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---Welcome to Basic Shots and Shot Making---

by Carlo S. Sanchez



THE STOP SHOT

A "Stop Shot" or "Stop Ball" as Filipinos normally call it, is when the cue ball stops dead in its tracks upon contact with the object ball. It is normally done by hitting the cue ball at the center (see illustrations below). If the object ball and the cue ball is only a short distance away, a centerball hit on the cue ball with medium stroke will generally stop the cue ball after making contact with the object ball. There are however, a few exceptions.


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In order for the cue ball to stop at the point of contact with the object ball, the cue ball cannot have spin on it. This means that the cue ball has to slide smoothly on the table cloth without creating a back spin or a forward spin before it hits the object ball. Upon contact with the object ball, the cue ball would then stop immediately. If the cue ball has a slight forward spin when it hits the object ball then it will move forward after hitting the object ball. If the cue ball has a back spin, then it will move back after hitting the object ball.

Only with enough practice will you be able to learn at what distances to use centerball hit or a below center hit on the cue ball. All I have given you above is a guideline. Keep on practicing this shot and you should be able to instinctively learn when to hit center or below center.


THE DRAW SHOT

A Draw Shot is when the cue ball stops momentarily then draws away from the object ball towards you upon contact with the object ball. This is one of the more pleasing shots to see as the cue ball stops momentarily before it races back towards you. It is normally done by hitting the cue ball below center (see illustrations below). This is a difficult shot to master because hitting the cue ball below center normally creates a "miscue" specially for beginner players.


In order for the cue ball to return towards you, it needs to have back spin. The cue ball needs to be able to retain its back spin as it slides towards the object ball. This is done by hitting the cue ball below center and a slightly stronger stroke (compared to the stop shot). Remember that as the distance between the object ball and the cue ball increases, you will need to put more backspin on the cue ball because the friction caused by the table cloth will take away some of that back spin away. This is where the difficulty of the back spin comes into play. A lot of players find it very difficult to draw the cue ball at longer distances mostly because there is not enough back spin on the cue ball. At shorter distances, hitting the cue ball one tip below center will draw the ball back. However, the speed of the stroke determines how far back your cue ball will go. The stronger you hit the cue ball below center, the more back spin it creates thus retaining most of its spin as it makes contact with the object ball. Upon contact, the cue ball should stop momentarily before racing back towards you. You have learned from the previous article on Stop Shot that at longer distances, a below center hit on the cue ball will create a Stop Shot with the right amount of speed on the cue ball. Therefore, you will need a stronger stroke to create more speed and back spin on the cue ball to make it go back towards you. Also, the further away the object ball is from the cue ball, the lower you need to hit your cue ball in order to draw the cue ball back. You also need to keep your cue stick as level as possible when doing a draw shot. The maximum recommended range for hitting the cue ball is about one and a half cue tips below the center of the cue ball. Hitting lower than this usually causes your cue ball to jump or miscue. Again, only with enough hours of practice will you be able to learn how low you need to hit the cue ball and how strong your stroke needs to be.


THE FOLLOW SHOT

A Follow Shot is when the cue ball stops momentarily then follows the object ball's direction upon contact with the object ball. It is normally done by hitting the cue ball above center (see illustrations below). This is a relatively easy shot as long as you don't hit the cue ball too high which can cause you to miscue.


In order for the cue ball to move forward after hitting the object ball, it needs to have top spin just as the draw shot needs back spin. Upon contact with the object ball, the remaining top or forward spin on the cue ball will cause it to still run forward thus following the object ball. As with the draw shot, the more speed you put on your stroke the more top spin it will create thus allowing the cue ball to move forward more. The maximum recommended range for hitting the cue ball is about 1 and 1/2 cue tips above the center of the cue ball. Hitting higher than this usually causes your cue ball to miscue. See illustrations above. Try experimenting with different speeds when executing a follow shot and see what happens. The follow shot is a relatively easy shot and it doesn't need as much practice like the draw or even the stop shot.


THE CUT SHOT

Angle shots, also referred as cut shots or slice is generally make up the most of your shots in the game of pocket billiards. Therefore, it is important to master these type of shots. In this lesson, I will discuss key points that you should remember about angled shots.



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