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Various Pocket Billiards Shots - Better Techniques

Go For The Win With These Slick Moves

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Various Pocket Billiards Shots, Better Techniques

Make cushion billiards shots more easily with these smoking hot tips

Illustration courtesy of Ian McKinnell/Getty Images
Let's get into it as I open the archives and reveal some shots I've never written about before at About.com or elsewhere.

A bunch of exciting techniques and non-obvious shots follow for your use at the tables. Enjoy, and as always, feel free to shoot me--an e-mail.

Elevating the cue stick. Hoisting your stick 10 to 30 degrees in the air creates a semi-masse stroke that will cause your cue ball to swerve or curve off line. A great tool when you intention it, but too many players elevate their cue subconsciously. Let it rest in your hand with the weight of gravity instead.

Try Lassiter's fist bridge for draw. Make a fist and put it fingers and palm side down on the table. Now with your cue running along your thumb near the cloth, you can get way down there for (gently stroked) draw spin. Luther "Wimpy" Lassiter used this technique nearly as often as he ate hamburgers.

Stun shots. Most every shot becomes a stop or stun shot when you take your aim a quarter-inch below center ball for control. There are other ways to stun as well. For example:

Mosconi stun. Go 1/16 of an inch below center and let the curvature of your cue tip create stun, Willie Mosconi-style.

Varner stun. Hall-of-famer Nick Varner showed me a simple way to kill a long straight-in shot, by aiming about halfway between the middle and absolute bottom of the cue ball. Eliminates guesswork on spin and speed.

Punch stun shot. Shots taken using only the "bottom of your arm" equals short accuracy when aimed about 1/8" below center. Punch this shot, snap it!

. Think "shoulder in" when bridged high over an interfering rail and you'll find your accuracy is greatly improved.

Crunch draw shot. Use a stroke a bit firmer than a medium stroke but draw just about one cue tip below center on a cut shot. The cue ball will start out traveling down the tangent line as always, and will soon take a big, sweeping curved draw. So pretty, and devastating for the opponent to watch as well.

Stun run-through shot. Stunning a cue ball and running it through where the object ball lay is done by aiming just above center. Another Mosconi favorite.

The V-shot. If it looks like you're going to scratch off the tangent line on a stun shot, go with topspin at impact instead, for a 30-degree roll off the cut. Make a V or peace sign with your forefinger and middle finger if you want to remember what a 30-degree difference is between the object ball aim line and the final cue ball roll.

Measure your draw shots. Experts can come straight back with draw three diamonds' distance within a foot most of the time if not every time. Compare your draw with the pros.

7, 8 and 9 rail shots. If you need to go big, shoot the cue ball at its center and if you need english, don't go more than 1 tip away. Strive for a very long follow through with radial deviation in your stroking wrist.

Rail draw shots. Draw taken over a rail with the cue ball close by must be hit below and behind the absolute center of the ball at its middle, its "peach pit". Extend the imaginary line your cue stick makes to go through the cue ball and below the peach pit for draw, above it for added topspin.

A handy safety. A great safe shot. Combine the thinnest hit you can conceive of (shot almost as though you want to miss the ball) with a small, short stroke. Incredible speed control is possible with the cue and object balls!

The big throw shot. Play with friction. When the cue is frozen to a ball and they are aligned four of five feet from pocket with the balls lined up less than six inches from sinking, strike the cue ball on its side and at a 45-degree angle. You might throw the second ball six inches to a foot. Slow speed provides maximum throw and so does a cold, non-humid poolroom.

Keep up the good work, students, and send me an e-mail when you discover unique shots of your own. Who knows, you might wind up here at About.com with one of your discoveries. There have been masse and spin shots of all kinds since cue tips were rounded and chalk was applied, so the sky's the limit!

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