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Carabao Reasons - 2 Wrong Ways And 1 Right Way For Shooting Pool With English

Take Your Best Stroke By Taking Your Worst Stroke


English In Pool, cue ball english,left english,what is english in pool

English In Pool

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When shooting pool with english, you are likely to miss your target or miscue without using the methods I describe. Here are reasons to shoot with carabao english or parallel english.

What I mean by taking your "best worst pool stroke" refers to the little known pro technique, today called "carabao english," referring to the Filipino pros including Efren Reyes, "The Magician," who popularized the style.

Carabao is a Filipino water buffalo. Buffalo leather is a popular cue tip material, and there you have it. What looks like an awful pool stroke, curving and twisted, is a powerful way to shoot sidespin or "english" without a miss.

2 Wrong Ways And 1 Right Way For Shooting Pool With English

The carabao stroke is taken by aiming as normal using what I call a "shoot through" center ball stroke, before--and importantly, only on the final stroke forward, not the backstroke--moving the shooting hand to one side for generating english!

In other words, take a regular stroke, and if you want, say, bottom left english, at the last moment move your hand UP and RIGHT to shoot down and left through the cue ball.

The magic of this stroke is that its momentum is mostly taken forward with a little momentum out to the side. This reduces if not eliminates aim adjustment--the cue ball will still propel forward right at the target.

Only rarely, if ever, should you shoot english with a pivot stroke, where the cue stick is swiveled to one side through your bridge hand before you stroke back and through. Wrong!

The third technique for shooting pool with english, and nearly as safe as carabao, is a parallel english stroke, with a stroke parallel to the line of aim but with both hands moved to shoot english to the side. For one tip's width of right english, you'd move both hands one-half a cue tip's distance to the right (players say "one tip" when they mean the tip center is aimed where the tip's edge used to rest at center ball) after settling in your center ball stance.

And away you go, but keep the cue butt low and level, not more than 6 inches above the table (just above the table's rail height) so the cue ball will curve or squirt off the aim line minimally. And bear in mind that parallel english is not true english at all but simply a convenience aid for reorienting the cue stick while looking straight ahead along the line of aim.

Efren Reyes, Carabao English Master:

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