How to Use English or Side Spin in Pool & Billiards

Discover an advanced technique of manipulating the cue ball for position

As you transition over from beginner to intermediate level pool player, you will begin to feel the need to use English to get to the next level.

English is when you apply side spin on the cue ball. English allows you to more options with regards to shotmaking and/or position that are otherwise not available when using only center ball hit on the cue ball. This section explains the advantages and disadvantages of using side spin.

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Understanding English Pool & Billiards video demonstration

English or Sidespin is an advanced technique in billiards. I would advise newer players not to use english until they have a good understanding and enough experience with the basic (no side spin) shots like stop (center ball hit), draw (under spin), and follow (top spin).

English makes the process of aiming a little more difficult because of the effects of curve and throw. I will discuss these terms next. First, take a look at the different ways you can hit the cue ball to apply english or sidespin.
Read more on English... Pool & Billiards video demonstration

Inside and Outside English

You may have heard other players use the terms "inside" and "outside" english. To help you understand these billiard terms, I will try to explain them with a couple of illustrations.
More on Inside and Outside Spin...

More on Throw (A lesson in English) Pool & Billiards video demonstration

In the lesson about "Understanding English", I have discussed briefly about throw. In this lesson, I will discuss this aspect in a little more detail.
More on the Throw Effect... Pool & Billiards video demonstration

Cue Ball Control using English

English can be used to control the speed of the cue ball after making contact with the object ball. You can control the position of the cue ball even without it bouncing off the cushion as illustrated above. This is more relevant to shots with smaller angles like the one shown above (although it is still applicable, to a lesser degree, to shots with more angle).
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Effects of English off the Rail Pool & Billiards video demonstration

In this article, I will discuss how english affects the direction of the cue ball after it hits the rail cushion. As illustrated in the picture below, when left english is applied on the cue ball, it will bounce to the left side after hitting the cushion. Similarly, when the cue ball is hit with right english, it will bounce to the right side after hitting the cushion.
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