Friday, 11 January 2013

The perfect game !

The perfect game of snooker. We have all dreamt of it, some of us have experienced phases of it, yet very few have mastered the art. This is an area which I might not be able to fully explain but I have good hold of it now, after struggling, a lot.

You might often wonder, why do you miss a particular shot. Well, there are actually just a few factors which determine whether you are great at the game all the time or not. And let me tell you that they are not easy to achieve. You must practice well and play well all the time!!!

Do you always?
1. Decide the shot, and initial and final position of the cue ball.
2. Play the shot, EXACTLY as you thought it to be. Well at times if a situation is hard to get out of and you cannot say play that quarter ball thin blue AND land in position, then you might go for an easier green or brown ball and come back from the baulk towards the pink area.
3. Continue the run for as long as you want to or the competition demands.
4. Play safe when it is meant to be played safe.
5. Leave your opponent snookered at least 6-7 times out of 10?

Well, all this is easier said than done and takes lots of time, patience, practice and learning capabilities.

For starters, you can --
1. Decide the shot, aim, get in position and just shoot. Well not like a robot, but I guess you get my point :)
2. If you want wish to master the art, you must ultimately know how to play all shots humanly possible. If this seems too hard now, you can start with the basic shots, and if any other shot comes up, just play safe.
3. You must avoid all distractions. No one else should be messing around as well.
4. Learn to apply chalk properly. Just rub on it gently, so that a thin layer of it forms on the surface. Then try to play a straight in stun shot. Next try to play a spin shot (deep screw or high follow would be nice). The point is, that these two shots along with shots involving extreme left and right hand english, require that your tip must be properly chalked. Dont worry about doing this all the time though, because after a while, you will automatically know how much chalk you need to apply.
5. Here is a list I have created on how to proceed to learn snooker starting from beginner level

  • Learn the basic pots, i.e. half ball, three quarter ball, one quarter ball and full ball (not a cut technically) Play all these shots without any spin on the white ball whatsoever. Try to play many variations of these shots, all over the table for a few days at least.
  • Learn your first spin shot, the stun shot. Hit the cue ball just a little bit below center with decent speed, to stop the CB right there if it is a straight in shot. For angled shots, the cue ball travels at right angles to the path travelled by the object ball.
  • After you have mastered the stun shot, you can safely learn to play screw back, follow, stun run through and the drag shot. Learn them one by one for the best effect.
  • Now after you have all these weapons in your arsenal, you can start to learn about the path the cue ball travels after hitting the rails. Two easy looking yet game defining skills which you will need to master are running and reverse english. These two will ultimately help you to calculate the path your cue ball needs to travel 4-5 or even more rails. For that you can learn the diamond system.
  • Next learn to play safeties. There are lots of defensive strategies out there. Master them all to be really good at cue ball sports.
  • Next you can learn kick shots and bank shots. Start from one rail shots, then gradually move on to two, three, four and even 5 railed shots. Some "experts" might disagree, but I suggest that you at least practice even the difficult shots well, because you never know, they might actually come in a match you play.
  • After this you can learn the jump and masse shots. To play a jump shot, elevate your cue stick about 30 degrees, then hit the cue ball medium-high speed and then hit it just a little below center (The center which you see after raising the stick and aiming from above). This will take some practice and jumping heavier balls might require to use a jump cue. The masse shot can be played again by raising your cue stick around 30 degrees then aiming it medium-bottom on the face of the cue ball as seen from above (30 degrees or so high). Now, if you want to curve the cue ball to the left, then use left english along with medium bottom, and if you want to curve it to the right use right english along with medium bottom.
  • Now you know most of if not all the shots in cue ball games. You can start to really play games seriously from now.
  • Next start playing different types of cue ball games on different types of tables. If you are unsure, you can start with 8 ball on an english table. Now I'm not saying that 8 ball is easy to master, but it sure is easier to start with. Play a few games of 8 ball for some time, say a few days, then you can start to learn other games such as 9 ball, straight pool, bank pool etc. The list is endless. After a few days, you can move on to the bigger snooker and billiards table and either stick with or keep your options open on both the tables.
  • Next for increasing your game to even greater levels, you can start playing practice drills as per your cue ball game of choice. One golden rule among practice drills is that you have to set all the balls again as they were even if you miss one single pot.
Hope this helps you to become a better player at the game.
Keep checking, ill be posting other articles soon enough.!!

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