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The Noble Game of Six Ball

Six balls seem easier than nine, are they really?

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The Noble Game of Six Ball

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Photo (c) Matt Sherman 2008 licensed to About.com, Inc.
The game of Six Ball seems at the outset far easier than Nine Ball. Simply rack the six lowest numbered object balls, break 'em up and run 'em down in the pockets in order. In reality, the game is more daunting.

Tough Break

In 6-ball the open break is challenging. You have to be stroking well to sink even one ball, especially on a nine-foot table. The 6-ball as it rests in the middle (see the accompanying image for the racking position of the balls) is espcially difficult to shoot in with the break and score the easy win, as with the striped nine in 9-ball.

The Six Ball game break is so tough that it remains controversial among pool pros as to whether it helps to play the break or let the opponent handle it!

Running To Win

The balls spread widely over the table in the game of 6-ball. Indeed, the intermediate player finds the run fun but challenging. Having less object balls to start than with 9-ball, life looks grand until the player misses, probably leaving the incoming shooter far less balls than in 9-ball.

In other words, the newer player tends to leave easy runs for the win (such as the 4-, 5- and 6-balls) following the first few shots of the game.

Try Adding One Ball To The Mix

An accomodation between the challenge of Six Ball and the game of 9-ball is found in... 7-ball. The rules and theory of Seven Ball are available here at About.com, with the rules handily applying to Six Ball as well as others in the Rotation family of games. Have fun!
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