|There are two important factors you need to remember you taking a shot :- 1- cue-ball and direction, and 2- how accurate you line up with your object-ball. When carrying out these factors the most important point to remember is not to strike the cue ball to far off center, you should always aim no further than the diameter of your cue tip away from the center. In general there are only five things you can do on any given shot.|
|1 – STRAIGHT –the first is to do a straight forward strike in the direction of the object-ball by aiming for the center of the cue-ball.|
|2 – FOLLOW SHOT – strike the cue ball a tips length above the center to make the cue ball follow after the object ball – in a straight line if the shot is a straight-in shot, or at an angle if you are making a ‘cut’ shot.|
|3 – DRAW SHOT – To make the cue ball come back to you after making contact with the object-ball strike the cue ball below the center position.|
|4 – LEFT – If you hit the cue ball properly the cue ball will deflect to the right, how far to the right will depend on how far to the left you strike the cue-ball. because of this deflection you must learn to compensate in order to be accurate. This type of shot is one of the more difficult techniques to master; its use comes in position play, especially when the cue-ball has to strike a cushion in its travels.|
|5 – RIGHT – same as number four except the cue ball deflects to the left when stuck from the right.|
|The diagram opposite show the cue ball and the five positions you can strike from. The dotted lines represent the lines of minimal result. i.e. for shots 2&3 if you don’t hit higher then (2) or lower than (3) the lines respectively the result on the cue-ball will be minimal. You will not achieve an effective draw shot if you don’t cue the ball as low or lower than the bottom line.|
|MISCUING – most miscues are the result of an attempt to cue the ball too far from the center position, or by jabbing the cue-ball. With practice you will gain confidence, start on straight-in & cut shots for practicing the 5 stroke positions before cushion shots.|
So, maybe you already know how to stroke a ball, and the difference between follow and draw. Your game can still go south on you in a hurry. Here are some tips to consider when you feel the need to make a few adjustments.
1. Every sport played with a ball demands balance, and that surely includes cue games. Precisely how you assume your shooting stance isn’t nearly as important as your being solidly planted – solid enough that you could resist a shove on your shooting side.
2. A stroke should be just that – a smooth, rhythmic motion with a beginning, middle and end. Don’t rush it, and don’t choke it off.
3. One of the key secrets to longer runs in pool is to leave yourself position for angled shots rather than straight-in shots. Angle shots offer you far, far more options for cue-ball position.
4. By all means, bet a few bucks. Morals, aside, you’ll learn to handle the game’s unique pressures much faster and much better.
5. The best way to learn position play is to strive to do whatever’s easiest (whenever possible; it won’t always be).
6. In all the cue games, you directly control zilch except for your body and your pool cue. (You affect the cue ball only indirectly, and the object balls far less than that.) When your game isn’t going well, your body mechanics are the first thing you should check.
7. When you need to send an object ball along the rail with speed, jacking up your cue slightly seems to help avoid “wiggling” the ball in the pocket jaws; it also eliminates throw.
8. Structured practice is much more valuable than the mere abstract hitting of loose balls. Practice 9-ball or straight pool, and/or some drills.
9. Mosconi’s No. 1 tip: Don’t waste your time with players who are worse than you; play with better competitors, and you’ll learn more.
10. Don’t hold the cue in your fingertips; it’s not a teacup. And don’t strangle the cue either; it’s not a baseball bat.
11. When contemplating where to send the cue ball next, make center table your first option.
12. The world does not come to an end when you miss a shot, or miss position, or lose a game or lose the session. Lighten up. You’ll enjoy yourself more, and win more often.
13. Your most formidable opponent by far in the cue games is the voice(s) in your head. Create a simple command or phrase to block out that interference, such as “Calm,” “Feel the ball,” or “Play your game.”
14. Chalk up before every shot, and do it right. The chalk should move, not the cue.
15. Don’t overhit the balls. It’s a definite symptom of anxiety, costs you accuracy, and is near-suicidal on any table with tough pockets.
16. The universal instruction concerning object balls frozen to the rail is false. Do not attempt to hit object ball and rail at the same time; you won’t even be close. Aim to hit the rail about a credit-card’s width in front of the ball.
17. Three to five practice strokes are plenty. More than that, and you force yourself out of rhythm, and begin to put unnecessary pressure on yourself.
18. Don’t hold onto your cue while you’re in the chair; the tendency is to squeeze it as your impatience grows, and this only produces more tension. Lean it securely next to you.
19. In assuming your shooting stance, you should line the shot up not with your hand or cue, but with your chin. It’s a smoother body move, and the rest will automatically fall into place. Putting your hand down first may result in tentativeness and an awkward, uncoordinated approach to the shot.
20. A good slump-breaker: Change your playing pace radically.
The Object of the Game
Simple enough. You play with 9 balls (numbers 1-9). After the break, you have to clear the balls in numerical order. The person to sink the nine ball wins.
Rack’em in a diamond shape with the 1 ball at the top on the foot and the 9 ball in the center. The other balls don’t have a specific order, so random is fine. Rack ’em tight.
Usually the one who wins the opening lag gets the first break. After the opening break, breaking order varies based on the rules you set up at the start. The most common breaking orders are either alternating or loser breaks. Be sure to set the break rules BEFORE the start of a game.
As for the break itself, you have to hit the 1 ball first for the break to be legal. If you sink a ball, you keep going. If you don’t sink one, your turn is over. If you scratch, your opponent has ball in hand anywhere on the table.
Winning the Game
All you need to do is be the one who sinks the 9 ball. Going in order, the nine ball is going to be the last ball on the table. You can also win by sinking the nine on a combo as long as the first ball you hit is the lowest number ball on the table.
That’s the basics. Of course there are lots of other rules dealing with push outs, fouls, bad hits, masse shots, jump shots and the like. That’s why you should go and check out the BCA’s official rules. The basics pretty much always stay the same, but with changes in playing gear and technology come small changes to the game and it seems like every year there’s at least one or two rule changes.
The Object of the Game
The object is pretty simple. Sink your balls to get to the 8 ball, then pocket the 8 ball to win. One player is solids (balls 1-7) and the other is stripes (9-15). We’ll get into how to choose who’s solids and who’s stripes a little later.