The Complete Guide to Pool, Billiards, Snooker, and Shot Techniques.

The Complete Guide to Pool, Billiards, Snooker, and Shot Techniques.

Title: The Complete Guide to Learning Pool: From Beginners to Advanced Players

Introduction:

Pool, also known as billiards, is a fun and engaging game that can be enjoyed by people of all skill levels. The objective of pool is to pocket balls into the table's pockets using a cue stick. This guide will take you from beginner to advanced player, covering essential techniques, strategies, and practice drills.

Table of Contents:

Basics of Pool

1.1. Equipment

1.2. Game Variations

  1. 1.3. Understanding the Rules

Fundamentals for Beginners

2.1. Proper Stance

2.2. Cue Grip

2.3. Aiming and Shooting

  1. 2.4. Basic Spin Techniques

Intermediate Techniques

3.1. Position Play

3.2. Bank Shots and Kicks

3.3. Jump and Masse Shots

  1. 3.4. Break Shots

Advanced Strategies

4.1. Pattern Play and Planning

4.2. Safety Play and Defense

  1. 4.3. Mental Aspects of the Game

Practice Drills and Routines

5.1. Ball Pocketing Drills

5.2. Position Drills

  1. 5.3. Safety and Defense Drills

Additional Resources

6.1. Books and Online Courses

6.2. Coaching and Mentorship

  1. 6.3. Competitive Play

Basics of Pool

  1. 1.1. Equipment
  • Pool Table: A standard pool table has six pockets and can vary in size. The most common sizes are 7-foot, 8-foot, and 9-foot tables.
  • Cue Stick: The primary tool used to strike the cue ball. They come in various weights, lengths, and materials.
  • Balls: There are typically 15 object balls and one cue ball. The object balls are numbered 1-15 and divided into two groups: solids (1-7) and stripes (9-15).
  • Chalk: Applied to the cue tip for better grip and to reduce miscues.
  • Bridge: A device used to support the cue stick when a shot is difficult to reach.
  • Rack: A plastic or wooden frame used to set up the balls in a specific pattern.

1.2. Game Variations

  • 8-Ball: The most popular pool game, played with 15 object balls and one cue ball. Players must pocket all their assigned balls (solids or stripes) and then pocket the 8-ball.
  • 9-Ball: Played with nine balls numbered 1-9. Players shoot the balls in ascending order, and the game is won by pocketing the 9-ball.
  • Straight Pool: Players can shoot any ball on the table, and the objective is to reach a predetermined number of points by pocketing balls.

1.3. Understanding the Rules

Familiarize yourself with the rules of the game you're playing. Consult the World Pool-Billiard Association (WPA) or Billiard Congress of America (BCA) for official rulesets.

Fundamentals for Beginners

  1. 2.1. Proper Stance
  • Feet shoulder-width apart, with your body slightly angled toward the shot.
  • Dominant foot forward, with your non-dominant foot behind for stability.
  • Bend at the waist, keeping your back straight.
  • Head low, with your chin close to the cue stick for accurate sighting.

2.2. Cue Grip

  • Hold the cue with a relaxed grip, using your thumb, index, and middle fingers.
  • The grip should be approximately one hand's length from the cue's balance point.
  • Keep your wrist straight and relaxed during the stroke.

2.3. Aiming and Shooting

  • Visualize the contact point between the cue ball and the object ball.
  • Align your body, cue stick, and target line.
  • Use a smooth, pendulum-like stroke to strike the cue ball.
  • Follow through with your stroke to maintain accuracy and control.

2.4. Basic Spin Techniques

  • Top Spin (Follow): Strike the cue ball above center to make it roll forward after contact with the object ball.
  • Bottom Spin (Draw): Strike the cue ball below center to make it roll backward after contact with the object ball.
  • Side Spin (English): Strike the cue ball to the left or right of center to make it spin sideways, altering its path after contact with the object ball or rail.

Intermediate Techniques

  1. 3.1. Position Play
  • Plan your shots to achieve optimal cue ball positioning for the next shot.
  • Use speed control, spin, and angles to navigate the cue ball around the table.
  • Develop a consistent pre-shot routine and visualize the desired outcome.

