Some Uses for Inside English

Written by Mark Finkelstein

I wanted to give you another skill for your pool arsenal today. Developing this skill gives you the ability to turn some difficult positions into much easier outs. This is not the kind of skill that just knowing about helps you. You really have to practice this to understand how to make it work.

Let's look at the diagram here.


Diagram 1

We would like to go from the 1 to the 2 or the 3. Using a center ball might work, but the scratch is big and using a lot of draw will leave you going away from the 3, making it a difficult shot. However, using inside english and a little draw, we can open the angle off the 2nd rail and put the cue ball where we need it for the next shot. It is really amazing to me how the reverse english holds off the first rail, and then takes on the second rail.

You need a little draw here. Too much high and the shot doesn't work. Also, you don't need to overpower this shot. Let your stroke out, but be smooth. This is a great way to go from the 8 to the 9 when the 8 is where the 1 is in the diagram, and the 9 is the 3. Slow rolling this is too delicate, and going back and forth puts the cue ball through the position zone the short way. Using inside english brings you down the line of the next shot, giving you a much better chance for the out. Practice this. It will win you a game this week.

The next inside english shot comes up when the cue ball is going to hit an object ball and you want to get your cue ball clear. The problem here is to make the 1 and get to the 2. There is no easy way to avoid hitting the 4.


Diagram 2

By using inside english, we can hit the 4 and then spin our cue ball out of the corner to go three rails toward the 2. Notice that we are on the correct side of the 2 to get to the 3. Another nice thing about this shot is that we are using english to move the cue ball, and not speed. This means that we have much more control over where the 4 winds up. Because of where the 5 is, I'd want to push the 4 up to the center of the table if possible. That will leave me a rolling ball on the 2, a stop or rolling ball on the 3, and a little draw shot to get back for the 5. Watch for this pattern, as it comes up a lot.

Practice these and you will have added a nice tool to your pool bag of tricks.

See you on the road.

About The Author: Mark Finkelstein is a professional pool player, a BCA Master instructor, an American Cue Sports (ACS) level 4 instructor, and house pro at Slate Plus in New York. Mark can be reached via phone at 347-545-1916, email at nycpool<at_char>gmail<dot_char>com or thru his website at www.mfpool.com.

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Author Info - Mark Finkelstein