15 Types of Pool Shots That Give You a Massive Edge

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Are you trying to improve your pool game? In this article, you'll find 15 types of pool shots that will give you an edge over your opponent.

Man playing pool by himself

Let's check them out.

Break Shot

  • Tightly rack all of the balls so they are snug together and don’t roll away from the center of the table
  • Make sure that the shooting side foot can evenly pivot, allowing you to stand upright, which provides more motion through your shooting arm and allows the body to add more power
  • Move the shooting arm smoothly to allow for a fast and smooth strike
  • Build up speed in the hands and the fingers, as this is where the true power of a clean break comes from
  • After building up speed and getting the power that you need, you can add a wrist deviation, which will add a little more power and motion to the break
  • Relax the grip to allow the cue stick to loosen up, which allows more of the motion and power to pass through to the balls
  • Only use a little chalk when breaking, as you want to make sure that the cue ball rebounds quickly on the break

Straight Shot

  • Mentally line up where the cue ball is supposed to go so the cue stick can be placed directly on that line

  • Place the tip of the cue stick at a straight angle to the ball in order to strike the ball directly forward

  • Rest the front end of the cue stick on your bridge hand, holding the back of the cue stick with the other, allowing this hand and arm to be the one to control the motion of the stick

  • Using the back arm, push forward quickly to the cue ball, allowing the tip of the cue stick to strike the ball quickly

  • Don’t use much follow-through, as this will serve to guide the cue ball instead of striking it into position and into motion

Jump Shot

  • Remember that actually scooping up the cue ball is illegal

  • Line up to strike the cue ball above center or at dead center for the best results

  • Line up your arm under your shoulder instead of holding your arm out from the side

  • Hold the cue tip so that it connects with the cue ball from above and then quickly push down on the back end of the cue stick

  • Stand on your toes on the same side of your body as your shooting arm, which helps keep the cue grip low

  • By holding the cue stick at a lower angle to the ball, players can make the ball jump lower

  • Holding the cue stick at a higher angle will make the ball jump higher

  • The stronger the shot, the farther the ball will travel

  • The back arm’s grip must be loose enough to quickly move the cue stick out of the way so that it doesn’t capture and trap the ball during its jump

Slip Shot

  • Slip shots, or slip strokes, are designed to help players minimize how much their cue stick moves back on their back stroke

  • Players must stop their cue stick when performing a back stroke, then slide their hand farther up on the cue stick to grab it again and release it on the forward motion

  • As long as the tip of the cue stick stays on the target, this will not result in any stroke deviation

  • By allowing the cue stick to slip forward in the hand during the movement of this stroke, players can enjoy extra stroke in their ball with very minimal effort

  • It’s imperative for players to have a correct stance and to make sure that their tip doesn’t move when it comes into contact with the cue ball for best results

Masse or Curve Shot

  • Players must tilt the axis of their ball to make it spin to the inside of their curve

  • By holding the cue stick at a horizontal angle, you can create a forward motion of the ball

  • Begin by chalking the tip of the cue stick well to ensure that it will be able to easily grab the ball

  • Make sure to use enough force when hitting the cue ball to allow for extra table resistance, which will cause the ball to curve

  • After stroking, stay down over the table and watch the curve of the ball so you can determine where you went wrong and adjust future shots

Angled Shot

  • Imagine there is a ball in the position where the cue ball needs to hit in order to make it into the pocket

  • Look through the imaginary ball to the edge of the ball you need to hit so that the edge of your desired ball is the in the middle of the imaginary ball

  • Draw a mental line on the pool table from the edge of the ball, through the imaginary ball, to the cue stick to see the path that you want your cue ball to take

  • Place the cue stick on the imaginary line and then strike the cue ball so that it hits your desired ball and puts it directly into the pocket

  • This will result in the ball going into the pocket and the cue ball striking the rail instead of following the ball into the pocket

Forced Follow Shot

  • First, set up the shot to hit the cue ball about a ball away from the target ball

  • Hit through the center of the cue ball for extreme gyration, which will force the cue ball to travel through the shot and hit other balls into the pockets

  • Hit the cue ball extremely high, a bit on the left or right side to force it to continue through the motion of the ball

  • Using a force follow shot is a great way to dive the cue ball around a group of balls and to add a little curve to your shots

  • Use a straight and smooth stroke to provide enough power to the cue ball to make it travel on its path