3.2. Bank Shots and Kicks

  • Bank shots involve bouncing the object ball off a rail to pocket it.
  • Kicks involve bouncing the cue ball off one or more rails to hit the desired object ball.
  • Learn to adjust your aim based on the angle of incidence and angle of reflection.

3.3. Jump and Masse Shots

  • Jump shots involve striking the cue ball with a downward force, causing it to jump over obstructing balls.
  • Masse shots involve striking the cue ball with extreme spin to curve its path around obstructing balls.
  • These advanced techniques require practice and should only be attempted once you have a solid grasp of basic skills.

3.4. Break Shots

  • The opening shot of a pool game, used to separate the racked balls.
  • Develop a powerful and accurate break shot for a greater advantage in the game.

Advanced Strategies

  1. 4.1. Pattern Play and Planning
  • Learn to recognize common patterns and play the table in an optimal order.
  • Plan multiple shots ahead to minimize the need for difficult shots.

4.2. Safety Play and Defense

  • Use defensive strategies to force your opponent into difficult shots or to regain control of the table.
  • Develop a strong safety game by practicing cue ball control and understanding ball-to-ball interactions.

4.3. Mental Aspects of the Game

  • Develop mental toughness and focus to overcome pressure situations and perform consistently.
  • Practice relaxation and visualization techniques to improve your game.

Practice Drills and Routines

  1. 5.1. Ball Pocketing Drills
  • Practice single-ball and multi-ball drills to improve your shot-making ability.
  • Focus on making shots with different speeds, spins, and angles.

5.2. Position Drills

  • Set up specific cue ball and object ball positions, and practice moving the cue ball to predetermined locations.
  • Develop consistency in your speed control and cue ball placement.

5.3. Safety and Defense Drills

  • Practice safety shots and defensive strategies to improve your ability to control the game.

Additional Resources

  1. 6.1. Books and Online Courses
  • Consult instructional books and online courses to expand your knowledge and learn from expert players.

6.2. Coaching and Mentorship

  • Seek out coaching or mentorship from experienced players to gain personalized guidance and insights.

6.3. Competitive Play

  • Participate in local leagues, tournaments, or online competitions to gain valuable experience and test your skills against other players.

By following this guide and dedicating time to practice, you can progress from a beginner to an advanced pool


Understanding fouls, scratches, miscues, and other rules is essential to playing pool at any level. Here are some of the most common occurrences and their corresponding rules:

Fouls

  1. A foul occurs when a player violates the game's rules during a shot. The most common fouls include:
  • Cue Ball Scratch: The cue ball is pocketed during a shot.
  • No Rail Contact: Neither the cue ball nor any object ball makes contact with a rail after the cue ball is struck.
  • No Ball Contact: The cue ball fails to make contact with any object ball.
  • Wrong Ball First: The cue ball strikes a ball other than the intended target ball (e.g., hitting a solid ball first when you should have hit a striped ball).

The consequences of committing a foul vary depending on the specific game rules, but they often result in ball-in-hand for the opponent or the loss of a turn.

Scratches

  1. A scratch is a specific type of foul where the cue ball is pocketed during a shot. In most pool games, scratching results in ball-in-hand for the opponent. This means the opponent can pick up the cue ball and place it anywhere on the table before their next shot.

Miscues

  1. A miscue occurs when the cue tip slips off the cue ball during the shot, usually due to insufficient chalk on the cue tip or improper contact. Miscues can lead to unintentional outcomes or fouls, such as cue ball scratches or no-ball-contact fouls.

