(FAQ) What is the real secret to winning at pool?

(About the Author)

People with all sorts of table billiards experience from everywhere in the world believe that they have the real pool secrets of winning. Those that actually do know tend to hold this knowledge closely; and would not share, even under torture. Every generation has a few holders of the pool secret and who also let the pool secret out of the bag. They reveal this information to favored students. A few more require various amounts of  cash as an incentive to cough up the details.

Consider this question - every time you start a game, whether it is 8 Ball, 9 Ball, 1 Pocket, or another game, what is the purpose of that game? Answers vary from the simple - "To win. Duh." to "Make balls, lots of balls." These are good answers.

Those answers tend to focus on results. When you consider the question a little more, you realize that being successful at pool requires a very specific pool skill. It is not in aiming – anybody can learn to aim. All it takes is some dedicated practice. In fact, you can easily get quite good at pocketing balls from almost anywhere on the table.

The next level of realization is getting the cue ball into position for the next shot after you have made a successful shot. The pros make it seem simple. Most people can also learn this when the next target ball is not too difficult.

A simple way to say the pool secret is:
CONTROL THE CUE BALL, CONTROL THE GAME

Getting the cue ball to dance to your predictions requires a different kind of practicing. It is related to the precision in which you can consistently contact the ball with the cue tip.

When you begin to learn the game, you are happy when you can make the cue ball go in the general direction you intended. When you get a little better, you gain a little control with the speed that you apply to the cue ball.

Next, you learn to make the cue ball do little dances – draw it back a bit or follow. Soon you figure out how to apply (in controlled circumstances) a little side spin to the cue ball. Essentially, you are learning to make some of your shots more predictable.

But you truly are able to touch the lowest level of billiard god-hood when you realize that the game is based on a very simple skill. To master the entirety of the game is dependent on hitting the cue ball at a precise point at a perfectly controlled speed.

The result is continuously consistent and predictable results. That's it. Of course, to get there can take a long time. But, knowing this bit of knowledge will shape how you practice for the rest of your life. By all means, develop your aiming skills, but focus on what you much precision you can apply to the cue ball.

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