Miniclip.com has become a well-established name in the mobile gaming industry with over 30 games in its app portfolio, over 2 billion downloads across all its apps from the Google Play Store alone, and largely positive average user review ratings for each of its games on both mobile platforms. Mini Football, Golf Strike, and Baseball Clash are just a trio of Miniclip’s games that we played and enjoyed. Though they publish action, arcade, and simulation titles, sports games are the dominant genre across Miniclip’s offerings.
8 Ball Pool is not just one of Miniclip’s longest running games but it is also the most popular. With over 500 million installs from the Google Play Store alone and a consistent top ten placer in several countries where it is available. Considering the overabundance of pool or billiards games on mobile gaming platforms alone, 8 Ball Pool placing on top ten lists is in itself already an enormous achievement.
As simple and straightforward as any other game of billiards 8 Ball Pool actually is, how it is packaged overall considering both gameplay quality and progression mechanics are concerned, resulting from a continuous series of updates and improvements, offers a uniquely challenging yet addictive experience, even for complete beginners.
8 Ball Pool is perhaps a more attractive casual mobile game for players who enjoy playing billiards, or pool to be more specific, in real life. However, 8 Ball Pool is likewise designed to make it easier for beginners to learn the rules and mechanics of the game and perhaps even make shots closer to what they have in mind than if they were to play one for real. While any video game of 8 ball is certainly easier than its non-virtual counterpart, 8 Ball Pool’s array of challenges come largely from its PvP-centric nature.
Complete beginners will easily pick up key control aspects of the game and bits of basic rules following the quick tutorials. However, if you are a complete newbie when it comes to the rules and strategies relating to 8 Ball Pool, then you have come to the right place as our 8 Ball Pool guide has a bunch of tips and strategies you need to jumpstart your career and consistently earn more coins and score more wins!
1. Master The Basic Rules
8 Ball Pool does not really delve that much into the most basic rules as it presumes that players are already aware of it on their first dive. Whether you know a bit or none at all, it is an important requisite for you to understand all the basic rules before you dive in on your next match.
Factors that influence your performance heavily across any game of pool intrinsically revolves around knowledge of rules, level of precision, and effectiveness as well as adaptability of strategy. While the latter 2 will take some practice and time to fully polish, having a rulebook in mind usually only takes a bit of effort.
For starters, a game of 8 ball pool is played with a cue ball and 15 other balls appropriately numbered. Numbers 1 through 7 are solids or spots while 9 through 15 are stripes. The goal is to choose either solids or stripes and pocket them all before finally pocketing the 8 ball. As simple and easy as that sounds, there are a few rules to always keep in mind and the time limit imposed on every shot you make, as indicated by the glow around your portrait, is just one of the things to be a little conscious about.
You can choose to pick either solids or stripes after the break shot, regardless of whether or not you pocket any ball. Running out of time before you make a shot leads to a pass and as a penalty, your open will have a ball in hand, meaning that they can place it conveniently for their turn. In addition to running out of time, though, not hitting any of your balls with your shot is also a foul just like hitting any of your opponent’s balls first before doing so.
Within each shot, keep in mind that the cue ball, or any of the balls should hit any part of the rail. Each shot you make should therefore hit one of your balls before hitting any of the opponent’s balls and at the same time touch any rail or side of the pool table. As an extra rule applicable to tables with higher stakes, you need to call your shots with regard to which pocket the ball you are targeting will go down in. Pocketing the cue ball, called a scratch, also ends your turn with a ball in hand for your opponent.
Considering everything, what you need to avoid is to pocket the 8 ball before clearing your balls. Incurring a scratch or calling the wrong pocket when trying to sink the 8 ball is also a huge no-no. These instances will instantly have you lose the match.
2. Practice Makes Perfect
The tutorial session in 8 Ball Pool begins and ends within the first game you play through. In all honesty, it is hardly enough to prepare you for a real match, regardless of how good you play in real life and just how much skill and strategic prowess you already possess.
As perfectly as the concepts of physics and friction may have been represented in 8 Ball Pool, and as easy as its controls seem, it will still take some practice for you to reach the level where the result of the shot you have in mind is as close to what actually happens.
Although it is completely understandable to be raring to head on to the next match and start earning more coins, it is best to head on for practice first. Although it costs 25 coins per round to engage in practice mode, there can be plenty of differences in your performance between going through a practice session and heading straight on to a 1-on-1 match.
