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Dear Jeanette
By Jeanette Lee
International billiard icon "The Black Widow" answers your questions about life, love, and everything else that happens in the poolhall.

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May: Best Break
May 2015

Q: Where do you break in 8-ball? I play in a league and some players hit the head ball, but some hit the second ball. What is your preference, and why?

Larry Carta, Steger, Ill.

A: To be honest, my break was never my strong suit. I had power, but low accuracy. I rarely play 8-ball, but when I do, I aim to hit the head ball. I can say that the most popular and powerful breaks seem to be breaking just off of the center of the table, hitting the top ball head on. With that said, many players favor hitting the second ball, particularly when they don't have a very powerful stroke, because they get a good spread of balls and have the best chance of moving the 8 ball toward any pocket. My only issue with that approach is that it increases your chances of scratching in the corner pocket. If you want to hit the second ball, place the cue ball all the way to the right or left of the headstring line and aim for as full a hit as possible without hitting the head ball. I'd suggest that you try both breaks 50 times each, alternating breaks. Record you results and decide from there.