How practicing Straight Pool can help your 8 Ball game

Straight Pool or 14.1 Continuous is a game where you can shoot any ball you want and most shots are short shots. It is a game of patterns, and playing a lot of Straight Pool helps you understand and see the patterns in 8 Ball. For example, you will generally shoot a shot that will allow you to have many options for your next shot, instead of trying to get perfect shape for just one shot. Most shots that you will play are shorter than half table and are normally pretty easy shots to make. From time to time you may play a combination shot or billiard but will hardly ever have to bank a shot. You will often have to break ball clusters and will need to learn where and how to hit these clusters to get the best results. Playing Straight Pool can help you develop good cue ball control, especially in a confined area. When the pack is tight and there are lots of balls you will need to play some safeties but when the balls are spread open it is almost always a total offence strategy. So there are many skills needed to play great 8 Ball that you can learn to master by playing Straight Pool.
Convince a friend that you like to play Pool with to play a game of Straight Pool once a week. You can choose between playing a short game to 50 or just playing for a limited time frame of 1 hour or so. This way you are not taking up too much of your pre-budgeted time allotment for pool every week. If you can’t convince anyone to do that then do it by yourself. If you are already a pretty good player try playing your right hand against your left hand and give your weak hand a spot of maybe 25 points. Change the spot as your weak hand gets stronger. Setting goals is important in developing anyone’s game. Be aware of your high run and set periodic goals to beat your current high run.
John Schmidt is a professional pool player whose nickname is Mr. 400 because his high run in Straight Pool is over 400 balls, without a miss. The most famous pool movie of all time was “The Hustler” starring Paul Neuman as Fast Eddie and Jackie Gleason as Minnesota Fats. They were playing Straight Pool during their gambling matches together. Until the early 1980’s Straight Pool was the game of choice by professionals and most tournaments were Straight Pool. Willie Mosconi was 15 time World Straight Pool Champion and is reputed to have made the highest run in history of 526 balls without a miss. Google Straight Pool or 14.1 Continuous Rules.
Enjoy the Process!
Paul Potier

2 comments on “How practicing Straight Pool can help your 8 Ball game
  1. ALFRED says:

    Hopkins Q Skills is an excellent rating drill developed by Allen Hopkins, which is a combination of straight pool and rotation. More info can be found here .

  2. Tanner says:

    Hi Paul,
    Used to love playing straight pool with an elder whom taught me so much about the game. Great advice as it can also be great to give your confidence a boost now and then to be able to run the whole table off.

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