Three Tips on How to Play 9 Ball Better

By Joe Bouchard

Beginner players are often dabbling with many different games of pool, trying to find which one they like the most. Sooner or later every amateur is going to want to learn how to play 9 ball, too, so let me lay out three great tips help you along your way:

1) Learn to play strong safeties. 9 ball is a game that really exemplifies the dynamics between a strong defense leading to a powerful offense. Because you must shoot the balls in sequence, you will often come across times when the next ball you need to shoot has no clear path into a pocket. In these moments you must play a strong safety in order to guarantee that you’ll be able to get back to the table. The kinds of safeties to try are:

a) Hide the object ball behind other balls so that it cannot be hit by a straight shot from the cue ball

b) Hide the cue ball behind another ball so that the object ball cannot be hit by a straight shot

c) Put as much ‘green’ between the cue ball and the object ball as possible, ideally they will be exactly opposite each other, on the rails, so that no easy shot is possible.

2) Learn to get bigger angles on you position selections, not smaller, more-straight angles. Again, due to the need to shoot in sequence, the next object ball may be far out of the way from the ball you need to shoot first. Big angles will help you to travel the cue ball around the table with less forceful hits, and will help make getting position to the next ball easier. Straighter shots require a heavier hit to get the cue ball to travel (leading to less accuracy) and often reduce you to only draw or follow for shot-choices, which is less than ideal.

3) Breaking from the corner of the box, as opposed to from the center-spot, gives you a greater chance of sinking the one ball in the side pocket. This is not a guarantee because many factors can come into play to prevent it from happening. Yet, overall, it improves your chances because impacting the lead ball from one side will drive it towards the other side, aimed roughly at the side pocket. If you can master the speed of the hit for this break, the one ball will drop frequently, allowing you to stay at the table.

I’m the author of, where I discuss and teach how to play many different pool games, all geared towards helping amateur players improve. With these three tips on how to play 9 ball, I’m sure you’ll find the quality of you pool game immediately improving. Being comfortable with these techniques will go a long ways to helping your overall performance and success. If you liked this article, then you really must visit my site and read more. It’s chock-full of many more great topics similar to HOW TO PLAY 9 BALL.

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