All You Need to Master the Game of Billiards

Wisdom in Choice of Strokes

Billiard enterprise is not confined to the purposeful tackling of double-baulks when playing the game of billiards. It is evidenced in other ways to greater profit. Let us consider the following situation. The red ball is close to the middle pocket, the cue-ball is in hand, and the red is so favorably placed that you can do almost what you please with it. You can go in-off it, or cut it into the middle pocket, and you can make the in-off in many ways.

Usually, even among amateurs who ought to play better billiards, the red loser is made slowly with the idea of dribbling the red over the top pocket. This is a bad stroke, simply because a very much better one can be made if you are enterprising enough to play it.

Instead of placing your ball on the end of the baulk-line, and crawling in-off to send the red ball slowly up towards the top pocket, you should spot your ball, and play fully enough on the red to follow through into the pocket, playing with freedom enough to bring the red into position off the side and top cushions.

Here it is a matter of letting the cue do the work. No side is required on the cue-ball. It is only necessary to hit that ball correctly a little above its center, or even dead centrally if your cueing is good enough, and you can make this lucrative hazard with supreme ease. Do so, and then try the other way.

Try each method six times in succession, and you will see for yourself how much better it is to play the shot in the manner I advise. Very probably, if the white were near the billiard spot, it might pay you to be enterprising enough to cut the red in the pocket instead of going in-off it.

If you do this, you should have ideal spot-end position, which you will utilize to get back to the open game by the shortest and most profitable route if you take my advice. The reason why you may find this winning hazard pays better than the loser is because the white lies near the billiard spot, where it is likely to be in the way if you attempt a break of red losers.

There is not much in it, but we all like a change at times when playing the game of billiards, and if you feel like putting the red down under the circumstances I have described, by all means do so. Incidentally, this is a favorite scoring position with Willie Smith. When he has a leave like this, and the white near the billiard spot, sometimes he will pot the red, sometimes he will go in-off it-I believe he follows the whim of the moment. He can well afford to do so, as either stroke leaves him a break – building position he can handle supremely well.

An “Enterprising” Stroke
A shot more like the sort of thing usually described as “enterprising” is a five-cushion cannon, and a very “hot” one. The main difficulty is that check side must be used to bring your ball away at the correct angle for the cannon, and as this tends to retard the run of your ball, neither must you use too much of it; nor must you hit the first object-ball too thickly and take too much pace out of your own ball by reason of the over-full contact.

This is another test of free cueing, and is worth trying merely on this account. It is a good shot because it eliminates the risk there is of potting the white if you attempt the screw cannon from white to red via the top cushion.

There is also a sporting chance of your ball dropping nicely on the red and tapping it over the top pocket when the five-cushion cannon is completed. This stroke also takes the white over towards the red, the screw shot splits the balls, from which it is evident that, as usual when playing the game of billiards, enterprise pays when everything is taken into account.Good luck!

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