How To Practice Playing The Ghost – The 9 Ball Ghost.

playing the ghost

What Is Playing The Ghost?

Playing the ghost is a pool practice routine. The ghost is an amazing imaginary player who does not miss but “spots” you all the breaks and “ball in hand.” The ghost can play 8 ball, 9 ball and 10 ball. 

About Your Opponent The Ghost.

  • The ghost is a world champion.
  • Fargo rate 800+
  • The ghost never misses.
  • Never makes a mistake.
  • He does not feel the pressure.
  • Doesn’t get tired.

You Will Need A Spot!

If you were really playing a pool player with this kind of talent in a race to 7, you would need a handicap to make things even.

So, in order for you to play this world class player…

The ghost will give you “the breaks and ball in hand.”

If you are not familiar with 9 ball handicapping I  have explained the process below.

You Get To Break Every Game.

The good thing is that you get to break at the start of every game.

All potted balls stay down so just use your normal break technique, this is a good time to practice breaking and perfecting your results.

Ideally, you need the balls spread open around the table.

The Ghost Gives You Ball In Hand?

When playing the ghost at 9 ball it is customary for you to get “ball in hand” after the break shot. This means that you can pick up and place the cue ball anywhere on the table once at the beginning of each rack. This is the same procedure following a foul shot or scratch.

Work out how you will run the rack and then place the cue ball in the most advantageous position.

What is the Best Game to Play Against The Ghost?

Nine ball or a variation of 9 ball with less balls on the table is the probably best game to play for most players to practice.

To start with, beginner players should find a level that they can cope with without getting frustrated. For instance, throw out three balls onto the table, take ball in hand, then make the 3 balls in order. Adjust the number of balls until the game gets too difficult then drop down one ball.

Practice with 3 balls until you can beat the ghost.

Then use 4 balls then 5 balls and so on until you can win with a complete set of balls.

Don’t move up to the next level until you can win.

The Handicap System in 9 Ball Pool.

The handicap system in pool or billiards is called a spot.

In this way, the less experienced player has a chance to compete with the professional or top amateur player.

This makes nine ball a very popular game for gambling.

The handicap system makes the game more even and enjoyable for players of all levels to compete against each other.

Spots can be:

  • Extra money balls.
  • Called balls.
  • Wild balls
  • The breaks.
  • Games on the wire.
  • A combination of the above.

For instance with the spot “7 and the breaks,” the stronger player gives up all of the breaks and the 7 ball.
The 7 ball counts as another wild money ball for the lesser player.

How The Ghost Is Played.

Let us assume that you are playing 9 ball.

The usual 9 ball rules apply:

  • You break.
  • No push out.
  • Take ball in hand.
  • Balls must be made in rotation.
  • Contact the lowest number ball first.
  • Carroms and combinations count.
  • The nine wins on any shot
  • Slop shots count.
  • No safeties or snookers.

Just normal rules after the break.

Why Is Playing The Ghost Good Practice?

Playing 9 ball By Your Self.

Playing on your own is a skill in its own right. You have to learn to push yourself to be disciplined in your approach to practice time. Playing against another player will make you concentrate more and value your time at the table.

The problem is that you are sitting down for half of the time.

Playing the ghost gets you more time at the table.

Disciplined Play Under Pressure.

Playing the ghost puts you under a little bit of pressure to win.

Pressure a good thing to feel, you need to practice playing your best when it matters. Imagine that you are playing a great player in a tournament or for the cash. Make winning the games matter to you.

Playing the ghost is a great way to learn your current level and your limitations.

Identify Your Problem Areas.

Take note of where your problem areas arise.

Why are you losing games?

Is it the way you are playing position or do you need to work on your potting skills?

Isolate the problem and work on it.

You Get to Practice Your Break More Than Usual!

This is another plus of playing the ghost. You will be the only player breaking. Take your time, make each break count. Make adjustments to the power used and the position of the white ball after the break. Reduce your power if the balls are ending up in clusters, or you are losing control of the white.

How Do I Win When Playing The Ghost?

You get to break every game, just your usual 9 ball break. Any balls made will stay down in the pockets and count. Try to break in such a way that the balls spread evenly around the table. If any balls cluster together or block a pocket it will make the run more difficult.

Take time to plan your position routes carefully, you need to make all of the balls in one visit to the table.

Pick up the cue ball and place it in any position on the table and make the lowest number ball and proceed to run out the whole rack.

How Does the Ghost Win?

If you:

  • Miss any ball
  • Scratch in any pocket
  • Play any foul shot

the ghost wins the game.

Using The Ghost To Rate Your Nine Ball Game.

Playing the ghost is a good way to rank your game against other players.

If you are a good player, can you beat the nine-ball ghost?

If you can win that’s great, but if not, how many games on the wire do you need from the ghost to win a race to 9?

With the introduction of Fargo Rate, what would you say would be the rating of a player who could beat the ghost?

I don’t know for sure but I would imagine the rating to be around 640, just guessing of course.