Good Billiards Tactics

Involve Consistent Position Play

Good billiards tactics most often is a matter of positional play. This is vitally significant whether the game is 8-ball, 9-ball, Straight Pool or One Pocket.

After impact with the object ball, the cue ball is guided by speed and spin largely determine by the english, spin, stop, or follow applied. If done right, it takes it to a point where next shot can be made. In addition, your position must set the cue ball again for the planned shot following the ball you have just positioned for! At the start, look over the whole table layout and "plan" the run. Part of initial positional planning when it is your turn is recognizing difficult to open clusters of balls, ball pairs (touching) and balls contacting rails.
These are dangerous to be left until too late in the run! If your plan can address these problems early by being able (using positional skill) to open the clusters, open paired balls, and picking off the "railed" balls, you are on your way to a win.
While position for these is less difficult, your work to complete a runout is much easier.

The "first law of position play" is to get the hard shots off the table first, before clearing the isolated balls.
The "second law of position play" applies to defensive play.

Decide NOW...Run or Play

Run out or play safe. The only time you should run out is when you arecertain you will make it all the way.
If you don't think you can, play safebefore pocketing any of the your balls.
You should play a safety anytime you are looking at a ball arrangement that prevents a reasonable shot.

You know your billiards ability. If you can't consistently make a bank shot (five-for-five is consistent), then the bank shot is a low percentage option for you. Consider alternatives, a safety, or a shot to back up bunches.

Prevent friendly fire casualties

Know the value of each of your balls to a victory.
Don't pocket your "key ball" too early
Don't pick of your own blockers
If these are your only options, consider a safety
Every ball you pocket without running out is like killing one of your own soldiers in a war.

Tear up your 'get-out-of-jail-free card'

Leaving the 8 ball in jail:

Whenever the 8 ball is blocked by one of your balls, you must leave it there so you opponent cannot win the game.
The only time you will shoot your ball is when you know you can run out, freeing the 8 ball.

A key tactic...Patience

Patience is very important.
Once everything is out in the open, then it's time to run the balls and win the game.
Taking a ball or two and getting them out of the way is okay, as long as you leave yourself a couple of balls to work with and you're not in a good position to have a safe played on you.

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8-Ball Tactical Updater