Trick Shots to Master in Pool

Pool is a game that almost everyone is familiar with. The game of pool comes under the category of cue sports, consisting of ball games played on a tabletop with a stick, known as a ‘cue’. Pool, which is also referred to as ‘pocket billiards’ is a game that is typically played on a table that has six pockets.

Eight-ball pool, which is also known as 8-ball pool, is the most popularly played pool game today, and this variant uses eight balls on each side. On a professional level, nine-ball pool is the dominant form of the sport that is played and this variant uses nine balls on each side. There also used to be a variant of pool called straight pool, which was at one point the most commonly played version of the sport by professional players. This variant was played with ten balls on each side and was eventually replaced by nine-ball pool, which has since been the primary version of pool that is played professionally.

This blog takes an in-depth look at some trick shots that one should master to get better at playing pool.

  • The ‘coin in the glass’ shot

The ‘coin in the glass’ is a trick shot that is often used for bets among friends. Performing this trick shot entails placing a coin on the edge of a cushion to get it to jump into a glass placed at the edge of the pool table. This trick shot is fairly simple to do and is an enjoyable one to watch. However, ensuring that the right amount of force is applied is essential to make this trick shot successful. Too little or too much force could make it fail.

  • The famous trick shot from the film Poolhall Junkies

The movie Poolhall Junkies is well known for popularizing this particular trick shot. What makes this trick shot stand out is its ability to be used to display one’s talent as well as during a game if challenged by one’s opponent. Performing this trick shot involves hitting the same ball twice with the white cue ball, with the first hit to get the ball moving and the second hit to get it inside the pocket.

  • The ‘four in a line’ shot

This is a trick shot that is notably easy to perform. All one needs to do is place four balls in a straight line directly in front of the middle pocket on either side of the pool table, following which the rack (which is also known as a triangle) is to be placed in line with the four balls. Next, the cue ball needs to be placed outside the rack, such that striking it makes it push the rack and hit the lineup of balls to make them fall into the pocket one by one.

  • The 4 balls in 4 different pockets shot

This trick shot is relatively easy to perform as well, and likewise, it too involves placing four balls together in a line. However, the trick here is to make the balls fall into four different pockets on the pool table. The key to success with this trick shot is to position the balls correctly and strike the cue ball at the correct location.

  • The indirect jump shot

Making the object balls jump is a trick shot that is quite commonly used in many competitive pool games. However, making a ball jump is dependent on the player’s angle. The good news is, the setup does not matter, and the only thing that a player needs to focus on getting right is the angle of the ball strike, which should in turn hit the object ball in such a way that it forces it to move downwards and then upwards. A player should also take the available space on the pool table into consideration before attempting this trick shot.

  • The Z-bank shot

The Z-bank shot is essentially a careful application of the laws of physics. It is somewhat more challenging to perform, but it is a treat to watch. Making this trick shot successful is dependent on the player’s angle. This trick shot is performed by hitting the cue ball with a left spin and once the now left-spinning hits the desired object ball, the spin will transfer to it, making the object ball hit the wall while spinning right. On doing so, the ball will rebound back at such an angle that it rolls right into the nearest pocket.

  • The butterfly shot

One of the more spectacular trick shots in pool, the butterfly shot is one which, if performed correctly, can pocket six object balls in one go. This is done by making the six balls spread out to six different pockets on the pool table in the formation of butterfly wings (from which the trick shot gets its name). The secret to success with this trick shot is proper ball placement. In other words, if the balls are placed in the right positions, they can be knocked toward the pockets without causing any messy spins or misaligned movements.

  • The backward bank shot

Just like all the other trick shots, the backward bank shot is also dependent on the angle and spin of the cue ball. To perform this shot, the player will have to make a partial strike on the object ball with the purpose of transferring the spin on impact in such a way that it knocks the object ball into a pocket.

These are just some of the popular trick shots in pool. By practicing them, playing pool can become all the more exciting and thrilling!