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)

The Cue Ball

Contrary to popular belief, the cue ball will not do anything that you don't tell it to do. Read that over and over until it sinks in. If you miss a shot or position, guess why. You told it to do what it did. The prerequisite for cue ball control is self control.

Myths Vs Facts

I must always carefully plan my position routes and strategies from behind the cue ball.

Actually, it is a pretty good idea to check out the shot and the position from behind the object ball as well. It gives you a different perspective and it also gives you time to think through the planning stages of what you are trying to accomplish. It is also a stress reliever when you walk to the other side of the table. Never be afraid to take your time.

Mastering and applying advanced english techniques improve my game considerably.

Well, yes, and no. A long time a go I was told that almost every shot can be made without applying any english. A long time later I completely agree. George Fels (author of the book Mastering Pool) gives the best advice in this area. Mr. Fels advises us that when we can run the balls with no english, then you can begin to apply english to the cue ball. Blackjack says "a good angle keeps it simple". That's not original, I stole that one from Buddy Hall. By that, it means that as long as I have an angle, I don't need to complicate things by using excessive spin on the cue ball. That is the beauty of staying in the center of the table.

In games like 9 ball where the cue ball has to travel a bit more than say, straight pool, it is essential for me to learn intricate position routes and patterns so that I can get out more often.

This is a half truth. Though knowledge in this area is essential, we should always look for the least complicated position route or pattern. Pool is a game that is best played when it is played in its simplest form. In 9 ball, I recommend starting your cue ball and ending your cue ball in the center of the table on all shots.

Why is this?

  1. I'm likely to have a shot (and an angle) from there.
  2. it's easier to see the entire lay of the table from there.
  3. There are no pockets there.

When I break, I should break and stop the cue ball in the center of the table. My cue ball position should leave the center of the table only when it is absolutely necessary, and after accomplishing what I have to, I should return to the center of the table immediately.

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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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