Play Pool Games - Or Are They Playing You? - Which To Play?

What Pool Games To Play To Change Your Billiards Skills For The Better

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A lovely rack of 7-Ball, ready for the blast! It's always time to play pool games with me!. Photo (c) Matt Sherman, licensed to About.com, Inc.

Play pool games in your spare time? Are you more serious that that? What are the best possible pool games to play and why?

What not to play in billiards is often more important than what to play! I recently watched the semifinals at a large regional APA 8-Ball tournament--these players had beaten hundreds of others yet couldn't play 8-Ball strategy but poorly. Okay, VERY poorly.

Here's what/which pool games you should be play, based on wants, needs and next steps for your growth in the sport:

9-Ball - The fast and furious game that dominates pool on television. Young, aggressive players love the fact that 9-Ball constantly demands lengthy shots with lots of spin and power--precisely why they shouldn't be playing it much until they learn a better stroke and the delicate touch required to sink most shots. Sounds are amplified for TV pool. Most pros shoot much more softly than most players think they do.

More 9-Ball action at this site:

Eight Ball - An absolute boon for your creative strategy development. The problem with this, the world's most popular pool game, is that so many people play it badly, even at high levels of league and tournament competition.

Don't just play at 8-Ball, play this pool game as your personal treasure trove to increase your strategic skill:

14.1 Continuous Pool, aka Straight Pool - The King and Queen of pool games to play, Straight Pool will develop your runout patterns, challenge and delight you, give you plenty of gentle shots plus explosive break shots, and a variety of banks, kicks and safeties to build your all around game.

Straight Pool is what you play when you want to dramatically increase your 8-Ball and 9-Ball success when you return to those play those two pool games again.

7-Ball Pool - A delightful game that goes fast and demands a hard opening break (unless you are breaking defensively). Seven Ball is far easier to run and builds encouragement for people who want to get unstuck from playing Nine Ball constantly. Try it, you'll like it! Rules and strategy are at this 7-Ball link.

Three Ball! - An exicting competition (or gambling game) - you'll never be bored awaiting your next turn, play goes far too quickly for that. Play alone and build your position and break skills quickly, or join a friend (or ten friends) for a play party. Learn more here.

Pool Catch - An oddball little game, but one I invented to get you and a friend or an APA league teammate in better shape for your next competition. Try it today.