Welcome to Basic Billiards where we will teach you the basics of how to play pool so you can have fun and win tournaments!
Aiming is one of the most important aspects to playing pool, because without the ability to aim accurately and consistently it will be difficult to play the game. So in order to aim effectively you need to figure out how to sight the ball you are trying to pocket (which is called the object ball). Sighting the ball means that you need to find the correct contact point on the object ball that you want to hit with the cue ball. If this contact point is struck with the cue ball then the object ball will find the pocket that it was targeting.
Finding the correct contact point is the key to playing well in pool and there are many different systems that you can use to achive this result. One of the most common methods of to find the contact point on the object ball is called the ghost ball method. When lining up the shot imagine the cue ball being right in line with the pocket you are trying to shoot the object ball as illustrated below.
If you hit that exact spot with the cue ball then the object ball will be pocketed. Some things to keep in mind is that when aiming the cue ball at the contact point on the object ball is that using the center of the cue ball as an aiming point will only work with straight in shots. Generally when performing a cut shot you will be striking the object ball with an edge of the cue ball. This may sound complicated, but if you spend some time on the practice table you will get the hang of it fairly quickly and you won't even need to use the ghost ball system to be effective.
Once you have found your contact point you need to get down on the ball to take your shot. In order to do sight the contact point on the object ball and physically line yourself up along the aiming line of the cue ball. Once you have lined up, get down on the cue ball and prepare to take your shot. While your are getting down on the shot keep the contact point in your view all the way down until you are settled on the table. Once you are down keep your dominant eye over the center of your cue to insure accurate aiming. The dominant eye is the eye that you use most to aim when down on a shot. Typically if you are a right handed player, your right eye will be over the cue and vice versa for left handed people.
When you feel comfortable with your practice strokes go ahead and take your shot. This process may take some getting used to starting out, but after a little practice this system will become more and more natural for you.