Differing amounts of spin

My Shot Isn’t Straight!

It is very important to understand that when you put any type of english/side on the cue-ball, the direction of the cue-ball will no longer travel straight.
Practice the following drills to increase your understanding of how english effects your aim and how the cue-ball will travel after making contact.

Note: To make sure that you are getting the correct cue-ball curving effects, make sure to test out the same shot 5 or 6 times exactly the same way with the same speed and see how the results differ.

The harder you hit a shot, the different effects you will get. Being slightly off to one side of the cue-ball could cause the object ball to juggle in the pocket and bounce out rather than fall down.

Putting english onto the cue-ball effects the angle that you get off of a cusion. Knowing how much english, instead of just knowing that you need to use english can make a big difference in positioning. Extreme right english could bring you to a totally different place than using right english that is just a hair off center ball.

Practice the following 3 shots to get a better feel for speed and english.

photo of a pool table, rack, cue and cue ball

Aim for the first diamond after the side pocket with left english. Try to make the object ball that is sitting in the left corner pocket straight on.

Photo of pool table with rack and cue and cue ball

Aim for the object ball in the bottom left corner with left english. This time, aim at the second diamond. Less english is needed for this shot.

Photo of cue stick, cue ball, rack and pool table

This shot involves extreme right hand english. After making contact with the side rail the cue-ball will come off the end rail and knock into the object ball.

Note: This is the most difficult of the three and requires a well chalked cue.

Experiment using different speeds with english. Hitting slow will give the cue-ball a little follow, causing a greater angle off of the rail. It will also throw the object ball more on contact.

When you hit the cue ball with your cue stick, you can put spin on the ball by stroking it slightly off-center. Spinning (or applying English to) the cue ball is like spinning a football when you throw it.  If you hit the cue ball below center, you put backspin (or draw) on it. This will either make the cue ball stop quickly after it hits the object ball, reverse direction it is traveling, or if there was a lot of distance between the cue ball and object ball, it could now be rolling forward. If you hit the cue ball above center, you put topspin (or follow) on it. This will make the cue ball keep rolling forward after it hits an object ball.