The Billiard Shot

Written by Easy Pool Tutor

A billiard shot is a shot in which the cue ball strikes one object ball and then strikes another object ball to pocket it. To illustrate, look at the example in Figure 1. The cue ball strikes the 5-ball first and then strikes the 9-ball next, pocketing it.

Billiard Shot and the Tangent Line

When the cue ball is hit with Stun, it will travel at a 90 degree angle from the direction of the object ball. This is the most predictable way of determining where the cue ball will travel after striking an object ball. You can use this information to better your skill at the billiard shot. Let's look again at the same shot in Figure 2. The tangent line is represented by the green line. The cue ball is hit with center ball with a firm speed which results in a stun shot. This means the the cue ball will travel along the tangent line which is 90 degrees from the direction of the 5-ball.

Figure 1: Billiard Shot
Figure 1: Billiard Shot
Figure 2: Billiard Shot
Figure 2: Billiard Shot and the Tangent Line

Billiard Shot and Draw

When the cue ball is hit with Draw, it will travel at greater than 90 degrees from the direction of the object ball. How much greater depends on how much draw you apply to the cue ball. The example in Figure 3 shows a billiard shot where a stun will not work because the 9-ball is not along the tangent line. The 9-ball needs to be struck outside the tangent line that requires a little bit of a draw to pocket it. The green line in the illustration represents the tangent line.

Billiard Shot and Follow

When the cue ball is hit with Follow, it will travel at less than 90 degrees from the direction of the object ball. How much less depends on how much follow you apply to the cue ball. Once again, the example in Figure 4 shows a billiard shot where a stun shot will not work, nor will a draw shot. The green line represents the tangent line and the 9-ball needs to be struck just above the tangent line. Therefore, a follow shot is necessary here to pocket the 9-ball.

Billiard Shot and English

This is an advanced level topic and will be discussed in more detail in future lessons. However, the basic idea is to keep in mind that english produces the "throw" effect.

Figure 3: Billiard Shot
Figure 3: Billiard Shot and Draw
Figure 4: Billiard Shot
Figure 4: Billiard Shot and Follow

Levels of Difficulty

As you learn more about billiard shots, you will begin to notice which shots are "easy", which ones are "hard" and which ones are "impossible". As a basic guide, when the object ball that you want to make is closer to the pocket, the billiard shot is generally consider "easier". The further the cue ball is from the pocket, the level of difficulty increases. Another factor is the distance between the two object ball. The closer they are to each other, the easier the billiard shot is.

Practice makes you better

As with everything else in this game, only practice will make you better at billiard shots. Try to setup several shots that will allow you to do a billiard shot while applying different type of hits on the cue ball. Use stun, draw, follow and even english. Keep on practicing until you have a good grasp of the technique necessary to execute billiard shots to perfection.

Billiard Shot Video

Video courtesy of Dr. Dave and The Illustrated Principles of Pool and Billiards at www.engr.colostate.edu/pool/

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