Trick shots in modern pool are often referred to as artistic pool; it’s entertaining, exciting and requires a high level of skill. But how does one come head and shoulders above the rest in a friendly barroom playoff, or full on pool tournament? Here’s a rundown of the best pool trick shots to ensure players at every level can win over some serious attention.
10. Easy as 123
A trick shot that seems impossible at first, but once mastered is fairly easy. It involves the 1, 2 and 3 balls, and if the shot works out OK the 1 ball goes into the centre pocket off the 2 ball. The 2 ball then cannons into the corner pocket and with the spin, the 3 ball goes into the same pocket due to the carom from the cue ball. As said before, if you manage to perfect this shot you’ll reap the rewards.
9. Cue is Thicker than the Eye
Made famous by the legendary Fast Eddy Felson in the film The Hustler in which he played Minnesota Fats. Although technically a foul, this is a seemingly impossible quick fire shot. The idea is to get the 3 ball in the side pocket in spite of it been hindered by the 1 ball. You need to play this shot with a touch of confidence and a tight grip on the cue, it’s an extremely difficult shot, but if you have plenty of time on your hands you may surprise yourself.
8. Just Showing Off
This shot was made famous by Steve Mizerak in an advert for beer in the 1970’s. Basically five objects are clustered near the left side pocket and a hanging object in the lower right corner. Shooting the cue ball into the cluster pocketing all five balls and then the cue ball will travel 3 rails to pocket the ball that’s a hanging object.
7. Machine Gun 1
This shot issues a machine gun sound. To play the shot simply line some object balls in a row; a width away from the cushion. Fire the cue ball into the space between the balls and cushion, and whilst that ball is travelling, hit each one of the object balls to create a machine gun sound.
6. Machine Gun 2
A line of object balls are placed onto the table. The cue ball should be shot into a pocket with dead weight and the object balls are all potted into the same pocket directly one after the other. If done properly the cue ball should be the first ball to hit and the last ball to fall.
5. Machine Gun 3
A line of objects are placed in a row but not against the cushion, they are then shot around the table hitting three cushions in total and then into exactly the same pocket. This trick requires careful timing so newly shot balls do not collide with ones already in motion.
4. The Butterfly
A beauty of a shot if you pull it off. Simply group six object balls in the middle of the table in a butterfly shape, in one single shot each ball drops into a different pocket on the table, definitely one to impress the ladies with.
3. Up and In/The Boot Shot
Also known as ‘the boot shot’, this shot originated from World Trick Shot Champion, Mike Massey. Basically the cue ball is shot off the table and into a cowboy boot on the floor. In case you don’t have a cowboy boot handy, a trainer should be just fine.
2. The Dollar Bill Shot
This shot uses a banknote. Take the money and place it on the short rail near the pocket as a landing zone. Then hit the cue ball off eight or nine cushions, and fingers crossed, it should land with the ball’s edge over the banknote. The shot has been used as a tie breaker in Trick Shot Magic with whoever landing closest to the bill winning the match.
1. Cluster Shot
This shot could take months, if not, years to master. It pretty much involves defeating the seemingly impossible, and potting every ball in one shot. Explaining where each ball goes on the table is pointless, as there are a number of possible variations for where each ball could be placed. Mastering the trick to perfection is more a case of knowing your physics inside out, along with PLENTY of practice.
Now watch this kid do it…
This list of neat tricks was produced on behalf of pool table specialists, Home Leisure Direct.