Imagine yourself winning a game in little time, your opponent is awestruck because they didn’t expect the game to finish so early. They might consider you lucky, but you know deep down that it was not luck but the right strategy. And where did it all start? Yeah, you guessed it right, you probably just executed your best Pool break ever!
A good break gives you momentum that helps you throughout the game. But now you must be thinking, I’m still not a pro, how can I break in the Pool like a pro?
So in this article, I’m going to talk a bit about different types of breaks, and then I’ll share some tips that can help you to execute a perfect break.
So, there are different types of breaks. There are several terms associated with a break, it can be legal, illegal, and there are a few more terms associated with a break which I’ll discuss here.
An illegal break occurs in all forms of Pool if:
The above mentioned are Pool break rules actually, break any and you’ll have to pay for them in the form of different penalties.
When it comes to the legal break, let me make things simple for you. If none of the above mentioned things occur, it will be considered a legal break.
Like you hit the rack, at least one of the balls is either pocket or has reached the cushion, then you have just executed a legal break.
You must have heard of this term before, lucky ones get such a break. Or I should say, those who have learnt to plan and execute their break after sufficient practice.
A Golden Break occurs in a 9-ball Pool only, that is when you hit the object ball first and it then hits the 9th-ball ball such that it goes in the pocket.
In this instance, you win the game immediately without any further play.
People often ask “what is the best way to beak in 8-Ball or 9-Ball Pool?“.
So now, I’ll share some tips with you that can help you to improve your Pool break so you can reap maximum benefit out of your first shot.
It varies from variation to variation when it comes to choosing such a spot to break in Pool.
In the 9-ball game, players break from the side rail. They break in such a way that the cue ball is about 2 to 3 ball widths from the cushion and generally hit dead-square on the 1-ball.
In this way, they can control the cue ball’s end position and it can bounce back to the center.
In the 8-ball, players tend to break from different places, depending on the venue and conditions. For instance, in APA venues, where the balls are dirty and the cue ball may be overweight, players tend to hit square on the head ball at a tip height so the cue ball can return to the center.
Another common tactic used by players is to hit the second ball in the rack, breaking from the side rail. This strategy is used when the player aims to make the 8-ball on the break.
If you have been playing Pool for some time, it won’t be unusual to have developed your own spots and strategies to break. So don’t think the above mentioned two are the only legit or effective ones.
This is the first thing you need to do. Your body should be relaxed and in the right position. Your cue stick must be levelled, neither dropped nor raised.
If you want to learn more about your stance and how your body position should be like, learn more here.
I know it happens, it’s your first ever Pool break and you are excited at the prospect of doing something impressive at your first attempt. Most of the time, you’d be tempted to go hard and sacrifice accuracy in the lure of power.
Assuming that you have a break cue, which is heavier than the normal cue, you don’t need to worry about the power. Just keep the focus on the rack and your cue ball.
This is one of the basic lessons you’ll learn in Pool.
When breaking a rack, or playing a straight short, ensure that you hit the cue ball from the dead center.
But it’s not as easy as it sounds, you have to practice it a lot. We have covered this topic in detail in a separate article.
Your eyes should keep moving between the rack and the cue ball. This is how you achieve accuracy. And then at the last, a fraction of a section before the stroke, your eyes should be on the rack, on your object ball.
You may have seen people breaking from left or right, but I recommend breaking from the middle.
First, it gives you a clear view of the table in an appropriate sequence, second it becomes easier because you are not creating difficult angles for yourself that may further complicate your job.
Now this varies from player to player, you might be someone who likes to play with a close bridge. While there are players who keep this distance longer.
In general, it’s recommended that the bridge should be a little away than the normal shot, between 8-10 inches.
But it’s essential to find your comfort, make sure your bridge is neither too close or nor too far that you are struggling to generate power or maintain accuracy.
Another pro tip for breaking is to transfer your weight on contact. Some of the professionals use this technique, i.e. they proper their hips and torso forward when they are starting their stroke, and this usually ends with a kick from the backfoot.
Actually you focus on your back leg to generate forward power. And that’s why when you do this, your back leg goes higher, in kick sort of fashion.
Now this might be something you are lacking. What some players do while breaking is they push the cue stick forward and plant it at the table so their shaft bends at the end of the stroke. This is not a great technique.
Instead, you should develop a strong follow through in which you push the cue forward and complete the follow through such that your cue comes back aloft in the air.
To nail your break in the best way, your forearm should be perpendicular, i.e. it should be at 90 degree angle when your cue tip hits the cue ball.
In this way, your cue will remain level, and you comfortable.
That’s another important tip if you want to improve your breaks. If you have a different cue for breaks, a break cue, chance are it’ll be relatively heavier than the normal cue. But is it proving too heavy?
If yes, then you need to find a break cue that you feel comfortable playing with. The problem with too heavy break cues is you won’t be able to move it in your hands fluently, and thus, your follow through won’t be great.
Also, you might face issues while moving your body forward with a heavy cue in hand.
In 8-ball, if you manage to pot the 8-ball on break, it’s like a dream coming true. And fortunately, you can learn it with consistent practice.
In order to pot the 8-ball in break, put the cue ball 1.5 balls width from the right rail. Now aim to just barely touch the head ball while most of your force is going towards the right side. In this way, you’ll have more chances to pocketing the 8-ball in the center pocket.
Now, when we talk about 9-ball, it’s a lot more tricky. There are no obvious tricks. However, I have discovered one which, to some, might not be a good idea but that’s the only way around.
Once you have set up the rack, the only way to make way for the 9-ball to go inside the corner pocket is to leave some space between the 9-ball and 6 and 8 ball. Unlike 8-ball, it has more to do with the setting of balls in the rack rather than the position you are hitting from.
Getting better in Pool is the ultimate aim of every Pool enthusiast. But it all starts from the break, if you can nail your break, you increase your chances of winning the game. Now when you have learnt a few useful tips regarding the break, it’ll be easier for you to make the best use of a break in your next Pool game.