I know, I know everyone always wants to tell you to play defense. We have all heard our friends and fellow conspirators telling us to “play smart”. Well I thought we could go over a few unique and creative defense shots that will make your opponents think you are crazy…until you execute the shot, then he will be scratching his head wondering how he ended up in the spot he is in.
This little shot comes up all the time. Most players pass it over, either because they don’t know the shot, or because it just never occurs to them that is a viable shot to try and execute during an important game. Let’s take a look at Figure A. You will see that we are playing a game of 8 Ball and we have landed in a pretty tough spot while shooting at the 8. Taking a chance on making this bank shot would most certainly lead to disaster. How about the Safety play? How you ask? Simple. All you need to do is make a full hit on the 8 ball (totally eclipsing it with the cue ball) hitting the cue ball with low English. This will cause the 8 ball to bounce back off the rail and double kiss the cue ball back down table and leave your foe stymied with an even tougher bank shot on the 8 than you started with.
The next shot is so smart it’s darn near genius. We are playing a game of 8 ball and once again found ourselves in an awkward position on the 8. We cannot cut it up into the corner pocket because we would surely scratch. Trying to bank it across the table would be suicidal and we would be taking a high risk on a low percentage shot. No I think from here we just simply play a lock up safety. Now most folks would never see this shot much less have the courage to shoot it. But you guys are braver than most so I know you will give this one a whirl. All you need to do is hit the 8 ball with about a half ball hit, with a little top spin. You must hit the shot soft, remember we don’t want to scratch. If executed properly you will have made a good hit on the 8 ball and snookered your victim on the point of the cushion thus rendering him helpless. A little hint on this shot that helps, most people try and make the cue ball hit the point so as to get a rail for a legal hit, but what they forget is if you just hit it hard enough to get the 8 ball to the rail you will succeed in hiding the cue ball and be able to eliminate the risk of scratching. This shot takes a little practice, but once you give it a few tries you will soon have it mastered.
I hope these two unique shots have helped to open your eyes to more creative defensive play. Remember, when playing safe we want to achieve one or all of three goals: Distance, Rails & Blockers. If we can do one or more of these we can be certain we have played a good defensive shot.
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