Breaking Clusters - Viking Cues Tip of the Week with Mike Roque, Author of "Build Your Game"

Breaking Clusters - Viking Cues Tip of the Week with Mike Roque, Author of "Build Your Game"

Posted by Mike Roque | Viking Cues on 26th Feb 2019

Breaking Clusters

“Gauge your speed by how full or thinly your cue ball will contact the object ball.”

-Babe Cranfield

BREAKING CLUSTERS apart is challenging because it has a three–part requirement; make a ball, break up a cluster, and get position on the next shot. You want to break them up early and you’ll need a plan.

Identify the cluster and look for a ball nearby to pocket that can direct the cue ball into the cluster. Whenever possible, have another easy shot available if needed after the breakout.

Use just enough speed to separate the balls. You don’t want to break balls apart only to see them hit rails and come back together! Generally, the fewer balls contacted, the better the result. It’s also easier to control the cue ball position.

If possible, plan it so the cue ball travels away from the cluster; otherwise, it’s easy to get stuck inside a group of balls. A little draw can facilitate this on certain shots.

With eight ball, break out clusters while there are still plenty of other balls to pocket. You can also hide behind the cluster as a defensive strategy. Ball–in–hand offers excellent options for breakouts. If it’s necessary, do it until all your balls are open. In straight pool, do your breakouts later in the rack to avoid congestion.

Plan your breakouts carefully. How you enter and leave a cluster is crucial.

Love our Tip of the Week with Mike Roque, you can purchase your own copy of his book "Build Your Game" at the BEBOB Publishing Website at