English Shot

  • After mastering straight shots, pool players can advance to English shots in order to add some spin to the ball and make their shots more advanced

  • Keep using the straight shot technique but begin to hit the ball either below or above the center to add spin

  • Remember that hitting below the center adds backspin, while hitting above the center adds topspin

  • Use the front hand to help steady the cue stick and prepare it to strike the cue ball, and use the back hand and arm to pull back and add power when striking

  • Practice this shot, learning how to add backspin or topspin to the cue ball to make it easy to pocket a second ball after a traditional straight shot

Draw Shot

  • Strike the cue ball firmly and confidently just below the center

  • Line up the cue stick and make sure that it is as level as possible with the cue ball

  • Keeping your grip loose allows for more follow-through

  • Never try to pull the cue stick back too quickly, as it is only through follow-through that the ball will start to roll back

  • Visualize moving a very heavy ball when you hit, which will allow you to hit the ball more softly, and move slowly away from the ball

Follow Shot

  • Hit the ball above center to make the cue ball spin forward much faster than it rolls

  • Make sure to line up the cue ball with the ball that you want to hit so that you can easily hit them with a straight shot

  • Practice how high above center to hit the cue ball in order to add enough follow-through to the ball for the best results

  • The harder the cue ball is hit, the longer it will stay on the tangent line before it begins to move forward

  • Hitting the cue ball more softly will cause it to move off the tangent line more quickly, which results in the cue ball having more of a forward motion

Stun Shot

  • Hitting the ball above center will cause it to roll forward, but hitting the cue ball below center will provide it with backspin

  • Players can make the ball slide by hitting it directly in the center

  • Players need to practice hitting the ball lower and higher as well as with different intensities to learn how this will affect the slowing and sliding of the ball

  • With multiple variations of how to hit the ball for certain end results, players must practice for the best results

  • Players use the same smooth motion of the back striking arm when hitting a stun shot as they do when hitting a regular straight or break shot, but simply don’t put as much power behind the motion as they would when breaking

Bank Shot

  • Involves using a rail to help you pocket a ball

  • The object ball can either be struck into the cushion or the cushion can be hit first, which then will propel the object ball toward the pocket

  • Players must understand how to hit the cue ball with side spin, so that the object ball will have this spin after contact, and know how that amount of spin will impact the motion of the ball after hitting the rails

  • Players can either eyeball the shot or rely on the diamonds to make adjustments when determining how to hit the object ball

  • Begin by choosing which side to hit and how hard to hit the cue ball, taking into consideration rail friction and topspin

  • Players must make sure to allow for ample follow-through without actually pushing the cue ball to ensure that it stays on path and doesn’t deviate to the side after impact

Stop Shot

  • Transfer energy from the cue ball to the object ball but make sure that the cue ball stops in its tracks by controlling the angle of the cue stick

  • By setting a straight angle, players can prevent the cue ball from moving

  • Aim in the center of the ball, or just below center of the cue ball, causing it to slide

  • Because the cue ball slides and doesn’t roll, it will stop once it has transferred its energy to the object ball

  • Players need to get low to be able to see that they are centered on the ball

  • Cue balls that are farther away from the object ball must hit with more power as well as a bit lower, to prevent the ball from starting to roll and gain high spin

Spin Shot

  • Players need to hit the cue ball towards the bottom, which will cause it to spin off of the object ball

  • Hitting below the center of the cue ball will cause it to spin backwards after hitting the object ball, as opposed to stopping in its tracks or continuing to roll forward

  • Players must learn how to compensate for the spin that will be added to the ball by practicing their shots and seeing how different cue stick placements affect the spin

  • Pulling the cue stick back far enough will allow players to put enough power and strength into their hit so that this energy transfers to the object ball

The Butterfly

  • Players set up six object balls in the middle of the table, placing them in the shape of a butterfly

  • Using a single shot, players must break the butterfly and land each ball in one of the six pockets on the table

  • Put the cue ball on the centerline of the table at the third diamond

  • Make sure that all six balls are lined up with their pockets so that they don’t require any spin to make the shot

  • Use the cue stick to hit the cut ball straight down the middle of the table, splitting the six balls evenly

  • With a little practice and adjustment, players will be able to consistently nail this shot, as long as the cue ball is hit correctly and the other balls are all lined up with the short rail point of their pockets