Other Rules

  1. Some other important rules and concepts to understand include:
  • Legal Shot: To execute a legal shot, the cue ball must first make contact with the lowest numbered object ball on the table (in games like 9-ball) or the intended category of ball (solids or stripes in 8-ball). After contact, either the cue ball or any object ball must make contact with a rail, or an object ball must be pocketed.
  • Combination Shots: A shot where the cue ball strikes one object ball, which then strikes another object ball to pocket it. Combination shots are legal as long as the first ball struck by the cue ball is a legal target ball.
  • Push Shots: A foul where the cue tip remains in contact with the cue ball for too long during the shot, causing the cue ball to be pushed rather than struck. Push shots are illegal and result in a foul.
  • Jump Shots: When executing a jump shot, the cue must be elevated to an angle of at least 45 degrees, and the cue ball must be struck with a downward motion. Scooping or lifting the cue ball is considered a foul.

Make sure to familiarize yourself with the specific rules of the pool game you're playing, as different variations have different rules and fouls. Always consult the World Pool-Billiard Association (WPA) or Billiard Congress of America (BCA) for official rulesets.Understanding fouls, scratches, miscues, and other rules is essential to playing pool at any level. Here are some of the most common occurrences and their corresponding rules:


Fouls

A foul occurs when a player violates the game's rules during a shot. The most common fouls include:

Cue Ball Scratch: The cue ball is pocketed during a shot.

No Rail Contact: Neither the cue ball nor any object ball makes contact with a rail after the cue ball is struck.

No Ball Contact: The cue ball fails to make contact with any object ball.

Wrong Ball First: The cue ball strikes a ball other than the intended target ball (e.g., hitting a solid ball first when you should have hit a striped ball).

The consequences of committing a foul vary depending on the specific game rules, but they often result in ball-in-hand for the opponent or the loss of a turn.


Scratches

A scratch is a specific type of foul where the cue ball is pocketed during a shot. In most pool games, scratching results in ball-in-hand for the opponent. This means the opponent can pick up the cue ball and place it anywhere on the table before their next shot.


Miscues

A miscue occurs when the cue tip slips off the cue ball during the shot, usually due to insufficient chalk on the cue tip or improper contact. Miscues can lead to unintentional outcomes or fouls, such as cue ball scratches or no-ball-contact fouls.


Other Rules

Some other important rules and concepts to understand include:


Legal Shot: To execute a legal shot, the cue ball must first make contact with the lowest numbered object ball on the table (in games like 9-ball) or the intended category of ball (solids or stripes in 8-ball). After contact, either the cue ball or any object ball must make contact with a rail, or an object ball must be pocketed.

Combination Shots: A shot where the cue ball strikes one object ball, which then strikes another object ball to pocket it. Combination shots are legal as long as the first ball struck by the cue ball is a legal target ball.


Push Shots: A foul where the cue tip remains in contact with the cue ball for too long during the shot, causing the cue ball to be pushed rather than struck. Push shots are illegal and result in a foul.



Jump Shots: When executing a jump shot, the cue must be elevated to an angle of at least 45 degrees, and the cue ball must be struck with a downward motion. Scooping or lifting the cue ball is considered a foul.


Make sure to familiarize yourself with the specific rules of the pool game you're playing, as different variations have different rules and fouls. Always consult the World Pool-Billiard Association (WPA) or Billiard Congress of America (BCA) for official rulesets




English, also known as side spin, is applied to the cue ball by striking it to the left or right of its center. This technique is used to alter the cue ball's path after it makes contact with an object ball or rail. Squirting, on the other hand, is an unintentional effect that occurs when side spin is applied to the cue ball, causing it to deviate from the intended path before making contact with the object ball.


  1. English (Side Spin)
  • Left English (Outside English): When the cue ball is struck to the left of its center, it will spin clockwise (for right-handed players) or counterclockwise (for left-handed players). This causes the cue ball to deflect to the right after contacting an object ball or rail.
  • Right English (Inside English): When the cue ball is struck to the right of its center, it will spin counterclockwise (for right-handed players) or clockwise (for left-handed players). This causes the cue ball to deflect to the left after contacting an object ball or rail.
  • English can help to widen or tighten the angle at which the cue ball rebounds off a rail, allowing for better position play and cue ball control. It can also be used to throw the object ball off its natural path, which can be helpful in making shots that might not be possible otherwise.


