Here is a 8 Ball sharking trick that is often used on beginning players. It is an easy way for the pool hustler to appear to give a very generous handicap. In reality, he is setting up easy wins for himself.
A fantastic handicap is offered. It begins like this. “I really only play pool for money – but you already know I’m a better shooter than you. How about I give you a handicap?”
The beginner cautiously asks for more information – suspicious of a trick. The hustler continues, “After someone makes their first ball, you can take any three balls off the table. How’s that sound?”
And here is where greed overcomes common sense. If still reluctant, the offer goes up to 4 balls off the table. A few “Come on – we’re not playing for big bucks – what’s to hurt?”
The victim, already dazzled by such a generous handicap, is talked into a few games. Usually, the balls taken off are in clusters or blocked by opponent balls. What he doesn’t know is that this actually makes the table very easy to run out.
Carefully managed to allow the occasional win, the pool hustler can spend hours pulling money out of his new cash machine.
Against a pool hustler who is hiding some skills, when the beginner starts showing signs of quitting, the handicap is extended to 5 balls.
If the beginner player is a friend of yours, you could pull him off to the side and warn him of what is happening. If he’s a friend, but irritated you recently, you might let him suffer for a few games.
If you’re the beginning pool player, select another handicap. For example, making either of your last two balls would win the game.
Another option is payoff differences. If he wins, you pay $1.00. If you win, he pays $5.00. If you get ahead, resist his efforts to change the payoff.