Have you recently started playing billiards andwant to improve? While you're comfortable with the balls, pockets, and cue, you're eager for tips that will get you out of tough spots. The shot(how you hit the cue ball)can help you out of numerous sticky situations. Side, draw, plant, and masse shots...we explain it all so that you can dominate every game!
The Draw Shot: Don't Fall into an Easy Trap
Are you in a tough spot? Is your ball too close to the pocket(hole) and the cue ball risks falling in? The draw shot is here to help! With the draw shot, the cue ball stops moving forward and instead rolls backwards!
This reversal is generated by a low point of contact(where the cue's tip hits the ball) that causes a backwards spin once the cue ball hits another ball. It is important to remember that the more distance between the balls, the more difficult it will be to reverse your ball.
Position the tip below the centre of the cue ball and hit it fairly hard while keeping the cue stick as horizontal as possible. Easy, right?
The plant shot: for shooting straight.
The plant shot lets you advance the cue ball despite it contacting with another ball. In French billiards(Carom) the plant shot is generally used when 3 balls are almost perfectly aligned.
Position the tip above the centre of the cue ball and, just like with the draw shot, hit it fairly hard.
Increase or decrease the ball's trajectory during kick shots by adding spin
Does the rail's natural angle not permit you to hit your targeted ball? Side shots can help by increasing or decreasing the trajectory of a ball after hitting the rail.
If you want to steer your ball towards the right, right spin lets you increase the trajectory of your cue ball. Left spin decreases its trajectory.
If you want to steer your ball towards the left, right spin decreases the trajectory of your ball. As you can see, in this case left spin increases the trajectory of your ball.
To achieve a spin shot, you must move the tip(end of the cue)either to the right or left of the ball's centre. Make your shot easier by also moving your feet and bridge(hand position) in the desired direction.
The farther away your tip from the centre of the ball, the more you change the direction of the ball after hitting the rail.
The plant and draw shots directly impact your cue ball(ball shot). Kick shots with spin only take effect after hitting the rail(rail shot). Avoid miscues(the tip sliding or slipping on the ball) by staying in the green zone. The orange zone is possible but you risk missing your shot.
Circumvent obstacles with the masse shot
Often spotted in French billiards(also called Carom), the masse shot is equally used in pool, English billiards, and even snooker. But what is it? The masse shot is often used to circumvent an "obstacle” and hit(touch) a billiards ball on the other side.
Are there others?
Yes, there are a multitude of billiards shots like(among others) :
The piqué is executed by holding the cue stick at a very sharp angle to make the cue ball roll backwards. The piqué is different from the draw shot in that it lets you limit the movement of the first ball you hit.
The jump shot
The jump shot, is often used in pool. With the cue stick at an angle, you make the cue ball jump over another ball that is obstructing the trajectory of your targeted ball.
The stop shot
The stop shot makes the cue ball take the place of the targeted ball and come to a full stop.
Dead ball shot
The dead ball shot can slow down your cue ball to ensure a soft approach. The dead ball shot is often played in French billiards: the idea is to hit the targeted ball solidly enough that it loses almost all speed and comes to a stop on a third ball.
You're now ready to take on your friends. Feel free to play with your friends and share your experience with us !
Breaking, positioning balls, holding the cue stick correctly...by now you know how to play billiards. But did you know that there are other kinds of rules? Less official, but just as important? Etiquette, manners, sportsmanship...No matter the name, you must remember to play by these rules.