Eight Ball (Bally, 1978)

From Bob Matthews EM Encyclopedia 2018
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Quickie Version

 Spinner all day from the right, horseshoe at the upper right all day from the left.  Hit the 8-ball pad when the kickback is not lit or when the 8-ball is the only one you need to complete a rack.
 Go-To Flipper:  Left until you have 5X bonus and the kickback lit, then Right for spinner shots.

Full Detail

Most of your points on Eight Ball will come from bonus and the spinner, with some added by the horseshoe shot. Bonus is 3000 per ball completed; 1-4 at the top lanes, 5 and 6 are standup targets left and right, the 7 is the only return lane, on the right. You can’t get the 7 by skill, you’ll just have to hope the ball drops into it instead of the outlane somewhere along the way. A rack is 8 balls, not 15; even numbered players play balls 8-15 instead of 1-8. (It is Eight Ball, not Pool!)

Skill Shot for ball one is the 4 lane, hoping to have the rebound either hit the 8-ball pad or go clockwise around the horseshoe. After that, the Skill Shot is whichever number you still need, unless you have all four, in which case get whichever of the 2 or 3 lanes is lit for a multiplier progress advance.

There are three priority shots on this game. One is the top left horseshoe, right of the #4 top lane: that's your bonus multiplier advance, via the star rollover at the top of the arc. The first two hits just advance the score value of horseshoe shots, the 3rd, 4th and 5th advance the multiplier to 2X, 3X and 5X, after that it's EB and then it stays at 5000 points.

Second priority is the large 8-ball pad target in front of the horseshoe; this lights the kickback at the bottom left. In tournament settings, the kickback is usually NOT lit at the start of the game, making it that much more important to hit it a.s.a.p. If the kickback is not lit, shooting the 8-pad is the most important thing. On many Eight Balls, you can backhand the pad from the right flipper, in addition to forehanding it from the left flipper. You can also score it frequently with a counterclockwise horseshoe shot from the left flipper where the ball hits the top right bumper as it comes out of the horseshoe and rebounds into the 8-pad.

Third priority, once your bonus multiplier is maxed and the kickback is lit, is the spinner on the left, especially if lit (then worth 1000 per spin), for the points and to go back up top to collect more pool ball numbers.

Final priority is to complete the set of pool balls to advance to another rack and increase your bonus. Like many other games of this era, completing a set of something gives you a locked-in base bonus for future balls in play and allows you to start building more bonus. Bonus in this case is 3000 per ball made, times bonus multiplier. A complete rack of 8 balls gives you 24000 base bonus, and you can then add more balls in a second rack. I place finishing racks as the lowest priority since you can't collect the 7 ball by normal skillful play; you have to get the ball to go into the right side return lane rather than the outlane. It can't be reliably shatzed, and any kind of bank shot to try to get the ball over to that area has a high risk of draining. Just hope it happens on its own.

Once you have the 1-7 balls, hit the 8-pad to complete the rack. You cannot collect the 8 until you have finished 1-7.

Completing the 1-2-3-4 balls to finish the top lanes will light either the 2 lane or 3 lane (it alternates) for a horseshoe advance.

The rare configuration of kickback/outlane only on the left and the broad, flatter-angled-than-typical slingshot on the left side make ball control on this game unique. Plan on making lots of little nudges to keep the ball out of the outlane and get it to settle onto the left flipper.

On some Eight Balls, you can backhand the 8-ball pad target from a cradle on the right flipper, in addition to being able to shoot it from the left. Keep that in mind if you need to light the kickback.

This page is one of many in the The Players Guide to Classic Pinball by written by Bob Matthews