Interesting Questions, Facts and Information
- There are a total of 15 general entries.
Interesting Questions, Facts, and Information
|Which is the shot where the cue ball first caroms off a rail and then strikes the object ball sending it into the pocket?||The Game of Pool
f. A vast majority of players, even good players, harbour the false belief that a heavy cue (some upwards of 25 ounces, where the standard cue is between 18 and 21 ounces) will help you break, or scatter the balls from the rack, with greater power. It seems intuitive that a heavier cue will result in a higher speed and therefore a better break. In reality, the physics of it pretty much negates this idea. In order to get the heavier cue up to the same speed as you could swing a lighter cue, you'd have to put in more effort. With the same amount of extra effort applied to a break with a lighter cue, you could achieve a higher speed. Force is equal to mass times acceleration; the higher the mass, the lower the acceleration you will be able to put into the swing. The total force imparted to the cue ball will remain about the same, whether you swing with an 18 ounce cue or a 26 ouncer. The key to a good break is to impact the rack as squarely as possible, not to swing wildly. This is especially true if you are a smaller person; wielding a cue that's too heavy for you can actually make it more difficult to break.
t. Pool is closely related to a game called, variously, "billiards" or "carom". These games are played on a similar table but without pockets, and the object is to bounce around the table, contacting the other balls in order to get points. Especially in the Philippines, but in many countries to some extent, these games are a popular way of learning the angles around the table; hence Philippinos are known for their deadly angle-play. Some players consider jump-shots to detract from the "pure" spirit of the game. Earl "The Pearl" Strickland is an American, but is the most famous of the anti-jump-shot brigade; in one famous match against Kunihiko Takahashi of Japan, Strickland verbally taunted Takahashi so much for using his jump cue repeatedly to get out of difficult positions that several complaints were lodged against Strickland for being unsportsmanlike.
t. Especially at the highest level, in world championship play and in the national championships of most countries, a majority of the players will either have a specific jump cue, or a multi-purpose cue that can be shortened by taking off a segment and made into a jump cue that way. Since you have to raise the butt of the cue severely for a jump shot, having a shorter cue makes it easier. In many bars where space is limited, they will have a shortened cue similar to a jump cue that can be used on shots where a longer cue (standard length is 57 or 58 inches) would be impeded by a wall or chair.
When you hit down on the cueball at an extremely steep angle in an attempt to curve it around an obstruction. There is a much easier variation, used by many good players from time to time, called (less obtusely) a "curve" shot. This shot is accomplished by hitting down at just a slight angle on one side or the other of the cue ball, to get it to gently curve in that direction as it rolls. The curving is caused by the spin imparted to the ball as it travels, and grips the cloth and the spin alters its path. A "masse" shot is a much more extreme version of a curve, whereby the player attempts to make the ball bend its path wildly. In most cases, it's much more practical to either just hit the ball off a rail first, or to jump it, rather than try a masse. Even the best players possess too little control over what happens to the ball during a masse shot to use it very often.
The casual player can actually rip the cloth of the table by trying this shot. If the cloth is properly stretched, it's unlikely but it can happen, especially when inebriation is involved as it frequently is. Breaking the cue ball with the cue is essentially impossible. The tip of the cue is generally a type of leather (or in cheap bars, plastic), and the ball is much too hard to be damaged by it (pool balls used to be made of ivory, now most are made synthetically). Jumping a ball off the table can happen, and often does, but jumping it high enough and hard enough to injure anyone while trying a masse shot is extremely unlikely. The slate does have some give to it, but denting it permanently with the cue tip isn't possible in the course of normal play.
|If you hit a ball hard and at an angle into the rail, it will come off at an identical angle, if measured from the other side?||Puzzling Phenomena and Facts
f. Actually, it will come off at a slightly steeper angle. This is what makes the so-called "bank shot" and the "rail-first" shot so difficult. It's often said that you can judge such a shot by imagining another table right next to your table, and aiming for the spot on the other table that you want your ball to bank to, as if you were playing into a giant mirror. This is incorrect to some extent, because of the steepening of the angle off the rail, although it is a good place to start visualizing. The steepening occurs due to the rubber rail actually indenting somewhat when a ball contacts it, and "slinging" the ball back out into the table at a bit less of an angle. The harder you hit it, the greater this effect is. By hitting it very slowly, you can almost negate the effect altogether.
|To begin with, a common misconception of players relatively new to the game. The proper way to "jump" the cue-ball, is to hit under it with your cue, causing it to pop into the air?||Puzzling Phenomena and Facts
f. Popping the ball up in the air by hitting underneath it with your cue is actually considered a foul by most common rule sets. The proper way to "jump" the cue ball is to hit down on it with the butt-end of your cue "jacked up" (raised) in the air. Although counter intuitive to a certain extent, this will cause the ball to jump in the air, due to the slightly compressible nature of slate (the material that forms the surface of most pool tables, under the cloth covering). The ball will squish down into the surface of the table ever so slightly, and if you hit hard enough at the proper angle, the pressure of the cue pushing down and the slate pushing up, will launch the cue ball into the air, hopefully far enough to clear whatever obstruction was in its path.