked on the spot, the wing ball can be pocketed by breaking from the side with a cut break, where you hit the 1 at a slight angle (off square slightly) on the outside. You can also pocket the 1 in the side or bank it off the side rail to the upper corner pocket. You can change the directions the wing and 1 balls head by changing the amount of cut (more cut makes both balls go lower). The far corner ball (opposite the wing ball) can also have a tendency to bank three rails to the side pocket with a 9-on-the-spot side cut break (depending on conditions and the amount of cut).
Pool Break Rules. The United States Professional Poolplayers Association sets outs specific rules on how to rack for a break on both 8 and 9 ball games. 8-ball A good break is critical to winning at pool. Rule 2.1 How to Rack “To begin the game of 8-ball, the 15 colored. Mar 08, 2017 Place your cue ball for the break approximately ½ diamond from the head spot along the head string (see the accompanying diagram and use 'A' if you're right handed and position 'B' if you're a left handed shooter). Let ‘er fly at the pack. How to win every game of 8 ball pool! Eleven years ago we moved into a new house just outside of Phoenix, Arizona, and we had our first, in-ground pool installed. The whole family has spent most of every summer jumping in it, shooting basketballs at the hoop, playing volleyball and trying out various toys that float, shoot water, and travel underneath.
An advantage of a cut break is that the CB can come off the side rail into the stationary 9, possibly resulting in a “golden break” (pocketing the 9 on the break). Here are some examples (notice how the CB is also at risk of scratching with this approach):
If the 3-point rule is in force, and you are required to break “from the box,” a larger cut is required to pocket the wing ball (especially if the 9 is on the spot), and a cut break can be a little risky since you cannot get as much power into the rack.
If pattern racking and ball gapping is not prohibited, you might want to take advantage of those approaches (maybe in combination with a soft break per the Corey Deuel example on the pattern racking page).
The following videos also have some useful advice and analysis of what some top pros do to break well (and sometimes cheat):
For more information, see: “How to Rack and Break 9-Ball Like a Pro” (BD, March, 2018).
It is helpful to know racking and breaking strategy, but it is just as important to know how to get a tight rack.
Here are some statistics for effectiveness of pro 9-ball breaks.
from Jeff Johnson (in Facebook post):
In the TAR 17 match vs Shane , Donny Mills repeatedly executed the most amazing 9-ball break I’ve ever seen (see below). Notice how the 1-4 balls end on one side of the table and 6-9 on the other. Notice also that the 3-ball goes two rails and RICOCHETS off the 6-ball, sending the 3-ball up table. I’m not lying; he did it time after time.
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The one thing we haven't enjoyed? The messy disaster constantly left by the birds who stop by every few minutes to drink from the spillway between the hot tub and the pool itself.
I've been searching for how to keep pigeons away from my pool for YEARS - and FINALLY found a pretty solution that's cheap, quiet, and safe.
It took quite some time to get to this point, though. I'd try something, it wouldn't work, I'd try something else, it wouldn't work - and so on. In fact, I'd given up a couple of years ago and just become used to hosing off the patio surrounding the pool several times a week.
We did train our Chihuahua to run after the pigeons and bark to scare them off. He's not much of a barker but if you say 'Go get the birds!' he's off and running and sharing his specific 'get out of my yard' bark. That certainly wasn't 100% reliable as it only worked if the dog and an adult were on the patio.
Then new neighbors moved in behind us and hung a reflective owl from a chain attached to the peak of their roof. I work on my back patio most of the year (it's a pleasant at-home office - most of the time - I'll have to do a separate post on how I stay cool outside when temps reach 110+!).
I admired them giving it a shot but that owl hanging from the chain became annoying. It sounded like a loud, clinking, unpleasant wind chime. I began to detest that owl as it distracted me from my work whenever the slightest breeze blew. It did, though, seem to keep the pigeons away - for a bit.
Not a few days later, we had a day with stronger winds and that owl blew up under the eaves, became stuck, and stopped doing its job as a pigeon deterrent.
Bye-bye owl. He disappeared the next day and I can only assume the neighbors realized that was not going to work and probably also hated the clanging noise of the chain.
Several people had suggested a plastic owl but, based on everything I'd read, most people see results like this person in the following video. It works a bit but either not for long or not 100%.
But the fact that the neighbor's owl was reflective got me thinking and I went back online to see why the reflective piece seemed so important. It seems that pigeons do not like things that are shiny and reflect sunlight.
I immediately whipped out a piece of tin foil and weighted it down with a rock across the spillway of the pool. Surprisingly, the pigeons would swoop in for water and then - like a plane that decides to divert their landing at the last minute - the bird would swoop up and away, never landing on the patio.
Unfortunately, a large chunk of tinfoil flailing about on the patio near the pool didn't seem a very attractive solution (and while I want the pigeons gone I wasn't ready to give up a nice looking patio!).
That led to some more research and a test of something surprisingly simple - and pretty! And SAFE!
Game Pigeon Iphone
I got some reflective kids' party pinwheels and some galvanized metal buckets that I thought were attractive enough for the patio. I put two pinwheels in each bucket and filled the bucket with rocks from the yard.
I wanted the two pinwheels to stay back-to-back but even with the rocks in place they shifted in the wind. I then taped the stems of the pinwheel wands together to hold them in place and that has done the trick.
The rocks keep the buckets weighted so they don't blow over in the wind - although hubby is waiting for the day a more severe wind comes along and dumps rocks and all right into the pool.
Either way - as long as the sun is shining on the pinwheels so they're reflective, the pigeons stay away. They still try - coming in for the swoop - but fly off without landing as soon as they catch a glimpse of the pinwheels.
In fact, they're not even landing on the neighbors' houses anymore which makes me think the only reason the neighbors had to worry about pigeon mess was our pool. I think I'll keep that little fact to myself....
What I particularly like about this effective method of keeping the birds away from our pool and patio is that it's such an attractive solution. I love the bright colors, the pinwheels move with even the slightest breeze, and they don't make any noise. No batteries to worry about, either, and it won't hurt the birds or our dog.
The one thing I'm going to try next, though, is to get a deep pot for planting succulents and put the pinwheels in the pots so I'll have an even prettier sight around the various edges of the patio and pool.
Set of Mylar Rainbow Pinwheels
Set of 3 Tapered French Style Galvanized Buckets
Small to medium sized rocks to weight the bucket
Tape to hold pinwheel wands together
Step by Step Instructions
Game Pigeon App Parent ReviewsThis is so easy you don't really need instructions but here's what I did:
1. Tape the wands of TWO pinwheels together so the pinwheels are back to back
2. Put 2 inches of rocks into the bottom of the metal buckets
3. Place the taped pinwheel wands into the bucket and hold them in place while you surround them with rocks
Best Break In Game Pigeon Pool Wins
4. Place the bucket with the pinwheels near where the pigeons land most often
I did end up using all three of the metal buckets and I put one at each of the two spillways between the pool and the hot tub and one at the corner of the hot tub where it meets the pool.
The reviews of the buckets mentioned above said they were difficult to separate but I had no trouble at all - once I realized they were wrapped in a very thin, yet sturdy, plastic. I removed the plastic and had no issue separating the buckets. They're pretty and well made.
The pinwheels are GORGEOUS. They're a great size and the colors are rich and vibrant. They spin easily, the wands are sturdy, and the pinwheels catch the sun beautifully.