Cut Shots

Written by Easy Pool Tutor

Angle shots, also referred as cut shots or slice generally make up the most of your shots in the game of pocket billiards. Therefore, it is important to master these type of shots. In this lesson, I will discuss key points that you should remember about angled shots.

Refer to the Figure 1 below. This illustration shows you the amount of the angle where a cut shot is possible and where it is not. A straight-in shot at 0 degree angle is pretty simple, however as the angle increases towards 90 degrees, the difficulty level increases as well. Keep in mind that at 90 degree angle, the shot is virtually impossible to make unless the object ball is very close to the pocket. I think it is pretty obvious to say that you should never attempt a cut shot at a 90 degree angle... instead consider the alternatives:

  1. You can do a bank shot
  2. You can play safety
Figure 1: Possible and impossible cut shot angles
Figure 1: Possible and impossible cut shot angles
  • Angles between 0 to 45 degrees should be relatively easy using soft to medium stroke. Use the aiming technique that I have discussed in aiming article. However, some players actually have difficulty with very minimal cut angle at around 1 to 5 degrees which is highly attributed to an incorrect stroke. In this case, some players use english to throw the object ball into the pocket while others simply practice it until it is no longer a problem.
  • Angles greater than 45 degrees are more difficult not only on your aim but also for cue ball positioning (positioning will also be discussed on later lessons). Since the angle is more, the less contact will be made between the cue ball and the object ball therefore a slightly stronger stroke will need to be used depending on the distance of the object ball to the pocket.
  • Angles between 75 and 90 degrees are extremely difficult. I would suggest that you limit your cut shots to less than these angles. Again, the problems that you will have to deal with at these angles are aim and positioning and even speed control.
  • It is important to note the amount of cut angle as well as the distance of the object ball to the pocket.

Frozen to the rail cut shot

Object balls that are frozen to the rail are actually easier to make than object ball that are not frozen to the rail. Refer to Figure 2 below.

Figure 2: Frozen to the rail cut shots
Figure 2: Frozen to the rail cut shots

One thing to remember on this type of a cut shot is never hit the object ball first. Here are the guidelines for making this shot:

  • When the cue ball is at position A (slight angle), and the object ball is frozen to the rail, you can pocket the object ball by aiming at the imaginary ball (see illustration) but make sure that you hit the rail and the object ball at the same time. Remember, never hit the object ball first.
  • When the cue ball is in between position A and position B above, you can pocket the object ball by hitting rail first.
  • When the cue ball is between position B and position C, you can pocket the object ball by hitting rail first together with the right amount of english, left english in this case. When I say right amount of english, I mean that as the angle increases towards 90 degrees, you will need to have more english on your shot.
  • When the cue ball is at position C (90 degrees), it is actually not very difficult to make this shot. All you need to is hit rail first and the maximum side spin on the cue ball or maximum left english in this case.

Video Demonstration of Frozen to the rail cut shot

Copyright Notice: Contents, materials and images © Copyright www.easypooltutor.com. This information may be shared freely so long as the Copyright notice is included. If any contents or images are used in any commercial way, permission must be obtained by contacting the owner of this website.

Related Articles