Practice mode basically lets you focus more on each shot without minding the opponent as well as other potential distractions and can help you identify points of improvements in your play.
Relative to this, remember to visit and tinker with the game’s settings through the gear icon at the lower left side of the main screen. You can also access this through the options you can drop down through the menu at the upper left side of the screen while playing.
What you may want to look into are the game options, particularly choices as to cue sensitivity, enabling tap to aim, tap to shoot, and many other options. You may want to try a couple of setups first in practice mode and decide on the best configurations for you before you engage in a real match.
3. Do Not Let Anything Distract You
One of the common components in every competitive game is pressure and, more often than not, its impact is typically stronger on beginners than on more experienced players. Most beginners will be initially hesitate to dive right in on a PvP match, especially devoid of any preparation. This naturally stems from the presumption that more experienced players who delved into the game first are better in every way.
This mindset may not be completely wrong as there will always be opponents better and lesser than you are as far as overall skills go. The feeling of inadequacy and unpreparedness, however, is ultimately just a distraction and like all other distractions, should be avoided to ensure a solid focus on every shot you make.
Imagine not sinking any of your balls in or even not making your first shot yet as you watch your opponent start cleaning the table. It is a worst-case scenario yet highly probable, and anything close to leaving you at a perceivable disadvantage can certainly contribute to more pressure. It is important to accept the fact that you cannot win on everything but at the same time keep a positive and focused mindset in every game.
Another huge pressure builder in 8 Ball Pool is the timer. It is highly likely that no player is accustomed to having a time limit imposed on each shot they take and the penalty of a pass and completely skipping a chance for a shot is seriously hard to ignore. As challenging as it actually is, however, we recommend that you take as much time as you need with each shot and avoid even looking at the timer around your portrait as you make each shot.
Almost in every instance, there is an inverse relationship between speed and accuracy. This same concept applies to a game of pool and is certainly a fact when it comes to beginners. Between speed and accuracy, you should naturally aim to maximize precision over speed as mistakes in shots borne of rushing to perform it can lead to results as bad as passing a shot, or even worse. You can expect to work on your speed gradually with each play but working to improve on it should come secondary to making precise shots.
3. Aim To Get Better Cue Sticks
If there is one other thing to work hard for in 8 Ball Pool other than fame and reputation, it is certainly the money you can earn from winning matches and taking advantage of other in-game perks. You will always have a need for money to be able to play but, more importantly, you also need to invest hard earned coins to get yourself better Cue Sticks. The default cue you will be using does not seem bad at all but given that all other cues have stat bonuses certainly makes getting better cues appealing.
There is a plethora of cues for you to unlock and use and cues in 8 Ball Pool are basically categorized into how you can obtain them. Within the “Cues” section of the shop, the basic ones or standard cues contain most of the easiest to obtain.
Most cues on this list save for one can be purchased using coins. Note that you do not have to try and collect each available cue and at the very least should only consider purchasing without necessarily emptying your funds that you need to pay for entry fees.
Any of the available cues is better than what you have and use by default but keep in mind as well that skills and strategies still matter more within each match. Each cue has 4 stats to consider and some may be more important to you than others. Force applies to how powerful shots can become. A new cue with higher force rating will surely have an impact on your game and you may need to recalibrate the amount of power you use with the shots you make.
Aim boosts precision and a higher aim rating increases the guideline that actually makes it easier for you to have better accuracy. Spin impacts how the cue ball will react after making contact with your target ball or the cushion.
Hitting the bottom part of the cue ball, as an example, will make it roll back farther when using a cue stick with higher a spin rating. Last but not the least, a higher time stat on the cue, as weird as it may sound, actually gives you more time to make each shot.
4. Let The Diamonds Guide You
If you are one of those new pool players who are still wondering about what the diamond marks on the sides of the pool table are for, then you still have plenty to learn. It can happen that you know all the basics of pool but have yet to utilize the diamonds in the games you play. The diamonds are actually important guides for each player that can help them predict to track the path the cue ball will travel and help them make more precise shots.
If you noticed, the diamonds actually divide the pool table into equal sections where invisible lines can be more easily laid out to predict where the cue ball will end up in after it hits the cushion. Of course, not every shot will require you to have your cue ball touch or bounce off of the cushion, as sinking one of your balls is an exemption.
