PTL2: Advanced Snooker/Pool Coaching Tutorial – Improve Your Game

INTRODUCTION

Here you will learn more advanced ways to play. We strongly recommend being completely comfortable with everything in our Beginners Tutorial first.. No matter how long that takes! Anything new which you learn from us will not come naturally for several weeks or months, and only with practise. We will be updating this advanced online Snooker/Pool coaching tutorial page regularly and adding new and exciting tricks, techniques and tips. Keep checking back with us to see what’s new.

SWERVE SHOT

If you’re partially or fully snookered on the object ball, it’s sometimes a good choice to swerve the cue ball around the obstruction ball as seen in the video below. In this instance, to swerve the white ball out to the right and then back in to the left you need to jack your cue up in the air, raise your bridge and stike the cue ball on the left hand side and with a little screw. This require significant practice as the power and amount of side/screw affects the curve of the ball considerably.

ACTION REQUIRED: Set up the balls as in the video and see if you can pot the object ball over the pocket. Ensure you tip is well chalked on every attempt and watch that cloth !!

DRAG SHOT

The drag shot in my opinion, is an OPTIONAL way to slow the cue ball down. Its purpose is to slow the cueball down, usually over a long distance shot. The shot involves playing the cueball with a lot of bottom, but hitting it at such a speed that the bottom reverts back to normal spin half way through its journey, thus slowing down the cueball as it grips the cloth and regains traction. So looking at the video below, work out how much power you would need to screw back off the red and then pretty much half it ! Playing drag over a long distance shot means that you can hit the cueball a bit harder which prevents it rollong off, especially on tables which arent completely straight. As I say, myself I prefer just to roll the shot as I feel I can judge the speed better, but yes sometimes I’m caught out by those nasty wonky tables! The drag shot is also an effective way to play a straight skill shot in Blackball pool. You will also see professional snooker players play a “Mini drag shot” when they are just inches away from an object ball which they just nestle up to in order to play a snooker.

ACTION REQUIRED: Practice dragging the white down the centre of the table in a straight line. It’s a little tricky because by playing bottom, if you get a fraction of side on the white, you’ll sweve it. Finally practice some drag shots as shown in the video. Playing with a spotted white will show you exactly what is happening with the cueball as the spin reverses on its travels.




PLANT SHOT

A plant shot involves knocking one object ball on to another in order to make a pot (Plant Pot!). Plants can be very tricky, even when they look so simple. Fortunately there’s a way you can work them out..

As seen in the video below, cue up to the 1st object ball as if it was the white, aim at the 2nd object ball and line up the pot.. Now, keeping your cue on the line of the shot.. extend that line of shot to the cushion and remember this point !! (For demonstration purposes, In the video I have marked this point on the cushion with my tip chalk) This point on the cushion now becomes an imaginary pocket! Now cue back up to the white and play the first object ball towards this imaginary pocket. Hit it right and the rest takes care of it’s self.

 

REVERSE PLANT/SQUEEZE SHOT

Press PLAY on the video below and then pause it immediately! As you can see, the 2 red balls are about a millimetre apart and make a plant which is not in line with the middle pocket. Which side do you think I need to hit the first red on in order to pot the second red in the middle pocket? When you have decided on your answer, press PLAY..

Most people get this wrong so don’t worry if you do! Normal plant physics apply up until the point where the 2 balls are touching or at most, a few millimetres apart. When they are this close, you must hit the first red on the opposite side as the friction/momentum of the first red effectively “Squeezes” the 2nd red in the same direction. This shot needs to be played at a slow speed for it to work! The faster it is played, the more chance that the normal plant physics will apply. It’s confusing I know.. These balls do funny things.. You need a degree in Physics to completely understand this shot!

CUEING OFF THE CUSH

If you’re having significant problems potting a ball when cueing off the cushion then we can give you a few pointers.. The main reason for missing the pot is because you are striking the cue ball on the top as that is all you can really get to. Therefore, if you’re not completely hitting the white in the centre then it’s going to swerve and throw the shot off course.

Ensure and practise hitting that white dead centre. Keep as low as possible on the shot.. Jacking up to try and hit the white lower is sometimes necessary but very difficult to prevent the swerve. Also, as seen in the video below.. Move the grip hand (back hand) forward one hand length to keep everything more compact. Loosen your grip a little and play the shot keeping everything straight. The more power, the harder the pot!

This video show the difference in play the first shot off the cushion and the second one on the cushion. Note how power has been reduced and the backhand moves forward a little to keep everything tighter to prevent movement.




CUEING OVER THE TOP OF A BALL (CHINESE SNOOKER)

When the white ball is tight in front of another ball it makes your shot extremely difficult. Fortunately there are ways we can minimise things going wrong.. Firsty you need to ensure your tip is well chalked, then slowly initialise a high bridge up close to the blocking ball in a way that allows you to hit as much of the top of the cueball as possible. Hitting the centre of the cueball is of absolute importance or you will put unintentional swerve on the white and miss the shot. Your cuing action will be similar to normal but the back hand grip needs to be as loose as possible. Keep your head down to the cue as much as possible and flick your eyes back and forth between the white and object ball more so than usual.. Do NOT rush this shot! When you are ready to strike the white, you are almost simply releasing the backhand grip completely, allowing the weight of your cue to slide its self forward through your fingers. Practice this, you need to push forward a little but essentially you want the cue to drop forward using its own weight which will keep it on line and reduce movement.

 

POTTING DOWN THE RAIL

Potting a ball down the rail is one of the most difficult shots there is. It demands exact focus and precision. There is however, a slight trick which can help the shot a little bit. Looking down the cue, if the object ball is on the cushion to your left, then put a fraction of left hand side on the cue ball. If the object ball is on the cushion to your right, then put a fraction of right hand side on the cue ball. You still need to play the shot well, but it assists in helping the object ball hug the rail a little and it also transmits a fraction of side to the object ball which helps it go in off the jaws of the pocket. This technique is usually most effective when the ball is actually touching the cushion and you are not lined up straight.

ACTION REQUIRED: Practice potting some balls down the cushion. Try some with side and some without. See if you feel this technique helps you or not. Try the shots at different speeds.

POTTING BALLS THAT DON’T POT

When a ball doesn’t quite pot due to another ball being fractionally in its way, it is still possible to pot it using side on the cue ball. The side alters the path of the ball you are attempting to pot (Fractionally). Looking at the shot lined up in the video below, we can see that the yellow ball is fractionally in the way of potting the red in to the middle bag. If we hit the cue ball with right hand side, when it makes contact with the red it flicks it to the left a little. It’s hard to see this in the video as we are dealing with fractions, but it works. You would play left hand side on the cue ball if the yellow was blocking the left hand side of the red.