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Thread: Pool (Billiards): Who plays it?

  1. #1

    Default Pool (Billiards): Who plays it?

    Title asks it all. We have a pool table in the main hangout/study center at my college that I and a few other dudes play on. It was initially a pay-table, but guys kept rigging it in various ways for it to give the balls for free, so we get free games.

    Usually after all my classes finish I shoot up a few games. Sometimes I'm decent, other days I'm terrible. Usually on the days that I'm good I practice using online billiards games, my favorite being the 8-ball Multiplayer on Miniclip (helps best with the cuts). Though I seem to suck especially at the long-shots.

    So, who else plays pool frequently? Care to share some of your favorite shots, strategies, etc.?

  2. #2


    Have played a fair amount of pool. Wouldn't say I'm an expert, but I like to think I'm ok.

    And long shots are not easy.

    Two components, the geometry and the shot itself. That is, knowing where you should be putting the ball.. and being able to actually do it.

    The geometry bit I'd google "ghost ball" if you arn't already familiar.

    For actually making the shot the usual general tips apply, try to keep the elbow, hand, and shoulder in line... line up the shot above the table, be as consistent as possible in your movement and stance.. and just practice until it's easy. Also don't agonize over the shot for too long .. when you think you've got it.. go for it.

    If you are alone at the table (it happens), a good way to practice is to place the cueball on the line, and a ball (the object ball) about a foot in front of it. Try to have the object ball bank off the back, return, and knock the cueball back towards you. Bonus points if you can re-make the shot without re-queuing (doesn't happen very often for me.. ).

  3. #3


    I've played a little pool in my days, but I'm not very good. I suspect my brother in law is as he hangs out in pool halls. I had a friend who used to play with some of the greats. He could make shots making the cue ball curve and even jump over balls. Pool can be amazing.

  4. #4


    I used to play a lot in high school and as an undergrad. There was a free table in our building, and although it was in rough shape, it sufficed. My parents still have the old pool table, but since their basement could now be featured on an episode of "Hoarders" , the chances of ever playing a game on it in the foreseeable future are pretty slim.

    I want to get a table for the basement here at the house, and there have been a few free ones on Craigslist, but I don't have any means to haul one, and I'm not about to rent a big truck for a pool table that probably needs to be refurbished anyway.

  5. #5


    I've played pool since I was little (grandparents have a table and my grandfather is crazy good). I'm not super good and I don't do anything fancy, but I seem to be better than average. I've been called a hustler and a carpetbagger by guys in bars who've asked me to play. I told them 'sure, but I'm not that good.' Apparently they found my self-assessment incorrect but really, compared to my grandfather's control of his shots and the cue ball, I'm not that good. He's one of those who can line up his shots so that half (or more) of his balls are sunk before I even get a chance for a first shot (he only did this when I got older--went easy on me when I was little).

    # 1 tip would be to make sure the hand guiding the cue stick is stable (resting on the table). Little movements of this hand can really mess up a long shot that should have otherwise been lined up. The other hand which provides power to the shot (shooting hand) should be placed nearer the end of the cue stick for more power and nearer the tip for more control. If you really need power (say, for breaking), make sure the tip of the cue stick travels through the space that the cue ball once occupied. Don't stop short when you initially make contact with the cue ball.

    I personally recommend learning how to shoot both right and left handed. It can be useful in some situations. Or just learn to use a bridge, if one is available.

    Banking is a necessary skill. Try to get the table to yourself and practice, practice, practice.

    After you've got good control and can reliably hit the cue ball right where you want to, learn to control the cue ball by putting English (left or right spin) on it: How to learn pool shots: left and right English

    You can also put spin on the cue ball by hitting top or bottom of center. Hitting bottom of center will produce a back spin that should send the cue ball rolling backwards after it impacts whatever ball you were aiming at. It's useful for putting the ball 'where you need it' when lining up the next shot or spinning the ball away from a pocket if you might be in danger of scratching a shot.

  6. #6


    This is my third year on the league and I must say I am no pro but I can make some shots. We play by league rules, ball in hand. At first it was hard and I am a bit of a sore loser but now I try to have fun and just go with it.

  7. #7


    I do enjoy it, though I'm not very good. I like snooker, but it's not terribly easy to find a place play in the US. I was better in college because we also had a rigged-up pool table.

  8. #8


    I've had my own table for years and have considered going into tournaments. I'd say my favorite trick shots are the dime in the shot glass and the shotgun.

  9. #9


    I currently play for a local team. I'm an ok player I guess. I've managed to do 2 dishes (where you break-off and clear in one visit) when I played at University which I'm quite proud of.

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