For the most part of every game, however, you will be making use of the cushion. This does not exclusively apply to the cue ball as some shots also involve having your target bounce off of the cushion before sinking them on a hole or placing them where you want to.
8 Ball Pool, just like all other billiards game, requires a decent application of geometry principles, most particularly relating to angles. By default, the angle at which the ball hits the cushion should reflect an equivalent angle as its path after the contact. Using that understanding in line with the relevant diamonds, with some minor adjustments and computations in mind, you can tremendously improve shots across almost every scenario.
Note as well that putting a spin on the cue ball can alter the effects of shots after it hits the cushion. It is possible to compute for angles even without the diamonds as references, but as they are already there, it is best to utilize them as best as you can.
5. Learn To Master Spins
Mastering precision on either a straight shot or cushion shot already takes a lot of patience and practice and that applies even if you are only considering hitting the dead center of the cue ball. The short tutorial session will not even have you utilize the spin feature so if you dive in straight to an actual match immediately after, it may take a bit for you to notice it.
There is actually a ball icon at the upper right side of the screen and clicking on it will let you adjust the spin on the cue ball. By default, you will always be hitting the dead center of the cue ball but, with spins, you can make a wide variety of effects on how the cue ball will behave after hitting its target.
Aiming a little higher gives the cue ball more forward spin. If a straight shot leads to a stop ball, then an upper spin will enable the cue ball to move forward, basically following the target. Using a spin to hit the lower end of the cue ball will give it a backward roll. A straight shot that could lead your cue ball to the same pocket as its target can be avoided by using this.
Expectedly, adjusting your aim to either left or right of the cue ball will influence its direction after hitting its target. Cushion shots with adjusted left or right spins will result in a different exit angle.
Considering these adjustments, it is easy to imagine dividing a cue ball into 9 equal sections and targeting each one leads to a very different result. Note, however, that numerous different points to hit on the cue ball, resulting to a combination of effects that influence its behavior.
While spins all seem like advanced techniques that can be a little too challenging for complete beginners to handle, understanding the concept and applying it as you go will lead to a faster improvement of your performance. It is tricky to learn, and close to impossible to fully master.
8 Ball Pool, in any case is a game that is easy to learn yet hard to master so expect to consider most of your matches as a part of your continuous training to become a top player.
6. Think At Least One Step Ahead
If you have watched some pool matches between professionals like Efren Reyes, Ralf Souquet, Karl Boyes, and many others; what would impress you and audiences half of the time is not just the shot itself that actually banks a ball. Rather, it is always equally or more astonishing to witness how they almost always manage to get the cue ball in a position that makes their next shot very convenient.
They are pros not simply because they can clear even the most difficult shots there are but rather, they are able to do and at the same time still manage to place the cue ball right where they want to.
Considering everything, there is almost always more than one way to pocket a ball, and having full control of the cue ball as well as knowing how to prep for the next or next couple of shots is indicative enough of this fact. Choosing which way to go is certainly not a matter of simply successfully sinking your next target but rather being able to do more than just clear one ball.
Thinking at least one step ahead may seem so advanced for beginners but the ultimate mindset is to actually have a planned route to clear the table early on. If simply banking a ball within the time limit is already a challenge for you, then you may want to save this strategy for the next challenge.
We are not going to lie; it is very difficult to consistently be able to place the cue ball exactly where you want to after making a shot so you can expect to make bits of progress in the prep aspect of your play to be realized after several matches.
Keep in mind that prepping the cue ball is not exclusively made in preparation for your next shot. As a beginner, or even an experienced player in 8 Ball Pool, it cannot be expected of you to always consistently bank your target ball the way you imagined it. As such, you should also take a step ahead regardless of whether or not you intend to actually bank one of your balls.
As you ready to end your turn and set the table for your opponent, you would want to make it impossible or, at the very least very difficult for them to make a clear shot. Placing the cue ball close to any other ball, especially one of yours, is just one good way of making a defensive shot.
8 Ball Pool provides clubs you can join, friends to ask for and send gifts to, and other perks and benefits that let you earn coins as well as cue stick parts if you are active enough. This is where we wrap up our 8 Ball Pool guide and we hope that you learned a great deal from the tips we shared. If you are a bit of an advanced player and have your own bits or bulks of tips and strategies to share, do not hesitate to do so and throw us one or a couple down in the comments!