Intro to Spin

Have you ever watched a professional pool player on tv or a skilled player at your local pool hall that never misses and always has an easy shot at the table? The reason that they are able to do this is because they know how to manipulate the cue ball to put spin that will change the direction the cue ball takes after it hits the object ball. Its this spin that let's them put the cue ball wherever they want it to end up on the table for their next shot, and today we are going to talk about the basics of spin and what they do to the cue ball.

Stop shot

The simplest and one of the most effective shots in pool is the stop shot. The reason its such a powerful shot is because its relatively easy to perform consistenly and its incredibly accurate since you know exactly where the cue ball will end up after you've shot the ball. In order to perform a stop shot you need to stun the cue ball by hitting slightly below center which will make the cue ball slide on the table. If the cue ball is sliding and it hits the object ball full it will stop in its place. Now keep in mind, this reaction will only take place on a full hit to the object ball, otherwise the cue ball will not stop but deflect in another direction.

Follow Shot

Now if you want the cue ball to go forwards after hitting the object ball you need to play a follow shot. In order to follow a cue ball, top spin and a good stroke is needed. So in order to get more follow hit high on the cue ball and you should see it roll forward after hitting the object ball. You may also notice that on some shots, even if you haven't hit high on the cue ball, it still seems to roll forward after contact with the object ball. This is because without any backspin or stun on the cue ball the friction with the felt on the table causes the ball to roll forward which gives the ball follow. This type of spin is called natural roll english.

Draw Shot

To bring the cue ball backwards after shooting a show backspin or draw needs to be applied. Draw is the more difficult types of spin to get accustomed to in terms of the right stroke. The draw shot works by using backspin on the cue ball to draw the ball backwards after contact with the object ball. In order to perform a draw shot you must hit the cue ball low with your tip and that should create backspin on the cue ball. As long as the backspin does not wear off by the time the cue ball gets the the object ball the cue ball will draw backwards.

Importance of stroke

The importance of a smooth accelerating stroke cannot be understated when playing pool. Making sure that your cue stick accellerates while going through the cue ball is what allows you to iniate more or less spin depending on the shot. Simply hitting low or high on the cue ball alone will not get very good results except at short distances. In order to perform draw and follow shots effectively being able to accelerate through the cue ball is what is going to initiate that spin.

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