Cheating the Pocket

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One of the keys to playing great pool is being able to control where the cue ball goes after pocketing an object ball. Controlling the path of the cue ball gives us the position we need to make our next shot and continue our run.

One of our tools to help us move the cue ball is called "cheating the pocket". Let's look at this idea and how we can use it to control our cue ball.

When we first start playing pool, just making an object ball is an accomplishment. But as we get better, we start thinking about playing position, and moving the cue ball to different parts of the table.

One secret to doing this is to "cheat the pocket". What this means is that you use the whole pocket to make the object ball. Now this is a lot harder if the object ball is far from the pocket, or the cue ball is distant from the object ball, but when the conditions are right, you can move the cue ball all around the table.

Here is an example of this idea:

Cheating Pocket Step 1

Notice how the black lines show the object ball going in to the far right or far left of the pocket. Let's look at how we can use this idea to move the cue ball around the table. Say for example we wanted to go from the 1 to the 2 as shown here:

Cheating Pocket Step 2
To pocket the 1 and get our cue ball in good position for the 2, we aim the 1 ball for the left side of the side pocket with a stun shot. This changes the stun line from the 1 to the path we want to fall on the two

The combination of using a stun shot for a very predictable cue ball path and cheating the pocket gives us some strong tools to play position.

Here is another example and use of this idea of cheating the pocket.

Cheating Pocket with Stun Shots

Here we over cut the 1 slightly to give us the angle we need to go up the table. We still use a stun shot on the cue ball without English to get a predictable path for our cue ball.

The only trick here is learning how to hit stun shots at various speeds and distances to have our cue ball sliding on contact at the required speed.

I only really think about cheating the pocket when the object ball is within a diamond of the pocket and the cue ball is reasonably close to the object ball.

Good luck with this and see you on the road. Next stop Atlanta!