Improve your billiard skills – Pattern Play

Posted on 06. Oct, 2010 by in Drills / Exercises, Game Strategy, Mental / Theory

When I practice, I do it at home and usually alone. My routine on my 9 foot Diamond Pro Am with Simonis 860 cloth is mainly straight pool.  I always encourage people to try adding some 14.1 into their training. The benefits are many-fold.

  • Learn to build runs of many balls
  • Learn the importance of finesse and fine position accuracy
  • Learn to minimize cue ball movement
  • Learn ultra focus on seemingly simple shots
  • Learn to pocket the object ball and trust the cue ball to take care of the rest of its job
  • Many more to be added here from reader suggestions

All of these things that can be worked on by practicing straight pool will build pattern knowledge that can be applied to any game. I see so many players who can pocket balls well and have a decent stroke get into all kinds of trouble by shooting the balls off in the wrong order.

What order would you shoot these balls off to leave yourself a good break shot for a chance to continue your run?

The balls from left to right are 4, 14, 7, 13, 1, 10, and 12.

Pattern Play Puzzle

Pattern Play Puzzle. Click for larger image.

Learning pattern play through 14.1 practice can be priceless.  It also happens to be a great game that challenges players of any ability.

14 Responses to “Improve your billiard skills – Pattern Play”

  1. Ken

    06. Oct, 2010

    4 – 1 – 14 – 13 -7 – 10 – break ball is the 12…

  2. Troy

    06. Oct, 2010

    1-10-14-7-4-13-break ball is the 12.

  3. Tony

    07. Oct, 2010

    I like 1-14-13-7-4-10 to use the 12

    or to use the 13 for break ball

    15 bottom right-10TL – 14BL – 7TL – 4BS – 5BR

    Great thinker, thanks!

  4. Peter Graber

    25. Oct, 2010


    12 is the break ball.

  5. Jack Orlando

    28. Oct, 2010

    1- stop for the 14
    14 – off cushion angle for the 13
    13- off cushion up table between 4 and 7 (cue back to where this drill strated)
    4 into the corner – leave an angle on the 7 (cue back to where this drill strated)
    7 into far corner – off rail to the 10 actually (cue back to where this drill strated)
    10 – roll forward

  6. Flip

    16. Feb, 2011

    NO!!! NO!!! NO!!! The proper order is 1, 14, 13, 7, 8, 10 and your breakout ball is the 15.
    Why? We’ll number the pockets from 1-6 starting from bottom left moving counter clockwise. Shoot 1 in pocket 2 and draw back about 3 inches. shoot 14 in pocket 1 and stop, shoot 13 in pocket 2 with a half tip bottom to put CB in same position as in the start. Shoot 7 in pocket 5, again with about a half tip bottom just over pocket speed to have CB off of the rail, Shoot 8 in pocket 1 and draw back about 3 inches, Shoot 10 in pocket 3 and follow about 2 inches. You have natural angle for the breakout to continue your run in the next rack.

  7. geno29

    17. Mar, 2011

    probably lots of ways to do this,but for me…1 in corner,(stop shot)10 in corner,(stop shot)14 in corner,(stop shot)7 in corner,(stop shot)4 in corner,(stop shot)13 in corner with low to mid right english to set for 12… 1,10,14,7,4,13,12

  8. Bo

    19. Feb, 2012

    I like 7, 4,14, 13, 1, 10 after stopping the 10 ball the 15 ball is a natural break out. I like this run because it’s an easier pattern with less trouble and having options

  9. Darwin

    04. Oct, 2012

    I do not see a 1 ball?

  10. Bob

    20. Nov, 2012

    1-stop.14 stop. 13 center hit with half tip right english and roll to the 7. 4 stop. 10 stop (or slight follow roll if you like your break a bit steeper.

    The 10 is the natural key ball and 4 is the key to the key. If you shoot the 13 and attempt to get on the 14 and then the 7, you risk coming up short and not having the right angle to get on the seven at all. Very basic pattern that really needs to be played only the way I just described.

  11. Doug

    18. Dec, 2012

    I came up with 7-4-14-13-1-10 as well.

  12. tig

    30. Mar, 2013

    Stop on 1 low english on 14 to pull past 4. 4 ball with stun. 13 with to position for 7. Pull back a little for the 10 in the side and then break out with the 12. That makes it 1,14,4,13,7,10

  13. tig

    31. Mar, 2013

    After looking this over again it appears the 14 would be straight in and not a angle after the stop on the 1. Therefore I would play 1, 14, 13, 7, 4, 10 and break with the 12.

  14. pool player

    29. May, 2014

    I’am an amateur player with an average of 6 and a high run of 42. I prefer the pattern 1, 14, 13, 7, 4, 10, 12.
    I still believe it depends on the pocket size

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