  1. Squirting
  • Squirting occurs when the cue ball is struck with side spin, causing it to deviate slightly from its intended path before making contact with the object ball. This is also known as cue ball deflection or cue ball squirt.
  • The amount of squirt depends on various factors, including cue tip offset, cue stiffness, and the type of cue tip used. In general, a larger tip offset (the distance between the center of the cue ball and the point of contact with the cue tip) results in more squirt, while a stiffer cue and a harder cue tip can help minimize squirt.
  • To compensate for squirting, players must adjust their aiming point when applying English to the cue ball. This adjustment is known as pivot aiming or the BHE (Back Hand English) system, where the player changes the back hand position on the cue to accommodate for squirt.

Understanding and mastering the effects of English and squirting on the cue ball is essential for advanced pool players. By learning how to control these effects, players can execute more precise shots and navigate the table more effectively. It is important to practice using English and compensating for squirting to develop a better understanding of how these factors influence the cue ball's behavior


Banking balls in pool is an essential skill that can help you maneuver around the table and pocket balls when direct shots are not available. Here are some techniques and tips for successfully banking balls in pool:

  1. Understand the Angle of Reflection: The most fundamental principle in banking is that the angle of incidence (the angle between the cue ball's path and the cushion) equals the angle of reflection (the angle between the object ball's path and the cushion). This principle holds true for shots with no English or spin on the cue ball.
  2. Use the Diamond System: Many pool tables have diamond-shaped markings along the rails, which can be used as a reference to predict the path of a banked ball. By counting diamonds and using specific formulas, you can estimate where a banked ball will travel.
  3. Practice the 90-Degree Rule: The 90-degree rule states that when the cue ball and object ball are hit at a half-ball hit (30-degree angle), the cue ball will deflect at a 90-degree angle. This rule can help you visualize bank shots and understand how the angle of the hit affects the path of the balls.
  4. Adjust for Spin: Adding English or spin to the cue ball can change the angle at which the object ball leaves the rail. Sidespin can either widen or shorten the angle of the bank shot, depending on the direction of the spin. Practice using spin to fine-tune your bank shots.
  5. Consider Ball-to-Rail Contact: When a ball makes contact with a rail, it compresses the rail slightly before rebounding. This compression can affect the angle of the rebound, especially if the ball is hit hard. Adjust your aim and speed to compensate for this effect.
  6. Control Shot Speed: The speed at which you strike the cue ball can affect the banking angle. Faster shots tend to rebound at a wider angle, while slower shots rebound at a sharper angle. Experiment with different shot speeds to understand how they influence bank shots.
  7. Practice One-Rail, Two-Rail, and Three-Rail Banks: Become proficient in one-rail banks (the ball bounces off one rail before reaching the target pocket), two-rail banks (the ball bounces off two rails), and three-rail banks (the ball bounces off three rails). Each type of bank shot requires a different approach and set of calculations.
  8. Develop Muscle Memory: Like any other skill in pool, successful banking requires practice. Spend time at the table practicing various bank shots to develop muscle memory and a better understanding of angles, speed, and spin.

By mastering these techniques and consistently practicing bank shots, you will become more confident and accurate in executing banks during games, giving you an advantage over your opponents.




Carbon fiber and wood shafts are the two most common types of cue shafts in pool. Each has distinct characteristics that can influence a player's performance and preferences. Here are some key differences between carbon fiber and wood shafts:

