Postmans Knock

Postman's Knock is a version of top of the table where the opponent's ball is either jammed or very close to the top cushion. The name is derived from the quick "knock knock" sound that occurs when the opponent's ball is just off the top cushion, and a cannon is made from red to white.

Postman's Knock can be played in a number of ways. The most common method is a five-point sequence, where a cannon is made from red to white leaving a pot red; the red is then potted to leave a canon, to start the sequence again. Alternatively an eight-point sequence can be utilised by playing a cannon to leave a pot red, a pot red to leave another pot red and finally a pot off the spot to leave a canon.

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Standard cannon

The standard cannon is played with a touch of check side. Aim to double kiss on the white at a slow pace, to leave a pot red.

Thin cannon

The thin cannon is played with a lot of check side and slightly thinner than normal. Again, aim to double kiss on the white at a slow pace, to leave a pot red.

Very thin cannon

The very thin cannon can not be played to get the double kiss. Play it with maximum check side and at a thin contact. Aim to hit the cushion and graze the white just after that, letting the side do the work.

Stun cannon

The key to this shot is to avoid the situation where the red hits one of the other two balls. Depending where the cue ball is situated, it may be necessary to use no side, check side or running side, to do this.

Wide cannon

The wide cannon needs running side to make the double kiss.

Easy stun pot

Strike the cue ball below centre, with a touch of side, to throw the red.

Stun pot from distance

Strike the cue ball well below centre, again with a touch of side, to throw the red.

Pot using the side cushion

This is one of the most dangerous shots at 'Postman's Knock'. It is important to leave a natural half ball cannon. Also, it is better to leave a narrow cannon than a wide one, as playing with check side is better than playing with stun.


  • Play the cannon from red to white slowly and normally with check side
  • The pot red bringing the cue ball off the side cushion is more difficult than it looks

Common Mistakes

  • Playing the cannon too hard and moving the white
  • Not adjusting the contact and side to contact the white full ball
  • Playing a careless pot red and losing position after rebounding off the cushion