Blackjack's Myths & Facts About Cue Ball Control

Written by David Sapolis

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Article Index
Blackjack's Myths & Facts About Cue Ball Control (page 1)
Position Rules (page 2)

Position Rules

The position rules I will pass along are very basic, and they are very simple. I recommend that in pool, you keep everything very simple.

Understand how the cue ball works. Nothing here is going to make any sense to you if you do not understand how and why the cue ball does the things it does. Understand that the cue ball is a sphere (not flat) and that it will react like a sphere. The exact center of the cue ball sits at its equator for 360 degrees around it, AND it is about the size of a pin head. Understand that the cue ball rolls and spins. It should not slide or skid unless you want it to. Understanding what the cue ball does, and how it reacts to your manipulation is the key to attaining mastery.

Find the easiest route and take the easiest route. Avoid flashy, difficult or complicated routes to your next shot. If you can get shape on the next ball by using one rail, do not use two or three.

Use and apply english only when it is absolutely necessary. Most beginners love to throw some hot mustard on the cue ball, mainly to show off for the railbirds. If you can make the cue sing, dance, rollover and play dead, hey...I'm impressed. I hate to burst your bubble, but you won't win many games with that crap.


Getting shape is useless if you can't get the object ball into the pocket. There is a such thing known as The Perfect Rolling Ball. It is a beautiful sight to see and and an even more beautiful sight to create. The way to create it is by using a direct center hit on the cue ball (easier said than done) into the exact center of the object ball. The absence of english causes the ball to roll cleanly, end over end. When you impart any spin on the cue ball, that spin is transferred to the object ball. If the object ball inadvertently comes in contact with the tips of the pockets, that spin could mean the difference of the object spilling into the pocket, or getting spit out of the pocket. So eliminate the english, french, or whatever else you are applying to the cue ball. KEEP IT SIMPLE.

Watch and learn from the greats. When talking cue ball control, one name pops into my mind: Buddy Hall. He's got a few books out there as well as videos. Consider them highly recommended. When I play, I can still hear Buddy telling me "You're doing great! Now just stay in line and don't get stuck behind anything." Buddy Hall is the best teacher of Simplicity.

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About The Author: Blackjack David Sapolis played professional pool for 20 years in The United States, Canada, Europe, and Asia.

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