What are some examples of good 9-ball strategy?

9-ball strategy is covered in great detail in the Video Encyclopedia of Nine-ball and Ten-ball (VENT). Here are some example clips:

For more information, see: “VENT – Part III: Creative Shot Options” (BD December, 2017) and “VENT – Part IV: Defensive Strategy” (BD, January, 2018).

Besides deciding whether or not to play safe, the next most common strategic decision is deciding when to break out a cluster. Here is a good example from Vol. III of the Video Encyclopedia of Pool Shots:

Here are some run-out examples from Vol. V of the Video Encyclopedia of Pool Shots (VEPS):

More run-outs, with detailed strategic analysis can be found on Vol. V of the Video Encyclopedia of Nine-ball and Ten-ball (VENT).

Here are some useful drills from Vol. III of the Video Encyclopedia of Pool Practice (VEPP) to practice patterns common in 9-ball:

For more information, see “VEPP – Part VII: 9-Ball Pattern Drills” (BD, October, 2012) and “Billiard University (BU) – Part VI: 9-Ball Drills,” (BD, January, 2014).

Advice, strategy and options concerning the break are covered on the 9-ball break resource page.


from KellyStick:

1. Missing very close to the pocket in 8 ball is good. In 9 ball this is bad. My slow roll preference I have used in 8 ball for years is not a good idea in 9 ball unless I make the ball for sure.

2. In 9 ball it is not good enough to leave your opponent a tough defense like it can be in 8 ball but rather you really need to bury the next numbered ball and/or CB in a defense. Otherwise you just get “defensed” back. Somehow this is more critical it seems it nineball with only one OB available on each shot.

3. The break is much more critical. With only one OB each shot you gotta get good at leaving the CB in the middle. With multiple OB options in 8 ball this is not as critical. I have some bad habits and abilities that need work here.

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