  1. Material
  • Carbon Fiber: As the name suggests, carbon fiber shafts are made from carbon fiber composite materials, which are known for their lightweight and high strength properties. These shafts are made by layering sheets of carbon fiber and impregnating them with resin, which is then cured and machined to form the final product.
  • Wood: Traditional wood shafts are made from hardwoods such as maple, ash, or snakewood. These shafts are crafted by selecting high-quality wood, cutting it into sections, and then turning it on a lathe to create the desired shape.
  1. Performance
  • Deflection: Carbon fiber shafts generally have lower deflection than wood shafts, which means that the cue ball deviates less from its intended path when struck with English (side spin). This can result in more accurate shots and better control of the cue ball for players who use English frequently.
  • Consistency: Carbon fiber shafts are less susceptible to changes in humidity and temperature, which can cause wood shafts to warp or change shape over time. This means that carbon fiber shafts can maintain their performance characteristics more consistently in various playing conditions.
  • Vibration and Feedback: Wood shafts tend to provide more vibration and feedback to the player upon striking the cue ball, which some players prefer as it gives them a better sense of the shot's quality. Carbon fiber shafts, on the other hand, absorb more vibration and provide a smoother, more stable feel.
  1. Durability and Maintenance
  • Carbon fiber shafts are generally more durable than wood shafts and are resistant to dings, scratches, and warping. This can make them a more long-lasting option.
  • Maintenance for carbon fiber shafts is relatively easy, as they do not require as much attention to humidity and temperature control. Cleaning a carbon fiber shaft typically involves wiping it down with a damp cloth or using a designated shaft cleaner.
  1. Price
  • Carbon fiber shafts are generally more expensive than wood shafts due to the materials used and the manufacturing process. However, some players find the performance benefits and durability worth the higher price.

Ultimately, the choice between a carbon fiber and a wood shaft comes down to personal preference and playing style. Some players prefer the low deflection and consistent performance of carbon fiber shafts, while others enjoy the feedback and traditional feel of wood shafts. It is recommended to try out both types of shafts to determine which one best suits your individual needs and preferences.



In pool, different ball sizes are used depending on the specific game being played. The three most common sizes are:

2.25 inches (57.15 mm) - American Pool:

  1. This is the standard ball size for American pool games such as 8-ball, 9-ball, and 10-ball. These balls are typically used on larger tables measuring 7, 8, or 9 feet in length. American pool balls are often numbered and feature a combination of solid and striped balls.

2.07 inches (52.5 mm) - British Pool:

  1. British pool, often referred to as "blackball" or "pub pool," uses slightly smaller balls. These balls are designed for games such as British 8-ball (also known as blackball) and are commonly used on smaller 6 or 7-foot tables. British pool balls come in two sets: reds and yellows, or blues and yellows, with a black ball numbered 8 and a white cue ball.

2.68 inches (68 mm) - Carom Billiards:

  1. Carom billiards, also known as three-cushion billiards or straight rail, uses larger balls compared to pool. Carom games, like three-cushion and straight rail, are played on pocketless tables that are usually 10 feet in length. There are only three balls in carom billiards: a white cue ball, a yellow cue ball, and a red object ball.

There are other less common ball sizes used for specific games or regional variants, but these are the most widely recognized sizes for pool and billiards games. It is important to use the appropriate ball size and type for the game being played to ensure accurate and consistent gameplay.



Bar rules for coin-operated pool tables can vary significantly from one establishment to another, but there are some common rules that tend to be followed in many places. Keep in mind that these rules may not be standardized, so it's always a good idea to clarify the specific rules with the other players or bar staff before starting a game. Here are some common bar rules for coin-operated pool tables:

  1. Cue Ball Scratch: If the cue ball is pocketed (scratched) during a shot, the incoming player gets ball-in-hand behind the headstring (also known as the "kitchen" or "cue ball behind the line" rule). The player must shoot the cue ball out of the kitchen and contact an object ball outside the headstring. If no legal ball is outside the headstring, the player may request a re-spot of the closest ball.
  2. Table Open after Break: After the break shot, the table is considered "open," meaning the player can choose to shoot either solids or stripes. The choice of group is not determined until a player legally pockets a ball.
  3. Called Shots: Players must call their intended shots, specifying the ball and the pocket. However, details like kisses, caroms, or cushions do not need to be called.
  4. No Jump Shots: In many bars, jump shots are not allowed, as they can potentially damage the table or balls.
  5. Pocketing the 8-Ball: When shooting the 8-ball, the player must call the intended pocket. If the 8-ball is pocketed in an uncalled pocket, it is considered a loss. If the 8-ball is pocketed on the same shot as a foul (e.g., scratching the cue ball), it is also considered a loss.
  6. 8-Ball on the Break: If a player pockets the 8-ball on the break, they either win the game, lose the game, or the 8-ball is re-spotted and the same player continues shooting, depending on the specific bar's rules. Make sure to clarify this rule before playing.
  7. No Coaching: Players are not allowed to receive coaching or advice from spectators during their turn.
  8. Coin on the Table: If there is a line of people waiting to play, it is common for players to place a coin on the rail to "reserve" their spot in line.

