Category: Instructional Articles

Spin Shot By Robert Byrne

The through-the-hole double-the-rail pattern drawn in the diagram is not normally called a spin shot, but it has two characteristics after the cueball leaves the first rail-slow speed and tremendous spin. It is stroked as a force follow with high right-hand English. The speed on the cueball is killed not by the full hit but by the negative angle of approach into the first rail. The action is beautiful because the cueball speeds up after hitting the fourth rail.

More shots with a Curving Cue ball

More shots with a Curving Cue ball By Robert Byrnes

Shot 3- demonstrates a common application of follow. Trying to double the rail by going thin off the white is impossible because the angle into the first rail would be too steep. With a full hit, however, the cue ball steps sideways before diving forward, hitting the first rail at such a shallow angle that the shot becomes relatively easy.

Long and Short

The 5-ball bank is set up so that the angles from the first-rail contact point to the side pocket and the corner pocket are the same. Note how the axis of the cue passes over the middle of the corner pocket and how the 5-ball is aimed at the second diamond.

Rail first to score

“From Byrne’s Complete Book of Pool Shots, by Robert Byrne.  Used with permission.”

The 9-ball is hanging on the lip. If you decide to try to make if off the 1-ball, the best bet is hit the rail first with left sidespin.

The same is true from the other cue ball if the 2-ball is the lowest ball on the table.

By: Marty Kaczmarowski, APA 7

Bar Box 8-Ball By: Marty Kaczmarowski, APA 7

It’s the start of the game and you have solids.  You see that your opponent may have some issues even if you miss.  Go for the bank on your first shot!  Get that trouble ball off that rail and be aggressive here.  Banking balls at the right time in a game can be very strategic.

Click READ MOVE for larger picture

Drop Anchor by Tom Simpson

Tom Simpson

In a previous column, I talked about the idea of the grip hand feeling soft. I called it “cloud hands”. I suggested that, as you approach the shot, both hands should have this cottony, extremely soft character. The goal is to maintain that softness in the grip hand all the way through to the completion of the shot, preventing micro-movements in the hand that could cause a miss.

Shoot Yourself By Tom Simpson

At pool school, one of the first and most important analytical tools we use is the video camera. Each player shoots a standard sequence
of four shots, viewed from three different angles: from the front, from the back, and from the side. Often, players ask whether they can get a copy of their
video. We chuckle and explain that, after they’ve been through a day of bridge,grip, stance, alignment, and stroke training, and then see their “before” video,
they will be offering to bribe us to record over it. Most of us have burned-in a lot of our fundamentals.

Video shows the truth. Regardless of how “correct or natural” you may feel at the table, you
may be shocked at what you actually look like and what you actually are doing. You
may want to shoot yourself.

What Matters?

<br /> by Tom Simpson

Let’s look at some of the vital qualities of better players. What does it take to get better? Beyond knowledge, technique, and experience, what matters? What might you change or improve that will raise your game – or at least raise your enjoyment of the game?

Bar Box 8-Ball

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Bar Box 8-Ball
By: Marty Kaczmarowski, APA 7

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End of game or middle game strategy: take away a blocked pocket with a combination and put your ball in front of the pocket. This leaves you with a “duck” and your opponent with a headache.

Worse is Better

Worse is Better

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Worse is Better
By Samm Diep © December 2008
If you’re fortunate enough to play only on the finest Diamond or Gold Crown table with shiny, clean Super Aramith Pro balls and newly recovered Simonis cloth, then you’re probably pretty spoiled. And let me guess, you might struggle a little at league or the local weekly tournament when you have to play on bar tables with ripped felt, mismatched balls, and karaoke blasting in your ear.
There’s something to be said about practicing and competing under controlled environments where your opponent is respectful and everything is pristine, but welcome to the real world. Unless you’re a professional and you only compete in professional events where the equipment is perfect and consistent, then you’ll need to learn to adjust. Not even the pros are that lucky.
It’s no secret that sub-par conditions level the playing field. A C-player that wouldn’t win one game against you on a big table stands a fair chance of beating you on an unkempt bar table. The biggest weakness for the A-player is that they forget that they’re on a bar table. They’re still trying to play perfect pool. They’re delicate with safeties and attempting finesse shots for window shape. In this environment, it only gets them into trouble.