Do you want to win, or are you content to just hit balls around at random?
If you want to win, you must play the odds. Skilled players understand the chances of pocketing their ball versus the likelihood of executing a successful safety, while also assessing the cost and benefit of each option. My next series of articles will be a sample of what we go over in my Billiards Boot Camp held here in Northern California.
You have stripes here. Your opponent’s ball is in the jaws and the 8 ball is on the opposite end rail. What do you do? A sucker would attempt a low-percentage bank shot on the stripe and, if successful, be rewarded with another low-percentage bank or thin cut on the 8-ball.
The skilled player would pocket opponent’s ball in the corner with a combination shot, leaving the opponent a tough bank shot and leaving your ball in the jaws. Now it is almost impossible for them to play safe on you, and they are now forced to attempt a low-percentage bank shot.
You are now the favorite to win this game.
Photo: Jeff M for Short/Flickr
Editor: Dana Gornall