Kick-back strategy

Kick-back strategy

The game is eight-ball and you have the solids. The 8-ball is blocking the corner pocket. It wouldn’t help to make the 7-ball, and while there are various ways to play safe off the right side of the 3-ball, they don’t improve your chances, and they give your opponent a chance to play safe in return. An ingenious play is to hit the 3-ball squarely with low backspin so that it banks off the end rail and back into cueball. With the right speed, the cueball will end up near the 7-ball, and the 3-ball will be near the side pocket. You are now a big favorite to win because the 3-ball is away from the blocked pocket and it’s hard for your opponent to lay down a decent safety.

The position shown is contrived, but the idea of banking a ball back into the cueball is occasionally useful in safety play.