Everyday people try and talk themselves out of purchasing one of America’s favorite pastime games, a pool table. Why they would want to pass up the opportunity to have what is in my opinion one of the greatest game pieces you can play is beyond me. However, I do understand that price and logistics is a big factor when thinking about purchasing a pool table.
- It can last for decades (well maybe not decade(s) but at least 10 years): While it might be expensive upfront it’s an investment that lasts.
- Statement piece: Every room needs one of these. A statement piece that brings about a great conversation topic is even better like “where did you get this” and “I love that carving on the legs” or “those pockets are unique”.
- It great for the whole family: As I stated in a recent post this game is great for people of all ages. It is one of the few games that can be learned at a very young age or picked up later in life. No matter what age your family is or how many of you their are it’s a great game that anyone can enjoy.
- Wouldn’t be a game room without one: Not that you’re trying to keep up with the Jones’s but you rarely see a great rec room or game room without a pool table. It’s the very essence and core of a the entire idea surrounding a game room.
- It’s one of the best games to play: Not only can be be played by everyone it’s amazingly fun. Now I may be a bit bias over here but it’s one of those games that you can play daily or pick up every so often and still love it.
Last week I wrote a post on “How to Rack and Break” but this week I wanted to get a bit more granular and post up some tips on how to really crush the rack. Most games a good break will determine if you continue playing or not so having the skills to really smash it are definitely to a players advantage. Here are a few basic tips to help pool players set up their next breaking of the rack:
- Power and Accuracy: The 1st rule of thumb when breaking is to hit the head of the ball, which in almost all games will be the 1 ball. If you are able to hit that 1 ball accurately and on center it should transfer all the energy and momentum (aka power) into the rack. So if you hit it dad center you don’t have to hit it as hard because you will have all that energy transformation working in your favor.
- Play for the Best: Always play like your striving for the best results. The only good break shot is the one that sinks all the balls. So don’t be afraid to switch up your cue ball positions or change speeds.
- Position Tricks: Every pool table will break differently but if you want a few tricks to find out those sweet spots here they are. 1) Check the cloth for signs of wear, players before you have probably found the best position for the cue ball so follow suit. 2) Try and get to the table beforehand to see where players are breaking and their speed to find out whats working.
- Where to Look: The debate is whether to look at the cue ball or the objective ball. Basically it comes down to where you want your focus during the break stroke. Some like looking at the rack’s head ball where other’s keep their gaze on the cue ball making sure they hit it accurately. It all comes down to personal preference even some of the pros confess they don’t know which one or where they focus on during the break shot.
- Timing: One of the key ingredients to a successful break. A player should try and have everything working together to make the movement effortlessly in less than a second. Really understand how your body works each person will be different so end up doing what works best for you.
Since the title of this blog is “You Rack I’ll Break”, I thought it would be important to talk about the fundamentals of breaking a rack. Billiard sports have been popular for centuries—with fans such as Mozart and members of French royalty. One element of the game that all players strive to perfect is the break hit. Here are some basic tips that can help improve your hit:
- Position your cue ball as close as the rules allow.
- Hold cue level with the tip, creating a loop with your non-dominant hand.
- Aim for the very center of the cue ball.
- Focus on hitting the head ball—the one that will be closest to you.
- Stand straight and keep your knees slightly bent.
- Hit the ball as hard as you can.
- Try different methods to find what works.
- Practice, Practice, Practice
When I think of pool I think of a few different scenarios: one is in a dimly lit pool hall with smoke filling the air, the other is flipping through channels and finding the one station that’s playing a professional tournament where it’s dead silent and everyone is staring with anticipation of the players next move, and lastly the most endearing is family memories around a pool table.
This post is dedicated to the latter. Pool is by far one of the most family friendly games, dare I say an all American family game. It’s a game that can be played at all ages young and old. It may be a little more challenging to teach those who are younger but I found a great article and book here if you are really struggling to teach your youngster how to play. The most important part is to create a game where everybody wins and that’s by having fun. Whether you are a player beginning the game or returning after a long absence it can be enjoyed and understood by all. The great thing about pool is that it’s more of a finesse sport the ultimate recreational game. It’s more mental than anything else which may be a bit harder for those who are older and younger to comprehend but no less challenging to others.