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How to Shoot a Pool Ball. Kevin Tran English 393. Introduction. Billiards (pool) is a cue sport that is played on a table with 6 pockets; although there are many different variation of games, the main goal is to pocket the balls. Materials. A cue stick Billiard balls Chalk (for the cue)

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how to shoot a pool ball

How to Shoot a Pool Ball

Kevin Tran

English 393


Billiards (pool) is a cue sport that is played on a table with 6 pockets; although there are many different variation of games, the main goal is to pocket the balls.


A cue stick

Billiard balls

Chalk (for the cue)

Billiards table

You! (or two hands)

the stance
The Stance

The stance can be flexible as long as it is balanced, relaxed, and comfortable. However, keep in mind that you should be almost level with the ball to look down the shaft of the cue stick to aim more precisely.

the bridge
The Bridge

The support for your cue and aim is the bridge. Many different kinds of bridges can be made, as long as it is sturdy . The nondominant hand is usually used.

Open Bridge

Rail Bridge

Closed Bridge

arm positioning
Arm Positioning

The cue stick is held with a relaxed grip; it does not need to be tight.

Your upper arm stays still, but the lower arm (forearm and wrist) will move in a pendulum like fashion.

When the cue impacts the ball, your arm should form a close to 90 degree angle bend (it can be less, depending on the intention of the shot).

aiming the ghost ball theory
Aiming: The Ghost Ball Theory

Make an imaginary line from the pocket through object ball. The point at which the imaginary line exits the ball is where you want to impact the cue ball with the object ball.

Imagine a ghost a ball at the exact spot where the line exits the object ball.

the ghost ball cont
The Ghost Ball (cont.)

In the ghost ball method, imagine the ghost ball being at the correct angle to hit the green ball into the pocket. Your job is to replace the ghost cue ball with the actual cue ball when you shoot the shot.

put it all together
Put It All Together!!!

Now that we have gone over the basics, you will incorporate all of it in order to accomplish your goal.

First, get into your stance. Your feet should be about shoulder width apart, with knees slightly bent and you should bend at the waist to lower yourself to the ball. Next, you will form the bridge.

open bridge
Open Bridge

By forming a “V” or “+” sign with your thumb and index finger, you can support the cue. The height of the cue tip to the cue ball can be adjusted by raising or lowering the arch of the hand.

  • First, lay the bridge hand on the table about 6 inches away from the cue ball with the fingers spread, pulling the four fingers back to form an arch with the knuckles in the air, and tucking the thumb up against the index finger.

With your other hand, gently grip the cue. Position yourself so that you can pull your arm back to a slightly obtuse angle, but when you push forward to hit the ball, your arm forms an approximately 90 degree angle. Take fake practice pokes to get a feel for the stroke.

Remember to move your arm in only one plane. It should not be moving side to side, only forward and backwards.

shooting cont
Shooting (cont.)

Keeping the ghost ball theory in mind, aim for the appropriate placement of the ball. It is crucial that your bridge and steady and your stroke be straight, or else your execution will not match your theoretical desire!

Once you have determined where to hit the object ball with the cue ball, aim, pull back, and shoot! Hopefully it will go in =) However, the best way to learn is through practice. Enjoy!