The Elevator Shot....Go Up and Down
Why do so many billiardists play around the table shots when up-and-down shots would suit them much better. Start taking a closer look at your around-the-table opportunities, especially when the second object ball isn’t “big” in the corner. You can turn small target areas into huge ones.
In Diagram 1, for instance, the third ball is positioned in a small, unforgiving area; an around-the-table shot would have to score on the way in or not at all. Also, you’d have to hit the first ball very thin, using extreme English, and avoid a kiss in passing the first object ball. But play the same shot up and down, and you have far more control of speed; you’re assured of leaving the first ball in a high scoring zone; and that final ball is much, much bigger. Hit the first ball with enough speed to bank it twice across the table to the side cushion; use minimum 2 o’clock English with a slightly elevated cue to create a little curve on the cue ball.
In the shot of Diagram 2, most players not only choose an around-the-table shot but the wrong one to boot: four rails instead of five or six. There’s a kiss there, too. So why not go up-and-down again, going four rails in behind the second ball as shown, and getting good position too? Hit the first ball thin, with minimum 1 o’clock English, and again, a slightly elevated cue. The first ball is banked cross the table to a “big ball” position in the corner for the next shot.
Diagram 3 shows another often-overlooked option. Most average, and even skilled, players will try for five to seven rails around the table, and just about always get a kiss after the third rail. Instead, bank that first ball cross-corner the long way, and go up and down with high center ball, a level cue this time and an eighth-of-a-ball hit on the first ball. You get a high degree of success of scoring, plus simple position for the next shot. Again, four rails work slightly better for position than three. The important thing to keep in mind is that these up-and-down shots give you a much bigger target — plus simple opportunities for great position play.
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