Actually, if you are playing a game of eight ball it will help your opponent if you clear off your ball and then miss your next shot. This just leaves less of your balls in his or her way when they are shooting.
Don’t get me wrong, it is not expected that you only make a shot if you are going to run out, but you should consider if your balls will be in the way of your opponents if you should by chance miss.
A couple quick things to look for when deciding which balls to shoot or not to shoot first may be:
- Is your ball right in front of a pocket? If it is it will leave one less pocket for your opponent to use to make their ball in, so you may want to leave this ball on the table and try and pocket another ball.
- Is your ball close to or touching the other player’s ball? This will force the other player to run into these balls before pocketing them, making it much harder for them to clear the table.
- If you pocket your ball, will you have another shot–or would it be better to just leave it in a spot on the table that will block your opponent’s run out opportunity. Let them clear off a few balls making your run easier.
Any of these things may help you get the extra edge you may need to win a game of eight ball. It pays to think ahead!