These are just a few examples of common bar rules for coin-operated pool tables. Always remember that rules can vary, so make sure to discuss and agree on the specific rules with your opponent before beginning a game.





Carom billiards, also known as straight rail or three-cushion billiards, is a cue sport played on a pocketless table with three balls: a white cue ball, a yellow cue ball, and a red object ball. The game's objective is to score points by making caroms, which involve hitting both object balls with the cue ball in a single shot. Here are the basic rules for carom billiards:

  1. Table and Balls: Carom billiards is played on a pocketless table that is usually 10 feet in length. The table has markings known as balklines, which help in certain variations of the game. The three balls used in carom are a white cue ball, a yellow cue ball, and a red object ball.
  2. Starting the Game: A lag determines which player goes first. Both players shoot their cue balls towards the opposite short rail, attempting to get as close as possible to the rail without touching it. The player whose ball ends up closest to the rail wins the lag and plays first.
  3. Object of the Game: The primary goal in carom billiards is to score points by making caroms. A carom is achieved by hitting both object balls with the cue ball in a single shot. The most common carom billiards variation is three-cushion billiards, where the cue ball must hit at least three rails before making contact with the second object ball to score a point.
  4. Scoring: Each successful carom earns the player one point. In most games, the first player to reach a predetermined number of points (often 15, 25, or 50) wins the game. Some carom billiards variations may use additional scoring rules, such as awarding extra points for specific shot types.
  5. Shot Execution: Players must strike the cue ball with the cue tip, using a legal stroke. Push shots, scoop shots, and jump shots are typically considered fouls.
  6. Fouls: Fouls in carom billiards include double hits, push shots, illegal jumps, and shots that result in no contact with either object ball. Committing a foul usually results in the end of the shooter's inning, and their opponent gains possession of the cue ball.
  7. Innings: An inning is a player's turn at the table, which continues as long as they keep scoring points. If a player fails to score a point during their shot, their inning ends, and their opponent takes over.

These are the basic rules for carom billiards. Keep in mind that there are multiple variations of carom billiards, such as straight rail, cushion caroms, and artistic billiards, each with its own unique rules and scoring system. Always consult the official rules for the specific carom game you are playing.



Straight pool, also known as 14.1 continuous or simply 14.1, is a pocket billiards game that was once the most popular professional pool game in the United States. The objective of the game is to reach a predetermined number of points, typically 100 or 150, by pocketing balls in any order. Here are the basic rules for straight pool:

  1. Table and Balls: Straight pool is played on a standard pool table with six pockets and a full set of 15 object balls (numbered 1 to 15) and a cue ball.
  2. Starting the Game: The game begins with a break shot. The player must hit the rack and drive at least two balls, other than the cue ball, to the rails, or pocket at least one ball to make a legal break. If the break is not legal, the incoming player has the option to shoot or request a re-rack.
  3. Scoring: Each legally pocketed ball earns the player one point. The player's turn continues as long as they keep pocketing balls. The first player to reach the predetermined number of points (usually 100 or 150) wins the game.
  4. Racking: After 14 balls have been pocketed, the remaining object ball becomes the "break ball." The 14 pocketed balls are then re-racked, leaving the apex ball position open. The player resumes their inning by shooting the break ball into the rack to continue scoring.
  5. Fouls: Fouls in straight pool include scratching the cue ball, failing to make contact with an object ball, and not driving a ball to the rail after contact. When a foul occurs, the incoming player gets cue ball in hand and a one-point penalty is assessed to the shooter.
  6. Three Consecutive Fouls: If a player commits three consecutive fouls, they incur a 15-point penalty, and their opponent has the option to re-rack the balls and require the offending player to shoot another break shot.
  7. Called Shots: In straight pool, players must call the ball and the pocket for each shot. However, details such as kisses, caroms, or cushions do not need to be called.

