Ball Angles

Two ways to play the shot

Apart from half ball shots, almost every loser or cannon can be played in two definite ways, THICK or THIN. For every thin shot, there is a corresponding thick shot that makes the cue ball travel into the same in-off pocket (or to the same object ball, if you are playing a cannon). . However, the path of the object ball will be markedly different in the two cases, and it is up to the player to decide the shot that is both the most certain and gives the best position afterwards.

1/4 Ball is about the same as 3/4 Ball!

The best example of this situation is the 1/4 ball and the 3/4 ball contacts. By chance, both of these conacts give virtually identical paths to the cue ball. A practical example of this would be a 1/4 ball thin loser into the top pocket or a 3/4 ball run-through loser, depending on the position of the other object ball. Each shot will give totally different object ball positions. Of course, your shot preference will largely depend on how you feel about scoring of either of the strokes, but ideally you will have mastered both strokes and play the best shot for position.

Two Exceptions to the Rule

1. The half ball is an exception to the above in that it is the shot that gives the maximum cue ball deflection after contact with the object ball. Anything less than half ball gives less of a cue ball deflection.

2. At full ball or almost full ball run-throughs, the shot can not be achieved by a thin stroke.

Billiards TheoryFact

The 1/4 ball angle (for the cue ball) is 27.3 degrees and the 3/4 ball 27.6 degrees. Although this seems to indicate that these angles are virtually identical, this is not quite the case because this assumes that both shots are contacting the object ball after travelling along a parallel path. However, as the distance reduces between the cue ball and the object ball, the path of the cue ball for 1/4 and 3/4 ball contacts become markedly different.