Billiards Shooting Tips To Improve Your Pool

Take Your Best Billiards Shot With These Smoking Hot Tips

Billiards Shot, over A Dozen Tips, Improve Your Pool
Billiards shot improvement? We have hundreds of instructional articles on this GuideSite. Photo courtesy of Marcel Elfers

Below are some of the billiards shot basics I've been excited about lately, ones that have made a real difference for my pocket billiards students.

Bank shot technique for better shape has been including these two key points:

1. Use outside english to widen bank rebound angles and inside english for tightening angles (inside is super helpful for shots taken close to the side pockets)

2. Sight and plot banks using the edge of the ghost cue ball where it will strike the cushion, not its center, and sight the bottom of the cushions for truer calculations

Moving on, care for your cue ball care with a stroke so gentle impact is barely audible while gliding smoothly through the cue ball rather than poking at it. (Top pros developed this touch playing carom often and you can imitate their practice.)

Some frequently heard advice from me shape and strategy includes:

  • Consider the eight's position first before choosing hi- or low-balls for 8-Ball
  • Play for 10- to 15-degree shape angles for upcoming billiards shots
  • Use a near level stroke and you can practically forget about adjusting target aim when using english
  • Only four types of balls can shape on any table: 1) easy-to-pocket balls 2) balls made easy when others are cleared first 3) trouble balls and 4) balls handy for clearing trouble balls
  • Related article on four types of balls
  • Learn by competing against not only tough opponents but those who will critique you
  • Shoot mostly soft and medium strokes within a tip's width of center along the vertical axis and you'll continually improve week-to-week and year-to-year
  • Shoot cross-corner banks often to add feel and creativity to your shape skills

I've challenged readers to be honest about their style of play. Do you shoot better jumping and dancing through your strokes or staying down to the table, committed to stillness from follow through until the balls come to rest?

Commit to playing in your best style. Most play better as pool robots with the stroke arm their only moving part than as pool dancers.

I also recommend that the ideal stance resemble a weightlifter's or golfer's bent down to work but balanced and ready for action. Any final stroke tension should feel as though it is released through the cue and cue tip, not the hand, arm or etc.

Fee stroking to create incredibly powerful, straight shots

And as always, I recommend a stance routine with stroke hand on line and not trunk or head while standing to the upcoming billiard shot. Don't crunch or force over the cue stick any body part as you bend to the shot. Hand on the line equals shot on the line. Chin over the cue stick has nothing to do with whether the ball finds the bottom of the pocket.

Be consistent in how you approach each shot. Create the same precise distance from cue tip to cue ball before bending to your stance for every billiards shot. 

The pendulum stroke

Pool requires a faster forward stroke, freely moving without slavish imitation to your practice strokes, so relaxed you'd drop the stick to the table if your grip was any lighter.

The pendulum pool myth

Commit to cue ball shape from an erect position before bending to your stance.

You've heard that often but add that any fidgeting, wiggling or hitching moving the cue tip wrecks your game. If you plan, say, a medium speed stroke with one tip of bottom right english from a standing position, bend down, set the tip where you promised and stroke as you promised.