Movies featuring straight pool:

Straight pool has been featured in several movies that showcase the world of pool and its players. Some notable examples include:

  1. "The Hustler" (1961) – This classic film, starring Paul Newman as "Fast Eddie" Felson, revolves around high-stakes straight pool matches between Eddie and the legendary pool player Minnesota Fats, played by Jackie Gleason.
  2. "The Baltimore Bullet" (1980) – This movie, starring James Coburn and Bruce Boxleitner, features several scenes of straight pool action, as the main characters embark on a journey to compete against the legendary pool player, the Baltimore Bullet.

These movies offer a glimpse into the world of straight pool and its role in pool culture during its heyday as a popular professional game.



9-ball is a fast-paced and exciting pool game that requires both skill and strategy. It is played with nine object balls, numbered 1 through 9, and a cue ball. The objective is to legally pocket the 9-ball, and the game is won by the player who does so first. Here are the basic rules for 9-ball:

  1. Table and Balls: 9-ball is played on a standard pool table with six pockets. The game uses only the object balls numbered 1 through 9 and a cue ball.
  2. Racking: The balls are racked in a diamond shape, with the 1-ball at the apex, placed on the foot spot, and the 9-ball in the center. The other balls are placed randomly within the diamond.
  3. Starting the Game: The game begins with a break shot. The player must strike the 1-ball first and either pocket a ball or drive at least four balls to the rails to make a legal break.
  4. Object of the Game: The objective is to legally pocket the 9-ball. Players shoot in ascending numerical order, from the 1-ball to the 9-ball. The player does not need to pocket all the balls—pocketing the 9-ball at any point during the game results in a win, as long as it is done legally.
  5. Legal Shot: A shot is considered legal if the cue ball first contacts the lowest numbered ball on the table, and then either pockets that ball or drives any ball (including the cue ball) to the rail.
  6. Fouls: Common fouls in 9-ball include scratching the cue ball, failing to make a legal hit, and not driving a ball to the rail after contact. Committing a foul results in cue ball in hand for the incoming player.
  7. Combination Shots: Players may use a combination shot to pocket the 9-ball early in the game, as long as the lowest numbered ball is struck first. If the 9-ball is pocketed legally in a combination shot, the shooting player wins the game.

Movies featuring 9-ball:

9-ball has been featured in various movies, showcasing the game's strategy and excitement. Some notable examples include:

  1. "The Color of Money" (1986) – This sequel to "The Hustler" stars Paul Newman as "Fast Eddie" Felson and Tom Cruise as his young protégé, Vincent. The movie features several scenes of 9-ball action, as well as other pool games, as the characters navigate the world of professional pool.
  2. "Poolhall Junkies" (2002) – This film, starring Mars Callahan, Chazz Palminteri, and Christopher Walken, revolves around the life of a talented pool player who gets involved in high-stakes 9-ball games and hustling.

These movies showcase the excitement and strategy of 9-ball and offer a glimpse into the world of pool players and competitive gameplay.


A jump shot in pool is a technique used to jump the cue ball over an obstructing ball to make contact with the target ball. Legal jump shots require a proper execution that doesn't involve scooping or pushing the cue ball, which are considered fouls. Here are some techniques and fundamentals for executing legal jump shots:

  1. Use a jump cue: Jump cues are shorter, lighter, and have a harder tip compared to standard playing cues. This design makes it easier to generate the necessary elevation and force to perform a successful jump shot.
  2. Proper stance and grip: Your stance should be slightly lower than usual, with your grip hand further back on the cue than in a standard shot. This will give you better control and more leverage for the jump shot.
  3. Cue elevation: Elevate the butt of your cue to around 30-45 degrees, depending on the distance and height you need for the jump. Remember that elevating the cue too much can cause the cue ball to jump off the table, resulting in a foul.
  4. Striking the cue ball: Aim to strike the cue ball slightly below its center, usually around the 5 or 7 o'clock position, depending on the jump height required. Striking the ball too low might cause a scoop or miscue, while hitting it too high may not generate enough lift.
  5. Follow through: Use a short, sharp, downward stroke with a controlled follow-through. Ensure that the tip of the cue maintains contact with the cue ball throughout the shot. Do not scoop or push the cue ball, as these actions are considered fouls.
  6. Practice and control: Jump shots require practice to develop accuracy and consistency. Start with small jumps and gradually progress to larger ones as you gain more control and confidence.
  7. Assess your options: While jump shots can be an effective tool in certain situations, they are also high-risk shots with a lower success rate than other options, such as kicking or masse shots. Consider all your options before deciding to execute a jump shot.

