Choose the Big Ball over the Obvious Shot By Phil Panzera


Around-the-table bank choices are very difficult, so most people would shoot a double-the-rail shot here (long-short-long). The diagrammed path is a much better solution though, if you take the time to look for it. The double-the-rail is not sitting that well, as you basically have only a half-ball target (the bottom side of the yellow). The diagrammed shot however has at least four different ways to score. Yes, the hit is a bit harder, but the red is close to the corner, and there’s a large margin for error.

You want to hit this a touch less than medium speed. Don’t baby this, for two reasons. You need to hit it hard enough to keep the English on the fourth and fifth (and maybe sixth) rails, which opens the path, making for a bigger target. Position wise, it is also good to drive the red to the opposite short rail and back to this half of the table, where you have a good chance for a nice short angle.

The normal way to miss this is by hitting the red too thin, so try and hit as much of the red as you can. The red is so close to the rail (about a third of a ball) that it’s very hard to hit it too full. You may think this shot is difficult, but it’s not. Besides, it’s pretty, and you’ll enjoy shooting it.