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Different Pocket Billiards Strokes And Tips

A Garden Of Weapons At Your Disposal For Better Play


Different Pocket Billiards Strokes And Tips

I love to help players further their games. Print these tips out and practice them.

Photo (c) Matt Sherman, licensed to About.com, Inc.
Continuing today my compendium of all types of tips and techniques for your enjoyment. This article can help beginning to advanced pool shooters right here at About.com. Here are some tips on some of the less frequently played but highly important shots and strokes that make billiards fun:

Added Help With Banks

Do you know how to aim bank shots "off the square" as taught by my friend, Marcel Elfers? Have you read on this site how to sharpen all your bank play by alternating spin banks and side banks?

Have you tried shooting long cross-corner banks to enhance your banking feel and creativity? Do you know that most banked shot missed come short of the pocket and so you go long to compensate?

Some more tips "you can take to the bank". * Don't anticipate rail contact with the ball and jerk your cue stick but rather, stroke as if there is no rail to be struck. * If you have trouble anticipating what particular spin or speed will do to change the angle taken by a banked ball, visualize slo-mo rail impact before you bend to shoot.

And more bank help… Avoid double-kissed banks to the corners by asking yourself, "Can I shoot the cue ball directly into the pocket on the same side as the intended banked ball?" *Calculate rail interplay based on dead ball/stun action and then add or subtract spin or speed from there. * Sight along the bottoms of the cushions as looking along the tops of the rail creates parallax false estimates. * Use this simple pro method for aiming bank shots.

Tips For Jump Shots

Remember my 7-step jump method: 1) aim the regular way at the object ball 2) grip very softly and 3) elevate your cue stick 30, not 45 degrees (45 degrees is for extreme jumping and is uncomfortable to maintain at the table for most players) 4) open your bridge hand and raise the stick from the bridge fingertips 5) maintain that very soft grip so the hand finds the right angle with the cue stick via gravity 6) NOW that you're in place you tighten the grip and then 7) flow, don't jab DOWN into the ball and table to launch the cue ball into the air.

On your jump strokes, do not "pendulum stroke" but try to come straight back and through. * Point the cue stick high after follow through as it will naturally rebound from impact. * Use a hard cue tip atop a lightweight cue stick. *Follow or draw if desired shooting above or below the oblique ball equator, that is, be sure the whole cue stick is "above" or "below" the absolute center of the sphere of the cue ball at its middle. * Don't jump higher than you need on a shot if you have to clear a partial ball and not a full ball's height. * Try my top jump stroke for emergency plays (and for fun, but be warned, the cue ball will fly very high).

Help For Powerful Break Shots

There's conflicting advice on power breaks these days and many different techniques can add speed successfully. Here are some of my favorites... Balance the cue stick using a longer bridge than normal. * Get your weight onto your rear foot a bit like a baseball player or boxer who needs to thrust forward. * Accelerate near impact time. * Try leaving your foot/feet on the ground but stroke so hard it/they naturally come up into the air.

More break help. * Forget rocking back and forth and pull back slowly and through. * Forget topspin on open breaks as it will send the cue ball off the first rail it touches to leave the table completely. * Try dead stun or a bit of draw to come back to the middle of the table off the head ball. * Your upper arm need not move much or fast to break hard.

How about a few more? * A fast hand and fast moving fingers do plenty for a break-I mean really fast with a loose grip. * Work to pop the 1-ball into a side pocket for a 9-ball break. Start by firing straight into the head ball then adjust until you can really work that 1-ball. * Rack as tightly as you can for practice breaks and also for (honest) defense against incoming players. * Try pulling your bridge hand forward as you break--an inch or two only--heresy, I know.

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