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Billiards Shot Puzzles


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A Moving Combination
Billiards Shot Puzzles

Your first puzzle to wade through

Illustration (c) Matt Sherman, licensed to About.com, Inc.
A debate column featuring billiards shot puzzles to test your reasoning ability.

"You Pick 'Em" Solutions

Q. What kind of sticky situations have you faced in Eight Ball?

In our final 8-Ball debate column for About.com, Matt and Donny review actual 8-Ball tables and invite readers to study and choose their best puzzle options before comparing to our suggestions. "Solids/low-balls/spots/littles/1 through 7" is the incoming player facing every diagram.

The title of each diagram provides a hint as to the solution.

Moving The Combination - Think Deeper Through This Billiards Puzzle

Think carefully, which play would you make next? Click on the illustration to see an enlarged diagram.

Matt: Only the foolhardy will be banking that 5-ball now as solids. With the 3- and 7-balls quite close together while not touching, the cue ball can be played almost atop the seven.

A good roll will hold the cue ball near the 7 and also drive the 3 atop the 8-ball, holding onto control of the game. The opponent's 15- and 10-balls are going nowhere fast.

Donny: You're halfway to the correct shot! If your safety ties up the 3, you will need another maneuver to open it up again. Instead, simply hit the shot with a tad more force and you will roll the 8-ball to the side rail to block the 10, while leaving it playable. This shot requires the stun or kill stroke-lots of draw, but just enough to slow the cue ball down just before it strikes the 7. Hit about 2/3 of the 7-ball.

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