By understanding and practicing these fundamentals, you can develop the skills necessary to perform legal jump shots and expand your shot-making arsenal in pool.



A masse shot in pool is an advanced technique used to curve the cue ball around obstructing balls to make contact with the target ball. Masse shots require skill and control, as well as an understanding of how spin affects the cue ball's path. Here are some techniques and fundamentals for executing masse shots:

  1. Use a masse cue (optional): Masse cues are usually shorter and heavier than standard playing cues, with a larger tip diameter and softer tip material. These features allow for better control and transfer of spin to the cue ball. However, skilled players can also perform masse shots with a standard cue.
  2. Proper stance and grip: Your stance should be more upright than usual, with your legs slightly bent and your grip hand positioned further back on the cue than in a standard shot. This provides the necessary leverage for the elevated cue angle and the downward force required for a masse shot.
  3. Cue elevation: Elevate the butt of your cue to a steep angle, usually between 60 and 80 degrees, depending on the desired curve and distance of the masse shot. The steeper the angle, the more pronounced the curve of the cue ball's path.
  4. Striking the cue ball: Aim to strike the cue ball at the bottom or side, depending on the direction and degree of the curve you want to achieve. For a left curve, hit the cue ball at around the 7 or 8 o'clock position, and for a right curve, hit it at around the 4 or 5 o'clock position. Striking the cue ball too low or too high can cause a miscue or a jump shot.
  5. Follow through and wrist action: Use a controlled, smooth stroke with a strong follow-through. The wrist action is crucial for a successful masse shot, as it imparts the necessary spin on the cue ball. Snap your wrist downward and slightly to the side as you strike the ball, with your cue tip following the same direction.
  6. Control and practice: Masse shots require significant practice to develop control, accuracy, and consistency. Start with gentle curves and gradually increase the difficulty as you gain confidence and skill.
  7. Assess your options: Masse shots are high-risk, low-percentage shots that should only be used when other options, such as jump shots or kick shots, are not feasible. Consider all your options and the potential consequences of a failed masse shot before attempting one.

By understanding and practicing these fundamentals, you can develop the skills necessary to perform masse shots and expand your shot-making repertoire in pool. However, be cautious when practicing masse shots, as they can cause damage to the cue tip, the cue ball, or the pool table cloth if not executed properly.



It is challenging to compile a complete list of all movies featuring pool tables or pool players, as pool scenes can appear in various genres and contexts. However, here is a list of notable movies where pool plays a significant role or has memorable scenes:

  1. The Hustler (1961)
  2. The Color of Money (1986)
  3. Poolhall Junkies (2002)
  4. The Baltimore Bullet (1980)
  5. Kiss Shot (1989)
  6. Stickmen (2001)
  7. Shooting Gallery (2005)
  8. Rack 'em Up (1988)
  9. Turn the River (2007)
  10. Walkaway Joe (2020)
  11. The Baron and the Kid (1984)
  12. Killers (2010)
  13. Side Pocket (1988)
  14. Lucky You (2007)
  15. Players (2012)
  16. The Player's Club (1998)
  17. The Billiard Congress (1927)
  18. Easy Money (1983)
  19. Werewolves Within (2021)
  20. Tricheurs (1984)

Please note that this list may not be exhaustive, as there are many films that may include pool tables or pool players in brief scenes or as background elements. The movies listed above are primarily focused on pool or contain significant pool-related scenes.

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