Be Sure To Look For Those Combination Shots
I feel that combination shots are an under-used commodity in pool. Some people only see the single ball shots, when there may be an easy combination hiding in the pack. While they can be tricky to shoot correctly, they also can get you out trouble many times.
There are basically two types of combinations to shoot at. There is the one where you use only your balls, and also the one where you use your opponent's balls as well.
In shot B in the Combination 1 diagram, a combo using just the solids is shown. The cue ball is hit into the blue ball at the correct angle, and the blue ball hits the yellow ball into the pocket.
In shot A, this combination makes use of the opponent's striped ball in between two solids. In this case, the cue ball hits the purple, which hits the yellow striped ball, which hits the red ball into the pocket.
In 8-ball, it is legal to use your opponents ball in a combination as long as your ball is hit first. In 9-ball, combinations are legal as long as the correct ball in sequence is hit first.
As mentioned earlier, combinations can sometimes get you out of trouble. In the Combination 2 diagram, it first appears that there is no shot for the solid balls. However, upon closer inspection, you see that the red ball is a dead shot in the side. If the cue ball is shot into the blue ball at almost any angle, this will send the red ball into the side pocket.
When you play your next pool game, study the table carefully before shooting. Sometimes there will be hidden combinations such as this that can make the difference between having no shot and running the table and winning.
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