Proper Aiming Technique to Play Better Pool

Rather read than watch? Read about aiming below:

Hello and welcome to another edition of billiards basics brought to you by Ozone billiards. I'm instructor James Roberts, today we're going to cover the topic of aiming fundamentals so let's go to the table. First, we're going to start with what many consider to be an easy shot or a simple shot straight into the pocket, however, the first thing you want to make sure of that it truly is straight into the pocket and not slightly off at an angle one way or the other. Next, once you've determined that is a dead straight in shot identify and locate the bottom of the object-ball this has to be the center that you're aiming for. From there you want to draw an imaginary line back to the cue ball, behind the cue ball. Locate the center of the cue ball by finding where it touches the felt. From there bring your body in line to the shot and for a straight in you're wanting to aim center of the cue ball to the center of the object ball. This method works regardless of the distance involved with the shot. If it's dead straight there's no difference. What is different is the margin of error. The more green to cover, the longer the shot, the less margin of error you have. We're going to look at the most commonly occurring shot on the pool table, the cut shot. Roughly 80 maybe 90% or more of the shots that you're going to encounter during a game or a match will be these types of shots.

Varying Angles

Now the varying angles in various pockets the principle is still the same. One of the most fundamental aiming systems out there is called the ghost ball system.What this is, is you identify the part of the ball the object ball that needs to be hit by placing another ball right next to it. The ghost ball in this case is the nine ball. I know that from this angle the nine ball would pocket the twelve ball, so what I want to do from there is identify the center of the ghost ball, draw a line back through the cue ball to behind the cue ball. Identify the center of it and shoot center of the cue ball to center of the ghost ball. When you're working on problem or unfamiliar shots there's a great way to go about doing this utilizing the same ghost ball principle, however, you want to make sure you mark the exact location of your cue ball and the exact location of your ghost ball utilizing these little what I call donuts, their binder accessories of some sort that you get into any office supply store.


Same principles, locate the center of your doughnut which would be the center of your ghost ball, draw the line back through the cue ball back to the center of the cue ball center of the cue ball to the center of the doughnut. It's very important that you maintain consistent cue ball, object ball, and ghost ball positions when practicing difficult shots. Shoot the shot three, four , maybe five times. If you find you're hitting very few of them, lower the difficulty bar a little, cut the distance make the angle a little less until you find your comfort zone to where you can consistently make eighty ninety percent of the shots then add some distance add some angle and keep practicing. This is how you expand your shot arsenal. Now the ghost ball system is by no means perfect, there are many other factors to consider including cloth speed, condition of the balls, as well as any throw that may be induced on to the object ball which is a subject that's much more complex and we'll cover in a later edition. However, it does provide a good reference point or starting point for which to learn your basic and most commonly occurring cut shots. I'm James Roberts until next time keep playing in the zone.