Hello again! I recently came across a shot that I thought would be perfect to discuss with you.  It's often overlooked, and unless you have played a lot of three cushion billiards you may not have ever thought of this wonderfully simple solution to get you out of a tight spot on the table.  I am talking about the Kiss Back Shot.  A Kiss Back shot is where you intentionally double kiss the cue ball off of the object ball to achieve a certain goal.  That's right, I said "intentionally double kiss". It's not always a foul, and when executed properly it can be incredibly effective.

In Diagram 1 we have our first example of a devious little shot that will aid you in your next game of 9 ball. 

Kiss Back shot
Strike the Eight Ball slightly to the right of center. Cue with Low English and hit firm.

Notice how we’ve landed in an awkward position on the 8 ball. With the 8 ball frozen to the rail we will have a hard time banking it at the 9 ball that is hanging in the opposite corner pocket.  If we try to bank the combination, we will more than likely get a double kiss because the true bank angle is just not on.  However, if we shoot ever so slightly to the right of the center of the 8 Ball as shown, with bottom english, the cue ball will hit the 8 and in a split second the 8 ball will rebound off the rail and kiss back into the cue ball, driving it directly towards the 9 ball for the win.

This next shot has come up more times than I can recall.  I cannot count how many good players I see try and execute a much more complicated shot when given this scenario.  Diagram 2 shows us in a game of 8 ball. 

Kiss Back shot Straight
Strike the Eight Ball full on. Cue with Low English and hit firm.

Both players are on the 8 ball.  Your opponent has missed and lovingly left you with this doozy of a shot. Well, we could go for the “hero” shot and try to bank the 8 ball back into one of the bottom corner pockets, but we know that’s a low percentage shot that’s fraught with disaster if we miss.  Another option is to play defense, but how?  Some might try and hit the 8 ball very thinly and send the cue ball up table.  That’s a good option, but it requires a very precise hit on the 8 ball as well as impeccable speed control to get a safe distance between both balls.  I suggest the Kiss Back Safe. With a little practice you can easily master this shot.  Simply line up to hit the 8 ball FULL in the face with extreme bottom english.  The 8 ball will bounce back off the rail, hit the cue ball, and transfer all of its energy into it, sending the cue ball floating down table to rest comfortably on the opposite end rail.  This is a much easier and higher percentage shot to execute and is often overlooked.

Try these shots out, experiment with them a little.  You will begin to see them often and leave your opponents scratching their heads when you escape a sticky situation or put them in one in return. 

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Things to Remember:
1. Hitting the object ball full will result in the cue ball rebounding straight back from the Kiss Back Shot.  Slightly cutting the ball to the right will make it rebound slightly to the right. Respectively to the left.
2. Use a below center hit on the cue ball.  This helps the cue ball travel further distances after the double kiss, allowing us to reduce the power we must use to execute the shot.

Until next time,

Keep Practicing

Mikey V.