8 Ball Pool is a true smartphone classic: released for iOS & Android in June 2011, it remains highly popular to this day. In matches against opponents from all over the world, you’re working towards potting all of your balls on the table before the other person does. To keep the upper hand, you need a strategy and skill – so we’ve prepared five tips that will help you graduate from newbie to pool shark!
1. Use the full power of your cue on your first shot
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A game of pool starts with a break – a shot with the white cue ball that breaks apart the other balls that were racked together. If you’re the player executing it, you’ll want to get as many balls into the holes as possible to give yourself a major advantage for the rest of the round. Place the cue ball at your preferred position behind the head string (the white line at the head of the table), then pull back the cue indicator on the left side of the screen as far as possible for a powerful start.
2. Add vibration to remind you of your next opportunity
Don’t throw away your shot! When it’s your turn, a timer will limit the window you have to make a decision and execute it. Letting that opportunity go to waste might give your opponent the edge. Adding haptic feedback will remind you when it’s time to play: tap the gear icon on the main screen of the game, scroll down to Game Options and toggle on Vibrating.
3. Always plan one step ahead
Pool is about strategy, not chance. Once it’s decided whether you have to down the solids or the stripes – either one of the two types of balls – you need to start thinking ahead. If you can’t pot right away, line the balls up close to the holes for your next possibility. And make sure you’re not playing into your opponent’s favor by shooting the white cue ball into an angle that’s favorable for them.
4. Use the diamonds to line up your shots
The markers alongside the pool table’s edges are called diamonds. They’re reference points that help you set up the angle of your shot and calculate the cue ball’s trajectory with pinpoint accuracy. If you’re playing off of these markers, your ball will travel from one diamond to the next, supporting you in executing anything from a simple way to pocket a ball to a more complex trick shot.
5. Use topspin and backspin to direct the cue ball
To make the game harder for your adversary, as well as prep for your own strategy, make clever use of the Spin feature. Tap on the white cue ball in the top-right corner of the screen and set the red marker. If it’s at the top for a topspin, it will make the cue ball follow the ball it hits. If it’s at the bottom for a backspin, it will make it go in the opposite direction. Adjust the amount of force to play around with the strength of the spin, and make sure to aim completely straight so as not to distort the outcome.